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If it's Hebrew [most probably all RTL languages. Comments?], add -flip-hebrew and -noflip-hebrew-commas to the mplayer switches:
transcode -i myvideo.avi -x mplayer="-utf8 -flip-hebrew -noflip-hebrew-commas -sub myvideo.srt" -o myvideo_subtitled.avi -y xvid
vs. map(unicodedata.name, u'\u2022')
For reverse, there's asc2xml
asc2xml < entitiesfile > utf8file
They come as a part of the html-xml-utils debian package.
PS. Tried to submit sample data, but the site autoconverted the non ascii to html entities. So a bit of imagination is needed.
Create subtitle file heading.ssa with just one entry for the entire video duration. Command line sets that entry's text on top of the video as text watermark. If text is an URL works nice for sending people back to your site from a YouTube clip. Output file is lossless encoded and suitable for further processing. Subtitle file can be a URL so it's saved remotely.
Gives MPEG-4/DivX output video file ready for uploading to YouTube from FLV file downloaded from the site and your own subtitle file UTF-8 encoded. No resizing needed. (?)