Support XFINITY TV About Closed Captioning


Learn about closed captioning on TV and online.

What is closed captioning?

Closed captioning displays the audio portion of a video program--including dialogue, narration and sound effects--as text on your TV screen. The closed caption icon Closed caption icon is presented on programming when captions are available.

Where is closed captioning available?

Comcast supports playback of open captions, closed captions and subtitles on the TV and online at XFINITY TV Go.

What can I watch that has closed captioning?

Pursuant to federal rules, broadcasters and video programming distributors, like Comcast, are required to provide closed captioning for most English and Spanish language video programming shown on TV.

Keep in mind, however, that not all video programming is subject to the closed captioning rules. For example, advertisements of less than five minutes are not considered video programming subject to the closed captioning rules. In addition, there are exemptions for certain programming or networks, including Public Service Announcements, programming on new networks, locally produced educational programming and programming distributed from between 2am and 6am.

For more information on how to enable and disable closed captioning, see Turning Closed Captioning On or Off.


Browse for videos with closed captioning on XFINITY TV Go using the filter option. Make sure to sign in using your Comcast ID and password then browse either TV Series or Movies:
Screen shows search results filtered to display videos having closed captioning.

Select the Closed Captioning icon in the filters box to view a complete list of videos with closed captions:
Screen shows filter options with Closed Captioning filter selected.

Starting on September 30, 2012, video programming owners and video programming distributors must begin to provide certain IP-delivered programming with closed captions. Specifically, full-length, pre-recorded programming that has already shown on TV with closed captions and that is not significantly edited for Internet distribution must contain captions when shown online. The deadlines to include closed captions in live programming and programming that has been edited for Internet are in 2013. Finally, certain content – such as video clips, outtakes and consumer generated media – are not covered by the new online closed captioning requirements, and this content will most likely not contain closed captions.

How can I adjust the text size of Closed Captioning online?
On XFINITY TV Go the size of closed caption text can also be adjusted to small, medium and large text sizes. Mouse over the CC icon Closed Captioning icon and select the desired text size:
Option for choosing caption text size appears in lower right of screen.
Closeup of option for choosing caption text size

What is the difference between closed and open captions?

Closed captions refer to captioning data that is carried along with the video content and can be decoded and displayed on television set or decoded by the set -top box when activated by the customer. In some scenarios captions are decoded and displayed on a television set and in other scenarios the set-top box decodes the captions and then sends them to the television set to be displayed along with the video.

Open captions are part of the video content and therefore visible to all viewers.

What is the difference between standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) captions?

Standard definition closed captions will appear on the TV screen with white letters on a black background. This type of closed captioning can be turned on and off via your HD cable box or via your television, depending on your method of connection.

Closed captioning on high definition channels may have additional settings the user can control. With an HD capable cable box, the user may be able to change the appearance of the font, text size, text color and even background color of closed captions. These additional features are accessible via the caption menu of your HD cable box (or your TV if you are not using a cable box), and only available if the HD channel provider creates captioning in this format.

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