How To Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off On YouTube TV

How to Turn Closed Captioning on or off on YouTube TV

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

How to Turn Closed Captioning on or off on YouTube TV

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

Closed captioning, once a mere auxiliary feature, has now become a cornerstone of the digital viewing experience.

Initially designed to aid the hearing impaired, its utility has expanded to cater to a diverse audience.

From understanding intricate dialogues in foreign films to ensuring clarity in noisy environments, closed captions have found a broad user base.

YouTube TV, a trailblazer in the streaming domain, offers a plethora of content ranging from classic TV shows to real-time sports events.

As its user base grows exponentially, familiarizing oneself with its long length of features, especially the ability to try out how to turn closed captioning on or off on YouTube TV.

The increasing reliance on closed captions isn’t just a trend but a reflection of the evolving needs of the global audience.

As content becomes more accessible, ensuring that it caters to all, irrespective of their hearing abilities, is crucial for platforms like YouTube TV.

Understanding Subtitles vs. Closed Captions

Subtitles vs. Closed Captions

At a glance, subtitles and closed captions might seem identical.

However, they serve distinct purposes.

While subtitles primarily cater to those who understand the audio but need translations for the dialogue, closed captions go a step further.

They provide a transcription of all auditory elements, ensuring a comprehensive viewing experience.

Subtitles are a boon for international cinema enthusiasts, allowing them to enjoy films in languages they don’t speak.

They focus solely on translating dialogues, ensuring that the essence of the conversation isn’t lost in translation.

Closed captions, on the other hand, are designed with inclusivity in mind.

They cater to the hearing impaired, ensuring they don’t miss out on any aspect of the content.

From the subtle tone shifts in a dialogue to the mood set by background music, closed captions capture it all.

The choice between subtitles and closed captions often boils down to individual needs.

While one might suffice for a multilingual viewer, the other is indispensable for someone with hearing challenges.

Common Reasons for Absence of Subtitles on YouTube TV

Relying solely on YouTube TV’s automatic captions can sometimes lead to disappointment.

These captions, generated by algorithms, have their limitations.

They might falter when faced with overlapping dialogues, multiple languages, or even poor audio quality in the video.

Another challenge with automatic captions is the delay in their generation for longer videos.

The system might take time to process and transcribe extensive content, leading to a temporary absence of captions.

While YouTube TV does its bit with automatic captions, the onus also lies on video creators.

They can upload manually curated captions, ensuring accuracy and timeliness.

However, not all creators prioritize this, leading to videos without reliable closed captions.

Understanding these challenges is essential for viewers.

It helps set realistic expectations and encourages them to explore alternative sources for captions or wait for manual uploads by diligent creators.

How to Turn Closed Captioning on on off on YouTube TV on Different Devices

On Roku TV

YouTube Roku TV

Roku TV, a popular smart TV brand, offers a seamless experience for YouTube TV users.

Here’s how you can easily toggle the closed captioning feature on your Roku TV.

  • Step 1: Turn on your Roku TV and launch the YouTube TV app.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the video you wish to watch.
  • Step 3: While the video is playing, press the ‘*’ (Star) button on your Roku remote.
  • Step 4: A menu will appear on the left side of the screen. Scroll down and select the “Closed Captioning” option.
  • Step 5: Choose between ‘On’, ‘Off’, or ‘On Replay’ based on your preference.

With these simple steps, you can enhance your viewing experience on Roku TV by enabling or disabling closed captions as per your needs.

On Samsung TV

Samsung YouTube TV

Samsung Smart TVs are known for their user-friendly interface. If you’re watching YouTube TV on a Samsung TV, here’s how to manage closed captions.

  • Step 1: Launch the YouTube TV app on your Samsung TV.
  • Step 2: Play the desired video.
  • Step 3: Using your remote, press the ‘Up’ arrow until the video menu appears.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the ‘Settings’ (gear icon) using the arrow keys.
  • Step 5: Select the ‘Subtitles’ option and toggle it on or off.

Samsung TV’s intuitive design ensures that turning on or off closed captions is a breeze for all users.


LG TV YouTube TV

LG TVs come with a range of features to enhance your YouTube TV experience. Here’s a guide to manage closed captions on your LG TV.

  • Step 1: Open the YouTube TV app from the Apps section on your LG TV.
  • Step 2: Start playing the video of your choice.
  • Step 3: Press the ‘Settings’ button (gear icon) on your remote.
  • Step 4: From the dropdown menu, select the ‘All Settings’ option.
  • Step 5: Navigate to ‘Accessibility’ and then choose ‘Subtitles’.
  • Step 6: Toggle the subtitles on or off as per your preference.

LG TV’s comprehensive settings ensure that viewers have full control over their viewing preferences, including closed captions.

On Vizio TV

Vizio TV YouTube TV

Vizio TVs, known for their high-quality displays, also offer easy navigation for YouTube TV users.

Here’s how to toggle closed captions on Vizio TVs.

  • Step 1: Launch the YouTube TV app on your Vizio TV.
  • Step 2: Play the video you want to watch.
  • Step 3: Press the ‘Menu’ button on your Vizio remote.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the ‘Closed Captions’ section.
  • Step 5: Choose your desired option to turn the captions on or off.

With Vizio TVs, you’re just a few clicks away from customizing your YouTube TV viewing experience with closed captions.

