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Adjust Subtitles on Apple TV

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Subtitles Styles Not Showing Up on Videos

If the subtitle style you just created isn’t showing up during video playback, you probably forgot to turn off Video Overrides Style. This setting, when turned on, will allow apps to override the subtitle style you created. You will need to go back to the subtitle editing screen (Settings > General > Accessibility > Subtitles and Captioning > Style > Edit Styles and pick your style) and turn this off for every setting option. It may seem like a pain, but this actually gives users and developers fine-grained control over who gets to alter particular subtitle settings. For example, you can enforce that subtitles are large, but the app can control all other aspects. It’s surprisingly flexible for Apple, however, they do take Accessibility seriously.

Subtitles Styles Automatically Deleted

While configuring subtitles, I ran into a rather serious defect. All of the subtitle styles and changes I made just vanished. This actually happened twice, so it’s not that rare. I was pretty upset, and gave up on customizing subtitles. I just went with the default. A few days later, I revisited the subtitle configuration screens, and they were back. It turns out that restarting Apple TV will restore any saved subtitle styles. You can restart Apple TV by going to Settings > System > Restart. You can also hold down the Home and Menu buttons on your Siri Remote until you see the light on your Apple TV base unit flash rapidly. Release both buttons when the light starts to flash, and your Apple TV will restart. You should see your subtitle settings restored after Apple TV restarts.

There are some other minor flaws with editing subtitles. I have found that some settings don’t persist and may reset back to default. This may happen if you go back to the list of subtitle presets accidentally by hitting the Menu button too many times. This can also create another generic style preset with the “Style [n]” title. It’s a bit quirky, but when you do it right, the style you create should persist. If one of the settings resets, just set it back to the desired value.

Apple TV is Configurable

Apple TV is a configurable device. Critics love to make the claim that Apple products are simple and don’t allow for customization. The reality is, you can do much more with subtitles on Apple TV than with any other competing TV device. This is important, because not everyone has the same visual capabilities. Nearsighted people may prefer larger text. I actually created my own style, which I prefer to the default. Apple doesn’t let you configure every aspect of Apple TV, and neither does any other competing product. In the end, Apple TV is a television device and its customization options make sense for its purpose.

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