I am currently setting up a new Windows Media Center 2005 HTPC and just tried to watch a French movie, which I have ripped to DivX. I do not speak French, and so I would like to have English subtitles so that I may understand the plot. When I ripped the movie, I also created a subtitle file (.srt) with SubRip. The .srt file has the same filename as the .avi file, obviously with a different file extension (.srt vs .avi). I expected that when I played the movie in MCE that the subtitles would just appear. They do not. Something must be done to enable this first.
I am writing to you, dear reader, to tell you that I have found what needs to be done, and here it is: you need to install VobSub, in particular the "VobSub for Directshow" plugin. That is all, you don’t even need to restart. I actually paused the move, installed VobSub and when I went back to the movie it had subtitles. You can find VobSub here. Right now the current version is 2.23, which was released in 2002, so don’t think that you can’t find the latest.