Amazon FINALLY adds subtitles/closed captioning to Instant Video apps

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Amazon has quietly rolled out a captions facility for users of its instant video service – marking a victory for disability campaigners.

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The good news is that it appears in recent days that Amazon has quietly released an update for app, adding a caption facility (we certainly haven’t received a press release about it). Titles that support subtitles (including Amazon’s own political comedy Alpha House) are now listed with a “CC” icon in menus.

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Enabling subtitles is a little fiddly – to enable them go to the episode you want to watch, don’t hit “Watch Now” – instead hit the name of the episode and then scroll to the “Captions” heading along the top – where you can then tick to enable them.

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Back in May we broke the story of a protest by activists at Amazon’s London headquarters. Hearing Loss campaigners were unhappy that British users of the service weren’t able to access captions, when similar facilities have been available on the US app for some time. The campaign against Amazon was started by Stephanie McDermid, who put together a petition supported by Action on Hearing Loss that ended with over 15,000 signatures.

How excellent when a story has a happy ending.

James O’Malley

8 comments

  • I’ve been having trouble turning on subtitles on Amazon TV shows or movies. For the last three years almost I couldn’t figure out how to activate the subtitles. I read a lot of articles and I search a lot of discussion rooms like this one with no success. Finally I figured out how to do this. I simply went on the TV menu and not the Amazon menu. I turned on subtitles are close caption cc on the TV menu. Once I did that it started to work. You might also want to go on Amazon application on your smartphone or tablet and turn on the close caption for the program whether it’s a series or just a movie.

  • Wish this worked on my Sony Blu-Ray player since that’s what I use for Prime. I’ve tried everything I can think of in the settings but there just doesn’t seem to be a way yet. I’m not sure if it’s up to Sony or Amazon to fix this issue, but as far as I can tell since other things work fine with Subtitles on the player like Netflix that it’s on Amazon to fix it

    • It doesn’t work on my Lg smart tv either ! I’ve tried everything it’s been so frustrating cause there’s not even any informatin online.

  • This didn’t help me in the slightest. What if you’re not watching an episode from a series? What if you’re watching a movie? I still can’t turn on the captions. I have no idea what to press on my controller to activate them. I see the little ‘CC’ in the submenu, but I can’t click on it. This story didn’t have a happy ending for me. Don’t jump to the condescending conclusion that anyone who visited this page has been blessed by your tech wisdom.

    • Press the menu button on the remote when the movie is playing and then press subtitles. You’d think that people read manuals…

    • Zach although this was posted a year ago, I just got my Lg smart tv and I can’t get the close caption on Amazon, I have an Apple TV and it’s so easy to add CC on it but I’ve been trying to find help online about the subject and it’s been very frustrating. I don’t have the Amazon remote so I do see the CC but how am I supposed to click on them. Did you ever find a solution for this ?

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