TV access

Media Access Australia launches report on the accessibility of video-on-demand services

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Media Access Australia's latest report on the state of play for accessibility on video-on-demand (VOD) services recommends that captioning be introduced on all catch-up TV services by the end of 2015, and all VOD services by the end of 2016.

Access on demand: captioning and audio description on video on demand services cover

Media Access Australia has today launched Access on Demand, a comprehensive report on the accessibility of VOD services in Australia and other countries.


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Netflix introduces audio description

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Daredevil, a TV series about a blind superhero, has become the first program on Netflix to have audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired.

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ABC launches trial of audio description on iview

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The ABC has today launched a trial of audio description on its online catch-up TV service iview. The trial will last 15 months, during which 14 hours of audio described programs will be added to iview each week.

Audio Description logo and ABC iview logo

The audio description is initially available on iPads and iPhones only, and people will need to download the latest version of the iview app to receive it. The trial will be extended to desktop PCs in mid-May, Android devices in June, and to HbbTV enabled TVs (which are connected to the internet) in July.

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Netflix launches in Australia with captions

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The US-based video-on-demand (VOD) service Netflix launched in Australia today. The good news for Deaf and hearing impaired viewers is that virtually all the content is captioned.

Netflix logo placed inside the shape of Australia


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New caption quality rules take effect in the US

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced new quality rules for closed captions on television which come into effect in the US on 16 March 2015.

Left hand pointing remote control towards TV. Image credit: flash.pro via Flickr


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Vision Australia launches audio description campaign

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Vision Australia has launched Tell the Whole Story, a campaign calling for the introduction of audio description on television. The campaign asks that people write to the Minister of Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, to express their need for the service.

Left hand holding a remote control, pointed at a TV screen


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Vision Australia lodges audio description complaints against broadcasters

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Vision Australia has lodged complaints against the Seven, Nine and Ten networks, SBS and Foxtel with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), calling on them to provide an audio description service for the blind and vision impaired.

Microphone in front of an audio mixing console. Image credit: marvinjvds via Flickr


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Caption reporting retained as communications amendment bill passes House of Reps

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A bill to amend sections of the Broadcasting Services Act, including some sections relating to captioning, was passed in the House of Representatives last night. However, amendments to the original bill mean that broadcasters will have to continue reporting on captioning compliance, while a scheduled review of the captioning rules will go ahead.

Young girl watching TV. Image credit: Mr Jan, Flickr


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Red Bee publishes results of caption survey

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The captioning provider Red Bee Media Australia has published the results of a survey it conducted about the positioning of captions on the Seven Network program My Kitchen Rules.

My Kitchen Rules logo


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ACMA reports on Australians’ online video use

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a report which looks at the different ways that Australians are viewing TV programs, with the catch-up TV services being particularly popular. This highlights the need for captioning on these services.

Man sitting back on couch with hands interlocked behind his head, watching TV. Image credit:  D.Reichardt, Flickr


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