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How To Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off On YouTube TV

How To Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off On YouTube TV
How to Control Closed Captioning on YouTube TV!

YouTube TV is a very credible cord-cutting option for those of you who like a little live TV with your boxsets. It offers live broadcasts from over 70 networks, cloud DVR, sports, news, boxsets, and a ton of other stuff. It also offers accessibility features for those with particular needs. I’m going to concentrate on one of those needs, closed captioning.

Closed captioning (CC) is a vital element of any TV show, movie, or broadcast that allows those with hearing issues to enjoy the same media we all enjoy. Around 15% of all Americans have some kind of hearing difficulty, a statistic that is likely reflected in other countries, too.

Closed captioning is different from subtitles in that it includes much more of a scene. Subtitles contains only dialog, where closed captions also include background noises and any sound pertinent to what you’re seeing on screen. It’s a much more involving experience which is why it is important.

Closed captioning on YouTube TV

YouTube TV has both subtitles and closed captions. All YouTube brands have some version of each to help with accessibility. How you use them depends on what device you’re using at the time. Some will allow you to change the font, font size, and color while other shows don’t have that facility. I guess it depends on what network produces the show.

If you’re using YouTube TV in Chrome, do this to enable closed captioning on YouTube TV:

  1. Select the CC icon if visible or the three-dot menu icon.
  2. Select Closed captions.
  3. Toggle to on.
  4. Select the cog icon to select the CC settings to change the appearance, if appropriate.

To turn it off, just repeat the above but turn CC to off instead of on.

Using the Android app, do this:

  1. Look for the CC logo while the show loads in YouTube TV or use the three-dot menu icon.
  2. Select the icon and select a CC track.
  3. Select the cog icon to adjust the appearance of the closed captions.

As with the browser, just repeat the above to turn off closed captions if you no longer need them.

Using the iPhone or iPad app, do this:

  1. Select the three-dot menu icon once a TV show has loaded in YouTube TV.
  2. Select Closed Captions and select a CC track.
  3. If the settings icon appears, you will be able to adjust the look of CC.

As above, repeat this to turn off closed captioning.

Live TV shows will not always let you change the closed caption settings. It all depends on the network and the show in question. CC is controlled by the broadcaster so when watching live TV, you’re at the mercy of that network. Most networks try to provide clear, legible closed captions but if you’re not able to see them clearly, it may not be the fault of YouTube TV.

How closed captioning works

Closed captioning is of real benefit to the hearing impaired, but how are the captions generated? How does CC work on YouTube TV?

Closed captions are created in one of three ways. Much depends on the type of TV show being captioned and the technology available to the studio. Typical methods are manually using a stenographer, manual creation using the script, or automatic using AI.

In some unscripted shows, like quiz shows or interviews where you don’t necessarily know what’s coming next, a human stenographer may create closed captions as the show unfolds. They listen to what’s going on and manually type the subtitles and sound cues into their stenograph machine. This is then embedded into the broadcast to be picked up by your player.

Scripted shows will often create subtitles and closed captions in post-production using the script and interpretation of what happens on screen. These are then embedded into the broadcast, ready for use.

Increasingly, studios are using AI to automatically generate subtitles and closed captions. This technology is still in its infancy and often gets things wrong. Once refined to a reliable standard, this will take over from the two manual methods as it will be cheaper, faster, and hopefully, more accurate than it is now. AI can either perform captioning in advance or on the fly.

YouTube is playing around with AI for subtitles and it isn’t very good yet. That will obviously change as the system develops. I’m not sure if they use the same system for closed captioning or not, but YouTube TV uses a different system as described above.

More Americans than I thought have hearing issues. If you’re one of them, at least you know you can enjoy YouTube TV with closed captions so you get the same levels of enjoyment everyone else does!

Have any tips or tricks you’ve learned for closed captions? Leave a comment down below!

