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Apple TV offers several options for configuring subtitles. This article explores how to adjust subtitles on Apple TV.
It’s not always easy to follow dialog on a TV show or movie. Sometimes explosions or music can cover up an actor’s voice. You may need to turn down the volume late at night to avoid disturbing others. Thick accents can also be difficult to understand. Turning on Reduce Loud Sounds can help, but it’s not always the perfect solution. For all of these reasons, I almost always have subtitles turned on. Fortunately, Apple TV’s support for subtitles is excellent.
Critics often accuse Apple of making simple products that aren’t customizable. This generalization, like most, is woefully inaccurate. Apple TV actually offers more control over subtitles than competing TV devices. Apple offers the customization options that most people want. It’s never offered in a cynical way, where some useless feature is used as marketing fodder.
Apple TV offers a variety of configuration options for subtitles, but it’s best to start with the basics. Let’s take a look at how to turn subtitles on and off.
Turn Subtitles On and Off on Apple TV
There are a few ways to turn on subtitles on Apple TV. Siri offers the most convenient method. Simply hold down the Siri (microphone) button on the remote and say “turn on subtitles”. Telling Siri to “turn off subtitles” will remove them from the screen. This works with most apps, but not all. It won’t work with the CBS News app. Siri will display “I can’t turn on subtitles at the moment”.
Swiping down on a currently playing video reveals the Info panel. From here, users can swipe right to the Subtitles panel to turn on the feature. Subtitles can also be turned off. This doesn’t work in all apps, but it works in most. Again, the CBS News app doesn’t support the feature as they have overridden the Info panel for their own purposes.
If you can’t turn on subtitles with either of the previous methods, you’ll have to go to the Settings app. You can launch Settings by holding down the Siri button and saying “settings”. From there, go to Audio and Video > Subtitle Language. Select the appropriate subtitle language and return to your video. You should now see subtitles. Subtitles can be turned off from this setting too.
As you can see, Apple offers three different ways to turn subtitles on and off. You can do a lot more with subtitles on Apple TV. It’s possible to make them bigger, transparent or change background colors. Customization support for subtitles on Apple TV is actually quite powerful. Let’s take a look at how to adjust subtitles on Apple TV.
How to Adjust Subtitles on Apple TV
Apple’s Accessibility features offer peerless support for people with disabilities. Anyone can take advantage of these features to customize various aspects of Apple TV. Accessibility offers plenty of options for configuring Apple TV subtitles. You can even design your own presets and switch between them. It’s far more advanced than anything I’ve seen on competing products.
Starting in the Settings app, click on General > Accessibility > Subtitles and Captioning > Style. You can see a list of various presets, such as Default, Large Text and Classic. Clicking on Edit Styles reveals user-definable styles and the ability to add a new style. Let’s walk through how to add a new style. next page →