Does Apple TV come with Audio Description

tvOS and Apple TV Apps
Dose apple Tv Have Audio Discription included.? Dose Itunes have normal menues like a dvd to access audio discription on them ? Dear Sir/Madam Audio description (AD) is the verbal narration of visual representations such as films, television programs and live performances. Between gaps in dialog, it describes elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes for the benefit of people who are blind or vision impaired. AD is being included on an increasing number of DVD titles and is currently available on around 25% of DVDs that are released for the Australian market. DVDs that include AD can be obtained from any retailer or rental store, meaning that many of the films you currently have on-shelf will include this feature. While many DVD titles include an “audio commentary or “directors commentary”, it is important to understand that this service is not the same as AD. To identify whether or not a title carries AD, you should look on the back of the DVD cover for the following logo: While this logo is most commonly used to indicate that a title caries AD, there are some exceptions to this rule and instead, different wording may be used to indicate that a title carries this feature. Below are some examples of terminology that may be used in the absence of the AD logo: DVS descriptive video service Audio narration for the blind English audio descriptive”. If you are unsure of whether or not a title carries AD, you might like to play the DVD to see whether or not you can locate the audio described track. On most DVD titles, The option to turn on AD is found in the “language” or set-up” menu. Alternatively, If your DVD remote has an “audio” or “language” button, you can simply play the movie and use this button to cycle through the different audio tracks that are available. Media Access Australia also keeps a comprehensive listing of DVD titles that include AD. The list can be found at Thank you for your time and I hope that this information is of some assistance in helping you to meet the needs of customers who are blind or vision impaired in the future.



Submitted by frank perry on Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hi. This isn't going to be a short answer. First people need to understand what apple tv actually is. It isn't a television in the sense you turn it on and free to heir television stations appear on a screen. Apple tv essentially is a modem type device, quite small, about 2 inches long, about 2 inches wide, a squarish device where one cable goes from the apple tv device into a computer another cable from the apple tv device called an HDMI cable goes in to the home television set. A few things people need to know. 1. Your home television must have an HDMI port and an HDMI channel. You are advised to check with the manual which came with the television or the company you bought the tv from. You will need to give the company the serial number and model numbers of the television. Once apple tv is installed, with the cables in the correct places, the home television on the correct HDMI channel, we then need to set up the apple tv. The next thing you have to check is your wifi network, yes, you will need a wifi network, don't attempt to do this with dial up or prepaid networks. Your wifi network needs to be an 802.11 network, must have all available updated drivers and needs to be video compatible. You are advised to check with your internet carrier about these things and they will need details such as your user name, the model of the wifi modem, its serial numbers and they will need to be able to tell you how to install any further video drivers. Ok now to talk about what apple tv does. Apple tv doesn't play dvd titles unless you import those into iTunes first and sink them with your apple tv device. Apple tv is also designed to play netflicks programs but in Australia doesn't quite work like that. Ok now for audio description. Most dvd players have what are called jewell audio channels. In other words, the normal sounds and audio and pictures are on one channel and the audio description separate on another channel. The studios do it all in such a way that the audio description comes in exactly when there are gaps as you say and all the extra dialogue about costumes and all the other stuff integrates seemlessly with the rest of the sound dialogue, music and so on. iTunes doesn't do this. Like all internet libraries, iTunes can't sell audio description titles since most computers have one set of speakers and one audio sound channel. iTunes like big pond like net flicks gives you a movie with no audio description. People may say this is discrimination, but please people, think about this from the point of view of these companies. They are only allowed to sell movies with one audio channel. That is the current law governing internet movie places. I am not going to be popular here, but it's a good law and it will be a long time before its changed. Another thing to say is this. Whilst dvd disks from shops do come with audio description, most blind people can't find these titles without some assistance. There is no law which says the stores have to put braille or tactile logos on dvd disks with audio description, not to mention most dvd shops sell literally thousands of titles every single store every single minute every single day. To ask for internet libraries such as iTunes big pond and net flicks to stock audio description titles when most computers can't play 2 audio channels at the same time in sequenced order so as the audio description comes in when it is suppose to come in is impossible. I'm not saying it won't or can't happen, but we're asking for too much at the moment in Australia. In Australia we're demanding audio described television, but nobody pays the audio descriptionists, in England they are paid, not a huge sum that's true, but they are paid. We don't even have all our theatres having audio description yet, and we need to do that so that sighted people understand what audio description is, why it's such a great idea, and what blind people get out of it. As you say, only 25% of dvd titles have audio description. Universal studios are only just starting to do it. I am afraid it will be years before internet sites have audio description titles, given only 25% of dvd disks in shops have them. Finally, I fully support audio description, but I make no apologies in saying that in Australia, the issue is being approached in completely the wrong way and manner. We need to drop this demand that audio description is a rite and take the responsibility of educating the Australian public as to what audio description is, why it is so important, and yes, pay the audio descriptionists of free to heir television programs.

