How to Manage Subtitles for HBO Max [All Major Devices]
HBO Max has one of the easiest-to-use menus for enabling and disabling subtitles. It works equally well on most devices and this write-up provides a detailed guide for some of the most popular streaming gadgets available.
What’s more, HBO Max has a suite of customization options to make your reading and viewing experience more pleasant. Of course, this article will cover those as well.
How to Turn On or Off HBO Max Subtitles
The great thing is that enabling and disabling HBO Max subtitles is the same on all available streaming devices. All you need to do is navigate to the CC icon, select it, and you’re good to go.
However, there are certain things you should know about different streaming gadgets, mobile devices, and TVs. Plus, HBO Max isn’t available on all streaming gadgets and smart TVs.
From a Firestick Device
Unfortunately, HBO Max isn’t supported on Firestick or any other Amazon Fire streaming device. To make matters worse, this isn’t likely to change in the near future.
It turns out that Amazon views HBO Max as direct competition to its Prime streaming services. Therefore, you won’t be able to download and install the service on your Firestick. But there’s no reason to worry, you have plenty of other options.
From a Roku Device
A quick look at the Roku user forums and you’ll realize HBO Max isn’t available. Again, it’s safe to assume that this is due to competition or conflict of interest. The way to override this is to try and install HBO Max on your smart TV, mobile device, or a different streaming device.
Another hack is to use HBO Max via Hulu. This means that you need a Hulu plan and the corresponding app on your Roku device. In a way, you’d be dumping the HBO Max stream onto Roku. But there’s a catch.
If you’re an AT&T Fiber user and get HBO through the provider, the Hulu trick won’t work.
From an Android or iPhone
Finally, a couple of devices that allow you to stream HBO Max without any thinking out of the box. Of course, you need to download and install the app on your mobile device. It’s plain sailing from there on out.
Once you’ve found the movie or show you’d like to watch hit the play button and follow these instructions:
During the playback, tap on the screen (it doesn’t really matter where you tap). Then, select the CC icon that pops up.
This action instantly toggles the subtitles on or off. It’s worth noting that they’re off by default. You will notice the ‘CC’ icon in the lower left-hand corner will change from black and white to purple and black when your subtitles are turned on.
As you can see, the mobile app version of HBO Max does not offer any subtitle customization options. In order to tweak the closed captioning options, you’ll need to visit a web browser.
From a PC or Mac
There’s still no desktop app for HBO Max, but the service’s web client is hard to rival. Therefore, launch your preferred browser, log in to the streaming service, and find the content you’d like to play.
During the video playback, hover your mouse over the video to bring up the basic menu.
You should be able to see the CC icon next to, or just above the video timeline.
Click on it to enable or disable the subtitles. Here you can access more subtitle settings if you want to change the font size or style.
From a Smart TV (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, Vizio)
When it comes to streaming HBO Max via your smart TV, there are certain limitations. First, the service/app is available on Samsung TVs, models from 2016 onwards. Aside from these, you can also install the service on most Android TVs, including Sony.
The following sections outline the options for each of the listed TV brands.
Using HBO Max subtitles on a Samsung TV is a walk in the park. All you need to do is pause the playback, navigate to the CC icon with your remote, and toggle the subtitles on or off.
That out of the way, you might want to make sure that the subtitles are enabled on the TV itself. Launch the Samsung settings, go to Accessibility, and select Caption Settings. Next to Caption, there’s a green circle which signals the subtitles are on.
If you want to disable them, select Caption and turn off the subtitles – the green circle will turn grey.
At the time of writing, LG TVs were among those that didn’t support HBO Max. This is despite the fact that Google Play Movies & TV is available with the brand. But is there a way to play HBO Max content on your LG without purchasing a streaming dongle?
From 2019 onwards, LG started including support for AirPlay 2. This means you’d be able to cast the screen of your iOS device directly onto the TV – and this is the only way to watch HBO Max on LG. At least, until there’s native support.
If you decide to try this hack, enabling and disabling of the subtitles is done on your smartphone as previously described. And no, you won’t lose any of the image quality.
