Audio described DVDs on the rise in USA


The Audio Description Project in the USA has reported a record count of described DVDs for 2010.

The preliminary count is a whopping 48, far outpacing the entire history of described first-run movie DVDs from 2000 to 2009.

The increase is primarily due to the commitment of Sony, Universal Pictures and Disney to transfer description from movies described for cinema release to their DVD releases. Universal, however, has not committed to making the description available on all rental versions. Amazon USA is still not listing information confirming description, unlike Amazon’s UK site.

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Captioning capability of the Panasonic DMR-XW380 Hard Drive DVD Recorder

In November 2010, Media Access Australia was loaned a Panasonic DMR-XW380 Hard Drive DVD Recorder to review. Chris Mikul and Ally Woodford reviewed the unit for its caption viewing and recording capabilities.

Set up

The Set Up was straightforward, relatively quick, presented no stumbling blocks and pre-empted the steps better than some other set ups we’ve experienced.

Once installed, we tested the caption font on a broadcast program. The captions were found via the STTL button and the font was acceptable; we’ve seen better but we’ve also seen worse.

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Review of Sony’s RDR HDC300

In October 2010, Sony Australia loaned Media Access Australia an RDR HDC300 Hard Disk Drive/DVD recorder to review for its caption capabilities.

The Sony RDR HDC300 was reviewed by Chris Mikul and Ally Woodford.

Initial set-up

The initial set-up was straightforward, although the Autoscan function seemed a little slow.

The caption font is large and clear, with text on a black box background.

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Accessibility review: Strong HD Recorder - SRT 5495A

In October 2010, Strong Australia loaned MAA one of its latest high definition hard drive recorders to review for its captioning capabilities. The SRT 5495A is a twin tuner terrestrial receiver and digital video recorder, with AV inputs. It is equipped to handle both next generation MPEG-4 broadcasts, including 3DTV and current MPEG-2 broadcasts, with a 500GB hard disk drive.

The SRT 5495A was reviewed by Chris Mikul and Ally Woodford.

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