Closed captions are incredibly useful. Not only have captions have made TV accessible to those with hearing difficulties, they’re also great for keeping up with your programs despite the din in a crowded room, or for finishing up a binge-watching session after everyone has gone to bed. Captions can even be helpful when watching shows that use a lot of technical language… or when you’re trying to learn a new language. No matter why you’re introducing closed captions into your life, there’s no doubt that they’re incredibly helpful. This tutorial will show you how to use closed captions on Samsung Smart TV.
Closed captions, or CC, differ from subtitles when it comes to television support, and we’ll explore that, too. First, let’s take a look at how to turn closed captions on and off on a Samsung Smart TV. This process will probably be very similar with a variety of television sets, but of course, since every manufacturer does everything a little bit differently, the exact wording and path may vary.
Turning Closed Captions ON with a Samsung Smart TV
To turn on closed captions on a Samsung smart TV, you need to access the menu via the remote control. From there we use the Accessibility menu.
- Turn on your TV and press Menu on your Samsung remote.
- Select Accessibility from the General menu.
- Select “Caption Settings” and select “Caption” to turn captions ON
- Select Caption Mode to adjust the caption language.
- Select Digital Caption Options to change font style, size, color, background color, and more.
On older Samsung TVs or those in different regions, the menus might be different. Another example of enabling closed captions looks like this:
- Turn on your TV and select Menu on your Samsung remote.
- Select Setup and Preferences.
- Select Caption and then OK.
- Adjust the captions if you have the option to.
Bear in mind, though, captioning is limited to the shows that provide it, so if you’ve followed these instructions and still aren’t getting captions, you might be watching a non-captioned show. Alternately, if you’re watching a subscription service, like Netflix, you might need to turn on captioning within the service itself.
Turning Off Closed Captions on a Samsung Smart TV
If you no longer need closed captions, you can turn them off in the same way as you turned them on.
- Press Menu on your remote.
- Select Accessibility from the General menu.
- Toggle off Closed Captions at the top of the screen.
You don’t need to mess with caption settings as you have already done that and have turned them off anyway. If you have a different menu setup like the second example above, just repeat that but select off instead of on. The result should be the same.
Newer Samsung Smart TVs also have the ability to use Accessibility Shortcuts for commonly used features that can improve the television experience for those with various abilities. To use Shortcuts, press and hold the “Mute” button on your Smart Remote(or the Volume key for remotes that don’t have a Mute button).
What If My Closed Captions Won’t Turn Off?
What if you did the above but the closed captions won’t turn off? This is a very common issue with all TV setups. Especially if you have had guests, house sitters, babysitters or something else. If someone has enabled CC and you tried disabling it but it won’t go away, it likely isn’t the setting on your TV itself.
Closed captions can be enabled at the source too. That’s your cable box, satellite box, or any of the devices currently on the market that allow you to watch a myriad of programs on your Smart TV. Make sure to check the settings on your source device and turn of closed captioning there too. Even if you turned it off on your TV, if it has been enabled on your source device, it will be sent to the TV anyway.
For example, on a Roku, do this:
- Press the ‘*’ key on your Roku remote.
- Select Closed Captions and toggle it to Off.
- Press the ‘*’ key again to exit the menu.
Cable and satellite boxes and other devices will vary but accessing the Menu, and then Settings is usually a good place to start.
What’s the Difference between Closed Captions and Subtitles?
On the surface, closed captioning looks almost identical to subtitles. For those with hearing difficulties, the difference can be huge.
A subtitle is a transcription of all dialogue within the scene being shown. It is designed for anyone who cannot use the original audio, and for TV shows or movies that don’t have dubbed versions to still follow what’s going on and enjoy the TV show or movie. It is mainly designed for people who don’t understand the language, not for those with hearing impairment even though it can be used by both.
Look at closed captions and you will still see text dialog but you will also see more. You should see descriptions of any background noises, as well as key sound effects and any audio within the scene. Closed captions will also distinguish between which characters are saying which lines, and if a character speaks off-screen, this will be noted in the captions. The idea is to add a lot more information to the viewer in order to engage more with any important content that might be missed when sound is not present.
Subtitles are designed for those who have trouble understanding the language or need a visual translation of the words being spoken. Closed captioning is specifically designed for the hearing impaired in order to communicate as much of a scene as practical so the viewer can gain maximum enjoyment out of it. While closed captioning won’t mention every single light saber noise in a Star Wars fight scene, it will let viewers know when R2D2 is bleeping and blooping.
Depending on your personal need, subtitles might be enough for you to fully enjoy a show, while others need closed captions to get the most out of the experience. Regardless of your personal preference, setting up closed captioning on a Samsung Smart TV is a pretty straightforward process.