How Closed Captioning Works

Closed captioning, often abbreviated as CC, serves as a bridge for those with hearing impairments to access and enjoy visual media.

But how does this feature come to life? Let’s delve into the mechanics behind closed captioning.

The Genesis of Closed Captions

Closed captions are not just mere transcriptions of dialogues.

They encompass a broader spectrum of audio cues, ensuring a holistic viewing experience.

  • Manual Stenography: In live broadcasts, such as news or talk shows, a human stenographer listens in real-time and types out both the dialogues and significant sound cues. This method demands high accuracy and speed.
  • Post-Production Captioning: For scripted content, captions are often created post-production. Here, the script serves as the primary source, but it’s also supplemented with cues about other significant sounds in the scene.
  • AI-Powered Captioning: The digital age has ushered in the use of Artificial Intelligence for generating captions. While still in its nascent stages, AI analyzes audio and auto-generates captions. The efficiency of this method is continually improving, but it’s not foolproof and can sometimes misinterpret complex dialogues or accents.

Live Streaming Closed Captioning

Live streaming presents its own set of challenges when it comes to closed captioning.

Unlike pre-recorded content, there’s no script to rely on, and the unpredictability of live content can be a hurdle.

The Intricacies of Live CC

  • Real-Time Stenography: As mentioned earlier, stenographers play a crucial role in live broadcasts. Their expertise ensures that viewers get almost instantaneous captions, even when the content is unpredictable.
  • AI in Live Streams: Some platforms are experimenting with AI for live streams. While it offers faster results, the accuracy can be a concern, especially with overlapping dialogues or background noises.
  • Broadcaster’s Role: It’s essential to note that the broadcaster controls the CC in live streams. Hence, the quality and availability of captions can vary based on the network or platform.

Customizing Closed Captioning on YouTube TV

Closed captioning is not just about providing text; it’s about ensuring that the text is readable and suits the viewer’s preferences.

YouTube TV offers a plethora of customization options to make sure everyone can read the captions comfortably.

Adjusting Font Style and Size

  • Font Styles: YouTube TV provides a variety of font styles to choose from, ranging from classic styles to more modern and bold fonts. This ensures that viewers can select a font that is most comfortable for their eyes.
  • Font Size: Not everyone is comfortable with the default font size. Whether you’re watching on a large TV screen or a smaller device, YouTube TV allows users to adjust the font size to their liking, ensuring maximum readability.

Color Customization

  • Font Color: Depending on the video’s background, certain font colors may be more readable than others. YouTube TV offers a range of colors for the text, allowing users to choose one that stands out against the video background.
  • Background Color: To further enhance readability, users can also customize the background color of the captions. This is especially useful in videos with varying backgrounds where a consistent caption background can make a significant difference.

Display Options and Positioning

  • Opacity Settings: YouTube TV allows users to adjust the opacity of the text and its background. This feature ensures that while the captions are readable, they don’t obstruct the video content.
  • Positioning: Depending on the video content, viewers might prefer captions at the top, bottom, or sides of the screen. YouTube TV provides options to adjust caption positioning as per user preference.

Challenges in Closed Captioning

While closed captioning has come a long way and offers numerous benefits, it’s not without its challenges.

These challenges can sometimes impact the accuracy and effectiveness of the captions.

Inaccuracies in Auto-Generated Captions

  • Machine Limitations: While AI and machine learning have improved the accuracy of auto-generated captions, they’re not perfect. Misinterpretations, especially in videos with complex terminologies or accents, can lead to inaccuracies.
  • Homophones: Words that sound the same but have different meanings can be a challenge. For instance, “their” vs. “there” can be easily confused by automated systems.

Translating Idioms and Cultural References

  • Cultural Nuances: Idioms, slang, and cultural references can be challenging to caption accurately, especially for non-native speakers. Direct translations might not convey the intended meaning.
  • Humor and Tone: Capturing the tone, especially in humorous content, can be tricky. Sarcasm, for instance, might not come across as intended in captions.

Handling Multiple Speakers or Overlapping Dialogues

  • Distinguishing Voices: In videos with multiple speakers, especially if they speak simultaneously, it can be challenging to distinguish who is saying what. This can lead to confusion for the viewer.
  • Background Noises: Loud background noises or music can interfere with the clarity of speech, making it difficult for automated systems to generate accurate captions.

These sections provide an in-depth look into the customization options available on YouTube TV and the challenges faced in the realm of closed captioning.


How Do I Activate Closed Captions on YouTube?

To enable closed captions, play a video and click on the CC logo.

If you want them on by default, navigate to YouTube settings and enable the ‘Always Show Captions’ option.

Why Can’t I See the Closed Caption Option on Certain Videos?

Not all videos on YouTube have closed captions.

The availability depends on whether the uploader has included them.

If a video lacks creator-uploaded captions, the CC button won’t be visible.

What Differentiates Subtitles from Closed Captioning?

While both provide textual representation, subtitles focus on dialogues.

In contrast, closed captions encompass dialogues, background noises, and other significant audio cues, offering a more immersive experience.


Closed captioning, while often overlooked, plays a pivotal role in making content accessible to a broader audience.

Whether it’s through manual input or AI, the goal remains to ensure everyone, regardless of their hearing ability, can enjoy media in its entirety.

With this detailed guide above, we have explained how to turn closed captioning on or off on YouTube TV.

As technology advances, we can only anticipate further improvements in this domain, making media consumption a more inclusive experience.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.