Digital TV

Australian TV networks swap caption suppliers

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Some major changes have taken place in Australian television captioning this year, with Ericsson winning the contract to provide captions to the ABC, while Ai-Media will be the new caption provider for the Seven Network.

Right hand holding remote control in front of captioned sporting event on television


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U.S. clarifies TV captioning responsibilities

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In a new ruling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved to improve captions by clarifying who bears the responsibility for their delivery and quality.

Left hand holding a remote control in front of a screen


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Audio described programs on iview in February

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The ABC has released the list of programs that will be available on its online service iview during February with audio description for the blind or vision impaired.

ABC iview logo


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CES 2016 accessibility round-up

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The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which was held in Las Vegas, USA last week, is generally considered the world’s largest showcase of consumer electronics. With products ranging from futuristic prototypes through to things we’ll see in stores soon, it’s a good opportunity to see what some of the accessibility implications are for 2016.

Man holding a smartphone with desktop, laptop and mobile devices emerging from the screen

Digital media and technology: 

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U.S. broadcasts live TV audio description for the first time

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U.S. cable provider Comcast, in partnership with NBC and Descriptive Video Works (DVW), will mark the International Day of People with Disability (3 December) by televising the Broadway musical The Wiz Live! with audio description, providing the first accessible live entertainment TV program in the U.S. for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Promotional poster for The Wiz Live! Image credit: NBC


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ACMA asks for feedback on caption quality

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a discussion paper entitled ‘Review of the Television Captioning Standard’, and is requesting comments on it from interested parties.

Australian Government | ACMA: Australian Communications and Media Authority logos printed on a glass panel. Image credit: acma.gov.au


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Video on demand access builds up

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Video on Demand (VOD) is a rapidly growing platform for consuming entertainment content.  Recent developments overseas are showing that action around accessibility to VOD is also growing.

Remote control pointed at a Smart TV


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European group looks at the accessibility possibilities of HbbTV

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HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is a digital platform which provides seamless integration of traditional broadcast TV and content delivered over the internet. It also offers opportunities for improving the accessibility of TV, and these are being explored by a European consortium, HBB4ALL.

HBB4ALL: Connected TV accessibility logo


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Audio description on TV campaign launched

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A campaign calling for a permanent audio description service on Australian television was launched at Parliament House in Canberra on 8 September 2015.

Woman wearing headphones while watching TV. She is sitting on a couch, looking over her left shoulder and smiling.


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US cable company launches talking TV guide

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The cable television company Comcast has added a ‘talking guide’ to its new X1 set-top box, allowing blind and vision impaired viewers to easily find content.

"A" hot button highlighted on X1 remote. Image credit: Comcast

The ‘talking guide’, which features a female voice, reads out program titles and other information, network names, time slots and settings. It will be made available to all Comcast customers in the next few weeks.


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