Looking for a means of getting audio description through ear piece whilst watching Apple TV with sound on main surround system

Sorry, exceedingly long title there...

So, I went to the cinema for the first time in years last night to watch Infinity War... Spoiler alert, it's far fetched... Anyway, I used one of the audio description headsets which was fantastic, if not a little uncomfortable and hard to balance with the ambient audio track and dialogue. Ended up wearing it half on and half off and looking like a complete div.

Anyway... This got me thinking. I enjoy watching films with family and friends but I don't like them describing it to me because, most of the time its during some important dialogue, which we both then miss and lols of rewinding ensues. What would be great is a means of connecting to the Apple TV with a bluetooth earpiece that pipes through the AD, when available. I'm not going to ask family and friends to put up with audio description on the main sound system, it completely ruins atmosphere when someone in a brash Birmingham accent announces "They kiss tenderly, John looks sad!"

I'm not aware of any way of doing this, is anyone else? Could I, for example, put AD on my iPhone for Netflix and just hope to start both the Apple TV and iPhone playing at the same time? Or has anyone found any other delicious and delightful solution?

Looking forward to your replies.



#1 Looking for a Solution Too!

Hi, I too am wondering if this could be done. Maybe this could be a suggestion we could all send to Apple for a future TV OS update? Just a thought.

#2 Not possible

Hate to say it but, it's not possible. I've looked for different ways of doing this and I don't think you can split off the sound since it's a voice overdub and it's all recorded on a single track.

#3 One Idea

Generally speaking, this can't be done since the film companies provide the audio description embedded in the film audio as a single track. However, if an app like Actiview was able to get a larger library of descriptive audio, and could allow that audio to be accessed for home releases as well as in theaters, that would accomplish what you're asking. As I understand, Actiview plays only the description track, and uses your phone's microphone at the start of the movie to sync up the track with the film. Unfortunately, the app's library is very limited at present. I expect the licensing costs to get access to the audio description for every major home release would be prohibitively expensive.

#4 Building a library from bottom up would be difficult

Yeah, I've come across that, a great idea, but the best solution, in my mind, would be to approach the providers, or at least the front end providers, to see if they can't change the method of delivery. Yes, it is an integrated audio track but, if there could be a channel within the audio for audio description, think of 5.1, 7.2 etc, that could then have an optional output.

Does anyone know the system or how it works at the cinema? It's great that we get audio description, I just feel it shouldn't be a choice between being social and knowing what is happening on the screen.

And, TheMusicMan08... Anything is possible, it's just a question of how hard. :) Though yes, I agree there doesn't seem to be an immediate solution to this.

I might draft an email to Dolby, Netflix etc with some suggestions if anyone wishes to chime in on either who I send it to or what I should say.



#5 Don’t raise your expectations

Don’t raise your expectations. I don’t wish to sound like I am being harsh on your comments, but I know someone who works in the audio description industry, and realistically they just find it hard to even get the film companies to do the bare minimum which is to include audio description at all. They regarded as an obligation and will do it at the minimum cost. I know that’s ridiculous, that they probably spend more on catering for a film then they do on the audio description but that’s just the reality of it. Only saying this because I would be very surprised if you get very far with it. Good luck though

#6 What you're asking for could

What you're asking for could probably be done with a braille display and subtitles, but it seems no one likes a synthesized voice reading subtitles, therefore even what I like to call descriptive subtitles won't happen.

I think it's great that you can now read subtitles in iOS 11, but I also think it's under utilised.

I'd definitely use it, netflix has some pretty cool japanese shows, but the only way to read subtitles and not annoying people watching with you is to use a braile display, wether you cast to a chromecast, or use airplay, those subtitles won't come through to your phone.

#7 Would love this.

Be very interested if this could work somehow with todays technology at HOME. will report back.