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AppleTV: How to Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off Fast

Christopher Nguyen
Christopher Nguyen
Posted in Zoom Sep 6 · 8 Sep, 2022
AppleTV: How to Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off Fast

Turn on or off the subtitles through the app. But if you’re using other devices, you can use alternative ways to take control of closed captioning. Learn how.

If you want to enable the subtitles on AppleTV subtitles when watching a movie or a show, you can do it easily on many devices and platforms.

On the AppleTV player, you can turn it on while streaming or watching a video or set it as default so that closed captions, when available, will be displayed on the AppleTV app or another device you’re using.

Apple offers users with different accessibility options just like other streaming services, allowing users to enhance their viewing experience. For example, Apple allows adjustments to the audio or enabling of the subtitle. These features are available in the app and on the device. It is also available on AppleTV.

So regardless if you’re using an Apple device, a streaming player, a phone, or a smart TV, you can turn on the subtitles directly within your app. And provided that it’s a supported AppleTV device, you can easily turn the captioning on or off.

AppleTV: How to turn on or off the subtitles on the app

Open the audio menu by swiping down on your remote to turn the subtitles on. 

The menu’s appearance might slightly vary from one device to another. But still, you will find the section for Subtitles, with options to choose from one of the languages supported.

Now if you’re looking to turn off the subtitles, open the menu once more, and then deselect the language you previously turned on.

Note: There can be differences to the instructions depending on the device used. Let’s say you’re using an iPad or an iPhone. You can access the menu by tapping the screen and then tapping on the speech bubble.

Watching on PC or Mac? Follow the same instructions. Tap on or hover over the video on your screen, and then click on the speech bubble.

What about on a 3rd generation Apple TV?  Just hold down the SELECT button on your remote for about three seconds to launch the closed captioning menu.

Want to adjust the audio’s volume? Users can also easily control this to enhance their viewing experience. You can choose to change your speaker output, turn the full dynamic range on, or change the language in the same menu.


How to turn on or off the subtitles on Apple Devices and AppleTV Player

If you’re using an iPhone, Apple TV player, or iPad, you can also enable the subtitles at system level, besides being able to turn on/off captioning while watching a show episode or video.

To enable the subtitles by default, open the general settings menu.

1.      Open the Settings.

2.      Go to Accessibility.

3.      Under Hearing, select Subtitles and Captioning.

4.      Enable Closed Captions + SDH

This option is suitable for users that want closed captioning turned on permanently. Note: This is a default setting that will apply not just on Apple TV but also to all applications on a device.

AppleTV: How to customize the appearance of captions and subtitles

Using the default option and enabling closed captioning and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, you can also select your preferred style for the captions and subtitles. In the menu, select Style and then choose from the options. This change will apply for all apps on the device.


Recap: How to turn on or off closed captioning and subtitles on AppleTV

Go directly through the AppleTV app to turn the closed captioning on/off. Play a video and then open the audio menu to choose a language from the options. 

On the other hand, you may also need to tap on the video and then access the audio menu by tapping on the speech bubble, if using other devices. But if you’re using an Apple device to access the Apple TV player, you can turn on the subtitles by default. (Here is a list of Apple TV supported devices.)

Go to the device’s Settings>Accessibility>Hearing. Take note that using this option will also change the default setting on your device. This change will apply to all the other apps accessed on the device.



What are captions?

It’s the process of converting the audio content of a webcast, a TV broadcast, DVD, video, film, and live event, to name some, into text, and then displaying it on a monitor or screen. This allows the deaf and hard of hearing to gain full access to the materials.

Because of technology and a wide range of captioning services like, gaining full access to audio materials has become easy for individuals.

What are the types of captions?

Open or closed.

Closed captioning (CC) allows the user to turn it off, if preferred, but not for open captions, which are permanent. They’re embedded into the video, so there’s no way of turning them off.

Are all captions the same?

The short answer is No.

·        Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH): This type includes speaker identification and sound effects and is displayed as close to verbatim.

·        Foreign subtitles: They’re for the hearing viewers and include only the dialogue.  Printed information may also be translated.

·        Subtitles: They’re usually displayed at the bottom of the screen and at the top of the screen if text is already present at the bottom of the screen. Subtitles are texts from the screenplay of the commentary/dialogue in video games, TV programs, films, live events, and other similar productions.

·        Captions: They’re the product of captioning; it is a process involving splitting text into chunks called caption frames, and then time-coding every frame to synchronize with the video’s audio. The output is displayed at the screen’s bottom. It should be depicting speech and sound effects, accounting for any sound that’s not appearing visually, and identifying speakers.

Subtitles vs. captions: what’s the difference?

Both subtitles and captions are text of audio in a video presentation. 

Closed captions are texts displayed in the same language as the audio, while subtitles are translated text from the original language used in the video into another language.

The deaf and hard of hearing people can fully experience a video in closed captions because they include speaker changes, background sounds, and other elements. 

On the other hand, subtitles are for the hearing viewers; thus, they don’t include speaker change notifications and background sounds. for Affordable and Accurate Captions

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