BBC iPlayer is a streaming platform that has become a staple for many households, offering a vast array of BBC programmes on demand. For those with hearing impairments or those wanting to practice a new language, subtitles can be a crucial feature. This guide will walk you through the steps to enable subtitles on BBC iPlayer across various devices.

Enabling Subtitles on Different Devices

BBC iPlayer App on Your TV

  1. Start a program.
  2. Access the playback menu.
  3. Locate and select the ‘S’ icon, found at the bottom left side of the screen.

BBC iPlayer Website on Personal Devices

  1. Play the programme.
  2. Click on the subtitle icon, located at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. A pink underline will appear under the subtitle icon, indicating that subtitles are active.

Subtitles on BBC iPlayer App for Mobile and Tablet

  1. Play the program.
  2. Locate and select the ‘S’ icon at the bottom right side of the screen.

BBC iPlayer on Sky

For Sky users, subtitles are available only on Sky Q through the BBC iPlayer app. This limitation is due to Sky using a different subtitle format than the BBC.

Why Subtitles Are Essential?

Subtitles not only cater to the hearing impaired but also benefit those who might be watching a show in a noisy environment, or those trying to understand a show with heavy accents or unfamiliar languages. With the increasingly global reach of BBC programs, subtitles have become an essential feature for a broader audience.

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BBC iPlayer Versions that Support Subtitles

BBC iPlayer offers subtitles across a wide range of versions. Here’s a list of versions that support this feature:

  • BBC iPlayer app for mobiles and tablets on Android, iOS, or Amazon Fire.
  • The official website on mobile browsers and tablets is on Amazon Fire (Android and iOS).
  • The official website on Macs and PCs.
  • Sky Q (through the BBC iPlayer app).
  • Freesat G2.
  • Most smart TVs.
  • YouView.
  • Virgin Media TiVo.
  • BT Vision.
  • Games consoles.
  • Chromecast (with black and white subtitles only).

However, as of the last update, subtitles are not available for Sky on Demand and Apple TV (4th generation).

Troubleshooting Subtitle Issues

H3: Subtitles Not Working

If you encounter issues with subtitles, try the following steps:

  1. Check for any recent updates.
  2. Access TV/Mobile settings.
  3. Navigate to app settings and clear the cache of the iPlayer app.
  4. Restart the TV.
  5. If the problem persists, consider reinstalling the app.

Delayed Subtitles

Occasionally, there might be a delay between the audio and the subtitles. This is common for live broadcasts where subtitles are generated in real-time. However, for recorded programmes, if you experience such delays, it’s advisable to contact BBC for resolution.

Enhanced Subtitle Controls

BBC iPlayer has introduced finer controls for subtitles. Users can now easily switch them on or off and even choose the font size. The default font size is smaller, but users have the flexibility to select from a range of sizes. Additionally, subtitles have been improved in their positioning for certain programs. For instance, if an essential detail appears at the bottom of the screen, the subtitles will re-position to the top.

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BBC iPlayer’s subtitle feature ensures that all viewers, regardless of their hearing ability or language proficiency, can enjoy their favorite shows. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enhance your viewing experience with the added benefit of subtitles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are subtitles available on all BBC iPlayer versions?

No, subtitles are not available for Sky on Demand and Apple TV (4th generation).

Can I change the font size of the subtitles?

Yes, BBC iPlayer allows users to choose from a range of font sizes.

Why are my subtitles delayed?

Delays are common for live broadcasts. For recorded programs, contact BBC for resolution.

How do I turn off subtitles?

The process is similar to turning them on. Navigate to the subtitle icon and select it.

Are subtitles available for downloaded programs?

Yes, on-demand programs that are downloaded also have a subtitle option.