Netflix Users Can Now Customize Subtitles; Service Offers Different Sizes, Colors, More Options
Netflix users in the United States are still warily awaiting oncoming restrictions from the company regarding the sharing of passwords. Those rules are still expected to drop sometime during the first quarter of the year, but until then the world’s largest streamer seems focused on making improvements to one of its most-used features.
Netflix will now allow users to customize their subtitle options. Previously, Netflix users could only see subtitles in white, and were stuck with a single size and font of letters. All of that has changed with the new updates to the subtitling system that are live on Netflix now.
Netflix users in some territories (including the U.S. can change the font, size, shadow, and background color of subtitles and closed captions. The text size can be switched between small, medium and large, and users can make it easier to see against the screen as well.
There are new text/caption background colors available as well. Users can change the text style options with contrasting backgrounds in the following combinations: Contrast (yellow text with a black background), Drop Shadow (white text with a black background), and Light (black text with a white background).
To change your subtitle preferences on a web browser, then navigate to the Profile and Parental Controls section. Pick a profile, and select “Change” on the Subtitle Appearance option. Adjust them to your liking, and click “Save.”
To make changes for your subtitles on a smart TV or streaming device, start the show or movie you want to watch and click the settings icon. You will then be able to access the subtitles, and change them to suit your preferences.
These customizations were previously available on the web version of Netflix, but the new update has made them available on smart TVs worldwide. One important note, however: the subtitle appearance option isn’t available in all countries where Netflix is available. Territories with the following primary languages can’t access the feature, even if a profile is set to a different language: Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Thai, and Traditional Chinese. Selected appearance options also might not show on some older devices.
This move will be highly beneficial to Netflix customers with visual or auditory impairments. It will have a wider impact on the Netflix audience as well; according to a survey by Preply, 50% of Americans watch content with subtitles enabled, and 62% said they used captioning on streaming more often than on linear TV. Because of the multiple sound mixes shows on streaming platforms undergo, dialogue quality gets lost more easily amongst sound effects and musical scores.
That means there’s a wide swath of Netflix users who will enjoy the new updates to its subtitling. Whether that will be enough to keep them engaged with the service once it enacts measures to prevent password sharing remains to be seen.
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