Since Panasonic runs on a proprietary smart TV OS, there’s no support for HBO Max. However, there is an option to mirror the screen of your Android or iOS smartphone.
For this to work, both the phone and the TV need to be on the same network. Then, you need to press the APPS button on the remote and choose Mirroring.
Now, go to the Settings menu of your smartphone and choose Screen Mirroring. There should be a VIERA model number of your TV, tap on it, then press OK on the Panasonic remote, and make sure YES is selected.
The annoying thing is that you might need to wait for a while before the connection is established. And of course, you set the subtitles via your smartphone.
As indicated, Sony smart TVs run on Android and you can download and install HBO Max from the Play Store. After you log in and choose the content to watch, it’s only a matter of selecting the CC icon in the playback window.
You might need to turn on the subtitles on the TV as well. Press the home button on the remote, select Settings, and enter the Digital Set-up menu.
Thereon, select Subtitle Set-up and make sure the option is on. Within the same menu, you can change the subtitle display preferences such as text and font size, style, color, and more.
Yes, Vizio is one of those brands that don’t run on Android, so you can’t install the HBO Max app onto the TV. However, the TV manufacturer was quick to reveal a hack. As per their official website, you can enjoy HBO Max content via Apple AirPlay or Chromecast.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll provide explanations for AirPlay. Launch HBO Max on your iOS device, and play a movie or a TV Show. Then, tap on the AirPlay icon – it’s located in the upper right corner of the screen.
Tap on your TV in the pop-up menu and you’re good to go. To remind you, you change the subtitle settings via the smartphone or tablet.
Despite the accessibility quirks, HBO Max is still one of the most promising streaming services around. The following FAQ section covers useful subtitle customizations and some playback issues you might encounter.
Can I Change the Subtitle Language?
To get one thing straight, the availability of HBO Max subtitles depends on the original language of the content. So, Studio Ghibli movies will be in Japanese and the native titles are in English. The Latino content section on the platform follows the same logic – Spanish audio, English subtitles.
That said, certain subtitles are available in two or more languages. You should be able to choose the language input from the CC menu, and this also applies to the audio. The languages you can choose usually include Spanish, English, Portuguese, Japanese, etc.
Subtitles Keep Coming Back On. What Can I Do?
Stubborn subtitles are annoying, but there is a quick fix. First, determine if the CC button within the playback is enabled or not. Then, proceed to HBO Max Settings, select Accessibility, and enter the Subtitles & Captioning menu.
If the subtitles are disabled there as well, you’ll need to check the settings on your TV or streaming gadget. The idea is to turn the subtitles off everywhere you can so they won’t appear again. But you might also need to exit and reenter the streaming service for the changes to take effect.
Can Text Size Be Adjusted
There’s no option to increase just the text size within HBO Max, but there might be one on your streaming dongle and other devices. For example, the Accessibility menu on a Mac features a Captions customization menu and you can choose Large Text.
A similar feature is available on Windows 10 and it should affect all the subtitles played on that computer. If this doesn’t do the trick, there’s always an option to increase the font size on HBO Max.
Can the Font Size Be Changed?
You can choose between six settings from Tiny to Extra Large font size. You access this from the main Settings menu. When streaming via TV or a supported streaming gadget, the Closed Captioning appears in the upper section of the screen.
Use the arrow buttons on your remote to access Closed Captioning and press the OK button to confirm your selection.
My Subtitles Aren’t Syncing Properly. What Can I Do?
As long as you’re using the native subtitles, there’s no reason to worry about syncing. But if it happens, pause the playback, then play it again to see if the temporary break helps. You can also try to disable, then enable the subtitles to make them pick up the pace.
If this doesn’t do the trick, exit the HBO Max service, then restart your streaming device. When you’re using the web client, restart your browser and clear its cache, before playing the video again.
Max Out Your Subtitles
When all is said and done, you’re only ever a couple of taps or clicks away from enabling and disabling HBO Max subtitles. The service is still young, and you can expect further improvements to better your viewing experience.
Have you used any of the HBO streaming services before? How does your experience compare to HBO Max? Give us your two cents in the comments section below.