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Enabling Closed Captions for Hulu, Netflix and CBS

Christopher Maddalena
posted this on August 16, 2013, 15:44

You can enable closed captions for Hulu, Netflix and CBS videos so that they will appear when recording streaming videos from these services. You are limited to these services for closed captioning because these are the services that enable you to turn them on by default at an account level or store this setting for future visits. You can't interact with the videos streamed through PlayOn to request closed captioning from the website.

For Hulu, open PlayOn's Hulu channel from your video player, select the last option labeled Playback Options, and then select the "video" named Enable Closed Captions

An alternative method involves signing-in with your account and entering your account settings on Under the Privacy & Settings tab, check the box labeled: Automatically turn on closed captions if available.

It's not as easy to enable/disable closed captioning for Netflix or CBS videos, but both of these websites do allow you to enable it by default. To enable closed captioning for either website, go to the website in your web browser and play a video with subtitles for a few minutes.

For Netflix, go to, sign-in and play a video. While the video is playing, enable closed captioning and allow the video to play for a few minutes (~3-5 minutes). This allows Netflix enough time to register the setting. Closed captioning will now be enabled by default for your account. This can be reversed by following the same steps, but turn-off closed captioning.

The same can be done for CBS by visiting However, you will have to do this under the Local System account, the account used by PlayOn. PlayOn can help you with this if you follow these steps:

  1. Stop the PlayOn server
  2. Hold SHIFT+ALT while starting the server again
  3. In the Internet Explorer window that opens, go to and follow the same steps laid out above
  4. Let the video play for a few minutes with closed captioning enabled
  5. Close this IE window

Reversing this requires you do the same thing, but turn-off closed captioning and let the video play for a few minutes.

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