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 catch – they’re only available on some of the content – though things have improved over time. [Updated for 2019]
- Also See: Our Full NOW TV Review and Guide
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?
At the moment, subtitles supported on most NOW TV devices, including:
- NOW TV Box (both the white and black ones)
- NOW TV 4K Smart Box
- NOW TV Smart Stick
- Samsung and LG TVs
- EE TV
- PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
- Xbox One
- Apple TV
- iPhone/Android apps
- PC Browser
At this point you will not be able to watch NOW TV with subtitles on YouView boxes.
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
How Do I Find Content With Subtitles On NOW TV?
For now, content with subtitles is limited on NOW TV and is available on the Cinema pass and some of the Entertainment Pass. (Be sure to check my guide on how to get cheap NOW TV deals – both for the Cinema and Entertainment passes)
According to Sky, subtitles are currently available for 1,000s of 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:
As for TV programmes, for those with an Entertainment Pass, most new programmes already come with subtitles, and SOME of the back-catalogue has them soon (“100s of shows” according to NOW TV). Still, many older seasons do not have subtitles, and you’ll often see a show with subtitles on the newer seasons, and none on the older ones.
The NOW TV team have said in the past that “it’s unfortunately taken longer than we initially expected to add subtitles to our on-demand shows on the Entertainment Month Pass” – but as mentioned, things have improved since then, though are still not perfect.