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NOW TV Finally Adds Subtitles – How Do I Get Them?

NOW TV Finally Adds Subtitles – How Do I Get Them?

NOW TV Subtitles have been a requested feature for Sky’s on-demand video service for years. After many promises and declarations, subtitles for NOW TV’s content are finally here – but there’s a big catch – they’re only available on certain devices, and for now – on very limited content (mainly films).

Subtitles in TV programmes and movies are important to many – first and foremost to people with hearing problems, but also to people who don’t speak English as their primary language, and others who are just used to watching content with captions. Requests for subtitles on NOW TV have been seen on the official forums as far back as 2012, but subscribers have had to wait for years.

Back in May, 2016, Sky announced that they were “extending their commitment to subtitles on demand“, and were planning to add subtitles to their NOW TV service at the end of 2016. It took a while longer, but in January beta tests have started, and earlier this month, NOW TV subtitles finally became official.

Last year, a new amendment to the Digital Economy Bill added a requirement for on-demand content providers to add subtitles to their programming. It will take years for OfCom to implement these new requirements, but NOW TV have at least taken the first step in this new path.

How Do I Get NOW TV Subtitles?

Unfortunately, at the moment subtitles are only supported on these NOW TV devices:

  • NOW TV Box (both the white and black ones)
  • NOW TV Smart Box
  • NOW TV Smart Stick
  • Samsung and LG TVs
  • EE TV
  • PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Apple TV

At this point you will not be able to watch NOW TV with subtitles on your smartphone or even on a laptop, even though the service has been up for a while now.

To activate subtitles on your supported NOW TV device, you can either:

  • Press the STAR (*) Button on your NOW TV box remote, while the movie/programme is running
  • Use the arrow button on your remote to select the “Speech Bubble“, while the movie/programme is running

Now TV Subtitles activation speech bubble

How Do I Find Content With Subtitles On NOW TV?

That’s the second catch – for now, content with subtitles is VERY limited on NOW TV and is mainly restricted to the Cinema pass. (Be sure to check my guide on how to get cheap NOW TV deals – bot for the Cinema and Entertainment passes)

According to Sky, subtitles are currently available for over 1000 movies, and every new movie added to the service will already include subtitles.

How do you know whether a movie has subtitles or not? On the NOW TV selection screen, you will see this “S” icon when a movie includes subtitles:

Now TV Subtitles icon

As for TV programmes, for those with an Entertainment Pass, it’s a bit of a joke at the moment, with only Sky citing “over 20  shows” having subtitles – you’ll be hard-pressed to find those shows, but they’re there.

The NOW TV team say that “it’s unfortunately taken longer than we initially expected to add subtitles to our on-demand shows on the Entertainment Month Pass.”

All in all, it’s good progress on the Cinema front for those who have waited for years to get subtitles on NOW TV, but the situation with TV shows is very disappointing.

Both Amazon Instant Video and Netflix already offer subtitles on most of their content, and NOW TV have lagged far behind in that department.

Writer and news editor based in London, I cut the TV cord back in 2014 and never looked back. I watch A LOT of TV, and thankfully I can choose whatever I want to watch without depending on archaic channels.

1 Comment

  1. Chrissy

    Still nothing for the NOWTVplayer app for OSX 🙁


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