Want to know which Netflix movies currently feature subtitles? There is now a page for that. According to Netflix’s chief product officer Neil Hunt, the company currently offers subtitles for about 30% of its catalog and the plan is to bring this feature to “80% of viewing coverage” by the end of the year.
Update (7/20/2011): Roku has now announced the next version of its hardware. This new version include a new Netflix channel with subtitles. It’s not clear yet if the old hardware will also get the same update.
The lack of subtitles has long been a major criticism of the company’s otherwise stellar service. Indeed, as much as I love Netflix’s streaming service on my Roku box, the fact that it doesn’t offer closed captioning makes it a bit less appealing. While international films all feature subtitles already (because they are “burned in” to the picture) and a lot of the company’s streaming content already supports subtitles, you can’t see them if you watch on a Roku box or Xbox 360 because the native Netflix players on these devices don’t support this feature yet. This will soon change, though. According to the company’s latest update, both the Roku box and Xbox 360 will get updated Netflix players with support for subtitles “this summer or later.”
It’s worth noting that those who watch Netflix on their PCs, Macs, Nintendo Wiis, PlayStations, Google TVs and Boxee Boxes can choose to see subtitles on their devices.
Right before the PSN went down, like 2 days before, I had bought a PS3 and got subs to Netflix & MLB ... found out the hard way to use Netflix & MLB on the PS3, you have to be signed in through the PSN (why is that?). Anyway, I bought Roku so I could at least watch TV since the PS3 magicly turned into a brick for this purpose. I'm impressed with the Roku, not because it does so much but because it is so simple. The interface is simple & easy, just the way I like it.
However, the only drawback I can see is the lack of subtitles. The way Sony is handling the PSN hack, Roku might get subtitles working before the PSN is back up :/
I have been considering the Roku, but I’m not too impressed with just internet programs. I will probably stick with the Logitech Review with Google TV. Along side my DISH Network employee act, I will be able to watch internet results, live TV, and use a full web browser!