Video

Accessible documentary DVDs

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In an expansion on our regular report on accessible entertainment DVDs, Media Access Australia has taken a look at recent documentary titles to see what is available for fans of this genre who require captions or audio description.

Listed below are just some of the interesting titles available from retail outlets with both captions and audio description. These synopses are sourced from movie website IMDB.


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New access for a new century: we sit down with Karen Peltz Strauss

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At the recent M-Enabling Conference hosted by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network in Sydney, one of the keynote speakers was Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA.  Peltz Strauss has been involved in access to media and information by people with disabilities for many decades, working from both the consumer and regulatory sides. Media Access Australia’s CEO Alex Varley caught up with Peltz Strauss at M-Enabling to discuss the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). Peltz Strauss was a major player in the development of the CVAA and now has the task of implementing the provisions of the Act in her capacity as a regulator.

Genesis of the CVAAof


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Hearing Awareness Week: the beginner’s guide to captions

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Hearing Awareness Week runs from 25 to 31 August. To celebrate, we have put together a beginner’s guide to captioning to help raise awareness of the availability of captions across all types of media.

What are captions?

Captioning is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on television, DVDs, online videos, and at cinemas and theatres. Captions look similar to subtitles on foreign language content but provide additional information such as sound effects and music.

What’s the difference between ‘open’ and ‘closed’ captions?

Simply speaking, closed captions can be turned on and off while open captions are always on. In cinemas, captions are open when they are displayed on the screen and closed when they are shown on a personal device.


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Is Blu-ray as accessible as DVD?

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In a twist to Media Access Australia’s regular statistics on accessible new release rental DVDs, we have taken a look at titles available over recent months and included the alternative Blu-ray format for comparison to see which format is ahead with accessibility. 

Blu-ray has been an alternative home entertainment video format since 2006 and sold itself on offerings of greater picture quality as well as increased disc space which would allow for more features. This space was promoted by some home entertainment industry representatives as the ‘sure thing’ that would lead to increased levels of closed captioning and audio description.


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