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Binge Watcher

On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions

For programming that's partly in a foreign language and partly in English, the closed captions are written over the subtitles, obscuring them.  Take a program like the Finnish-Spanish series The Paradise, where the characters use English to understand each other.  I need the closed captions enabled to understand the English, which is not subtitled, because I'm hard-of-hearing.  But then when someone starts speaking in Finnish or Spanish, the closed caption feature comes up with: character talking in a foreign language -- and obscures the subtitles.

A potential fix would be to allow the viewer to specify where the cc goes, but I guess Roku can't do that.  At least not on my Rokus.  Any other solutions? Thanks.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions

Hi @IBrakeForTrees,

Thanks for posting in the Roku Community!

We'd like to take a closer look to see if there's anything else we can suggest to help. What channel are you trying to load this content from? What troubleshooting steps have you taken so far to try to resolve the issue?

Here's a link to our support page to find out more about the feature:  How to enable closed captioning | Official Roku Support

Please keep us posted and we'll continue assisting you from there.


Best regards,

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Binge Watcher

Re: On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions

Thanks for responding.

Steps taken:  tried different cc options on Roku and also on the individual channels.  (Like changing text size, making the background transparent, etc.)  But all I did was make the cc harder to read.  Nothing avoids the problem. 

In googling for this problem, I see the FCC addressed it a few years ago by requiring that cc be able to be moved elsewhere on the screen, like at the top.  (Instead of in the exact same place subtitles use.)  But nothing seems to have come of this. (Except maybe on Samsung TVs.)

If you want to try this for yourself, The Paradise (2020) on Acorn/Amazon is good to use, because they're frequently switching from Finnish to Spanish to English.


  - Eric


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Reel Rookie

Re: On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions

My closed captioning is scrambling on recorded progames 

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Community Streaming Expert

Re: On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions


Unfortunately, the FCC does not address the ability of any FCC regulated device to require moving the closed-captioning/subtitle location.

Only requirements are...

  • Equipment covered by FCC rules must enable consumers to adjust closed captions in a variety of ways.  Under these requirements, consumers must be able to adjust the font, size, color (both text and background color), opacity, and edge attributes of their closed captions.


The above are all addressed in the Roku Accessibility settings.

The best you can do is to keep trying to adjust the opacity, background, and colors, a bit.  However, sometimes subtitles and closed-captioning are treated similarly so hard to just adjust just one setting as it may affect both layouts.

You can use some subtitle editors when making your own subtitles for content (or importing subtitles) that allows you to change the location to top or bottom.  However, pretty tough to watch when they are at top.  Does come in handy though in situations like you described. (needing both closed captioning and subtitles at same time).


I did see what you are talking about in this show.  The subtitles (when enabled) are using the formatting specified in Roku settings.  When subtitles are disabled, the embedded format is white. (of course, when disabled, no English subtitles/closed captioning is present).  The problem you are experiencing is because you are attempting to view closed captioning over an embedded (burnt-in) subtitle.  Really is going to be a matter of adjusting the settings until you get something "bearable" in these situations.



Roku Community Streaming Expert
Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee.
Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941, Streambar 9102

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Binge Watcher

Re: On-screen conflict between subtitles and closed captions

AvsGunnar, thanks for responding, and the advice.  Looks like I'll be experimenting with the Roku settings to see what works best.  

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