Digital TV

UK: Audio description now mandatory on Freeview TV receivers

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All new HD digital set top boxes and integrated digital TVs sold in the UK will now have to receive audio description to qualify for approval by Freeview (the trademark for free-to-air digital TV services).

"This is great news for blind and partially sighted people, as AD was always an optional feature available on some digital TVs and set top boxes,” said Raheel Malick, Development Officer (Digital Media) at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).


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Caption levels on the new commercial digital channels

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Media Access Australia recently conducted a survey of captioning on the commercial digital multichannels (7Mate, 7Two, GO!, Gem, Eleven and One HD), showing levels of total captioning, first run programs captioned and programs migrated to digital multichannels without captions.

Under the Government’s rules, these channels are exempt from the captioning requirements that cover the primary channels. The only programs which must be captioned on them are those which were previously screened on the same network’s primary channel with captions. The survey shows that, in general, the commercial multichannels are only captioning the bare minimum they are obliged to do.


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