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14 thoughts on “How To Turn Closed Captioning On Or Off On YouTube TV”

Charlotte M Harrell says:
We had closed captions or subtitles on our You Tube TV and suddenly they disappeared. WE need them desperately for hearing and understanding the speech. Actors no longer speak clearly and they talk rapidly.
David says:
Frustrated trying to remove closed captioning using ROKU and Samsung TV. Finally hit down button in the center of ROKU, and there I saw the CC. Turned off CC and we are now happy.
Guyrod says:
Samsung Smart TV – I could not get the CC on the three dot menu to open. I noticed a CC button on the remote. I toggled the remote button to “OFF”, then the CC on the three dot menu to CC1. Closed captioning then began to work. Summary: Samsung remote captioning OFF, YouTube TV captioning ON.
Chris says:
Thank you! It worked.
kent McClain says:
I have YouTube tv and closed captioning all of a sudden just popped up and I can’t get it to turn off. I have an LG smart tv and nothing is working. It doesn’t show up on Netflix or hulu or Disney+ only on YouTube tv. How can I turn it off? Please help!
Jeff says:
I finally figured it out on my Samsung Smart TV. I pressed “Info” on the TV remote and got a drop-down list and one of the options is CC. Hope it works for your LG TV.
Thank you. Consider myself pretty tech literate, but after blocking closed caption on my smart tv, I couldn’t figure it out.
Likalaruku says:
Doesn’t work for the Youtube TV app in Amazon Fire TV.
I swear there used to be an option in settings, & they removed it.
Tim McDermott says:
On Fire tv press the down button on the circle and a line of options comes up press left until you highlight CC then toggle off or on
PJ says:
Thank you. I have an Amazon Fire Stick with a flat screen TV and your tip worked. Thank you.
Michelle says:
I have YouTube tv and closed captioning all of a sudden just popped up and I can’t get it to turn off. I have an LG smart tv and nothing is working. It doesn’t show up on Netflix or hulu or Disney+ only on YouTube tv. How can I turn it off? Please help!
Roger Calhoun says:
i alsohave an LG smart tv and I was able to turn off cc by using the lg tv remote, pressing the blue button with :: shich created a script in bottom left of the screen that allowed to click on caption symbol that turned off cc.
Ed says:
I have You Tube TV on Firestick. For some reason the closed captioning came on and can’t figure out how to turn off! Please help!
Danni James says:
I have a Roku stick and so I press the down arrow and the CC popped up on the bottom of my screen. I went there to change it.
fhk says:
This works! Thanks …
Ann says:
Watching YouTube TVs with apple device. How do I turn on cc
Kathy says:
Thank you so much. It would really help if they gave great directions just like this! You saved us!
Mae brown says:
Need to offer more options for CC ,too many complaining including me.The tech is available,what’s the hold up?
Elaine says:
We were able to get the captions on while the show was playing by pressing the down arrow on our Roku remote until the the and a marker line will show up showing how much time is remaining. Under that should be the options for CC. That was on Food Network. Hope it works for you.
Mary says:
Thanks, this worked for me.
Brenda Grady says:
WORKS for me, TOO! Why can’t youtube tv EXPLAIN this as easily as you did?
Peter Junggren says:
After speaking be with YouTube tv tech support it seems as if YouTube tv does not use the same feeds as cable or satellite for Roku players and smart TVs hence no captioning. It’s a deal breaker for me.
Bruce Corson says:
” Marian Decker May 25, 2019 at 7:33 am
We are watching YouTube tv with Roku. I have close captioning turned on Roku but it does not show up on YouTube tv. Is there a w as to get it ?”

We have the same problem. Roku couldn’t solve it for me. Very frustrating.

Bob says:
I have just signed up for YouTube live streaming tv and the closed captions will not work on any of my tv’s. I am able to view the live programs but no cc. The cc is on but no luck. It does work on my Ipad.
Any ideas on how I can turn the cc on.
Marian Decker says:
We are watching YouTube tv with Roku. I have close captioning turned on Roku but it does not show up on YouTube tv. Is there a w as to get it ?
Rosemary says:
Dave Kline says:
Hard to describe, but press the * button. You’ll get a line at the bottom; press the down arrow and you will find that one of the little icons below that line is cc. Scroll over to it (it’s toward the left) and press the OK button. Then check one of the cc boxes. Often, the program does not have closed captioning so even if you have it set up, you may not get it. Had this with TBS, and some of the other cable channels. When this occurs the actors may as well be speaking a foreign language. Good luck.

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Anna Middleton

Jun 18, 2020

289 Articles Published