Zoom mode on Apple TV

The Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K are packed with accessibility tools to make it easier for everyone to use. VoiceOver is a screen-reading feature that narrates your actions in the Apple TV's menus, while Zoom increases the screen up to 15 times its original size. You can enable these vision accessibility features by following these steps.

How to enable VoiceOver on Apple TV

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click General.

    Open Settings, click General

  3. Click Accessibility.
  4. Click VoiceOver.

    Click Accessibility, click VoiceOver

  5. Click VoiceOver to turn it on.
  6. Click Use Pitch to allow or disallow VoiceOver to change pitch to help distinguish context.

    Click VoiceOver, click Use Pitch

  7. Click Double-click Timeout.
  8. Click on the time you want to use.

    Click Double-click Timeout, click a time

  9. Click Audio Channels to choose which audio channels VoiceOver should use. The available channels will change depending on your audio setup.

    Click Audio Channels

How to change what material VoiceOver speaks to you

  1. Click Verbosity. Speak Detected Text should be on by default.
  2. Click Media Descriptions to determine how VoiceOver handles Closed Captions and SDH during media playback.

    Click Verbosity, click Media Descriptions

  3. Click Speech, Braille, or Speech and Braille.

    Click Speech, Braille, or Speech and Braille

How to change the voice that VoiceOver uses

  1. Click Voice.
  2. Click on the voice you want VoiceOver to use.

    Click Voice, click on the desired voice

How to add pronunciations for specific words to VoiceOver

  1. Click Pronunciations.
  2. Click Add Pronunciation if you want to add a specific pronunciation of a word to VoiceOver.

    Click Pronunciations, click Add Pronunciations

  3. Click Phrase.
  4. Enter the phrase that you'd like to replace.

    Click Phrase, enter a phrase

  5. Click Done.
  6. Click Substitution.

    Click Done, click substitution

  7. Enter the substitution you want to make.
  8. Click Done.

    Enter substitution, click Done

  9. Click Language to determine what language your phrase pronunciation is used it.
  10. Click Ignore Case to have VoiceOver ignore the case in which your phrase is presented, and using your pronunciation all of the time.

    Click Language, click Ignore Case

How to change the VoiceOver speech rate

  1. Click Speech Rate.
  2. Swipe the trackpad on the Siri Remote left or right to raise or lower the VoiceOver speech rate.

    Click Speech Rate, swipe trackpad

How to select controls that should appear on the VoiceOver Rotor

  1. Click Rotor.
  2. Click on the controls that should appear on the VoiceOver Rotor when you activate it.

    Click Rotor, click control options

To use the VoiceOver Rotor, rotate two fingers around a single point on the touchpad on your Siri Remote. The controls you've selected will appear there.

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How to manage braille settings for VoiceOver

  1. Click Braille.
  2. Click Braille Display to connect a Bluetooth braille display to your Apple TV.

    Click Braille, click Braille Display

  3. Click Output.
  4. Click Uncontracted Six-dot, Uncontracted Eight-dot, or Contracted.

    Click Output, click an option

  5. Click Input.
  6. Click Uncontracted Six-dot, Uncontracted eight-dot, or Contracted.

    Click Input, click an option

  7. Click Automatic Translation to turn that feature on or off.
  8. Click Braille Tables.

    Click Automatic Translation, click Braille Tables

  9. Click the braille table name on the menu to change it.
  10. Click Add Braille Table to add the table from another language.

    Click braille table name, click Add Braille Table

  11. Click the Menu button on your Siri Remote.
  12. Click Alert Display Duration.
  13. Swipe the trackpad on the Siri Remote trackpad left or right to increase or decrease the alert display duration.

    Click Alert Display Duration, swipe left or right on track pad

How to enable Zoom on Apple TV

You can find the Zoom feature in the same Accessibility section of the Settings app as VoiceOver. There are a few setup features that let you customize how it works for you.

  1. Turn on Apple TV.
  2. Navigate to the Settings app from the Home screen.
  3. Select General.

    Opening the Settings app on Apple TV

  4. Select Accessibility.
  5. Select Zoom under the Vision section.

    Selecting Zoom on Apple TV

  6. Select Zoom to toggle to the On position.
  7. To adjust the maximum amount the Zoom feature increases, select Maximum Zoom Level.
  8. Select the zoom level from 2x to 15x.

    Enabling Zoom and adjusting max level on Apple TV

How to use the Zoom gestures on the Siri Remote with the Apple TV

Once Zoom is enabled, you will need to learn a few gestures on the Siri Remote.

  • To enable and disable Zoom mode, triple-click the trackpad on the Siri Remote. The item you have highlighted will be magnified.
  • While in Zoom mode, use two fingers to tap the trackpad on the Siri Remote once to enable panning.
  • While in Zoom mode, drag your thumb around on the trackpad on the Siri Remote to pan the focus of the screen around.
  • While in Zoom mode, tap the edge of the trackpad on the Siri Remote up, down, left, or right to select a different item to be magnified.
  • To adjust the zoom level, double-tap (not click) and hold your fingers on the trackpad on the Siri Remote. Then, drag your fingers up to zoom in and down to zoom out.

    The Zoom gestures on Apple TV

Apple TV remote options

Siri Remote ($60 at Amazon)

If you lost or have broken your Apple TV's included Siri Remote, it's easy enough to replace.

Logitech Harmony 950 ($200 at Amazon)

This remote can control your Apple TV perfectly, as well as your other entertainment devices.

Questions?

If you have questions about using VoiceOver and Zoom on Apple TV, let us know in the comments.

Updated August 2019: Updated for tvOS 12 and the tvOS 13 beta.

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