Excellent response. People don't understand the work that goes into producing audio descriptions, writers to watch the content and fit decent descriptions into gaps of dialogue etc. It's amazing work they do, in my opinion. It would be impossible to include these into streaming content like you say. People seem to think it should be as easy as closed captioning for the deaf but all that is is speech to text on the screen and it's not perfect. A company called SoloDx is making audio description tracks available for purchase in the iTunes store and on Amazon to accompany movies and TV shows but these tracks take awhile to produce so only a few are available. They can be played on a separate device and synced with the on screen content. It's a pretty awesome thing. I watched The Hunger Games in this way, by playing the descriptions track on my iPhone with airplane mode enabled so calls wouldn't interrupt the track. More information on SoloDx can be found at But as you mention, are people actually willing to pay for the hard work it takes to provide descriptions for us?

Thanks for the link. Another thing to consider is digital copyrights. Some countries have better digital copyright laws than others. For example, Australians have only been able to access bookshare titles for the last 3 years, and only because a blindness agency did all the hard work without support of its own blind clients or governments to make it happen. There are movie titles available in the US iTunes store not available in Australia and there are Australian titles in the iTunes store not available in the US store. Netflicks legally speaking can't be used in Australia as we don't have digital copyrights which allow Australians to use the service. There are ways around net flicks in Australia which require Australians to understand currency conversion rates, actually have a real US address for which you really should get your US friends permission to use etc. I'm betting the same applies for this link which has been mentioned. I responded to this issue from an Australian persons point of view as the inquiry comes from Australia and I live in Sydney and have good understanding of digital copyrights and technical support when it comes to apple products. As I say, movies usually although not always that's true are usually released in theatres first, and that is where audio description needs to begin. It would be nice to begin audio description at star studded premiers, but seriously, have any of you ever been invited to one of these?

Submitted by Vash Rein on Monday, December 10, 2012

Serotek is a company which creates a screenreader and other accessibility products. The screen reader itself rivals Jaws in my opinion in many ways. Moreover, it has the System Access mobile network which has many many different sections containing accessible material for its users. One such section is called entertainment and within that section, you can listen to audio described movies and tv shows. The movies range in the hundreds if not thousands and is regularly updated. I just listened to Men in black 3, the amazing spider-man, the avengers, the expendables 2, and etc. The movies section has many different categories and has a movies added in the past 30 days section so you can usually get the latest films. Like I said, it ranges in the hundreds. The tv shows are also audio described, but can sometimes take a little while longer. I just listened to both seasons of game of thrones and all the seasons of house as an example. One thing to note is that the described movies and shows are audio only with no video whatsoever. This means you get the audio of the movie and the added description, but nothing to actually watch with your eyes. I know that some blind people prefer to have the video along with the movie, but I have no idea why it would matter. I myself have some vision and watch television, but when I have an audio described movie, I essentially close my eyes and let the describer do the visual work for me. The fee for the service is $400 or $25 for 48 months. Once the 48 months are up, you can either pay $120 a year or $15 a month to maintain updates and upgrades. For that price, you get system access which is a very usable screen reader, and the system mobile network which is an accessible web browser and has features such as the described movies and shows, access to listening to professional sprots events, audio and accessible books, accessible news, accessible text or audio chat rooms, and other things. Another thing to note is that system access and the mobile network are completely mobile which means that you can use the screen reader anywhere with an internet connection. For example, you can go to your friends house, go to a special accessible website, log on and use the screen reader and mobile on your friends house. Since everything is streamed, you can shut it down when your done and nothing will be left on your friends computer. I'm only plugging this software because people are looking for audio described movies and though ITunes doesn't have that features yet, there are other ways to get what you are looking for. I haven't tried it, but someone said that you can use google chrome on an iphone or ipad as well to access the mobile network and stream the described material that way. Hope this helps. Again, not trying to step on anyones toes, just trying to provide a resource. I think the point is accessibility

The thing is the original inquiry came from Australia which is the country where I also live. You mentioned google crome. Well that browser is inaccessible on the apple mac with voice over and I never bothered with the iPhone version because I thought if the apple mac version didn't work with voice over the iPhone version wouldn't either. As I say, I have 2 friends in the United States, and it's the only reason I can access net because you have to be a citizen of that country at the moment. Yes, individual countries can authorise their own content and can refuse to authorise content from other countries in an iTunes store. I don't know if the same principal applies with the software you mention. Also you don't say if the software is only for windows users or apple mac users, that would be nice to know about before we consider signing up.

Yes, individual companies can decide what content is and is not to be made available. If you've read the UK versions of Harry Potter compared to the US versions, a very good case in point here. Different words, one book had a different title, and different audio narrators. Only one website in Australia has the Jim Dale version. I'm glad somebody understands the complexities of these issues.

The truth is that I don't know how it works in Austriallia. I believe that Serotek has worked for me in various countries in which I have traveled to in Europe. Google chrome is pretty accessible for the iphone though and finding out if the company provides service to Austraillia would essentially be as easy as visiting or and either e-mailing their support line or calling them. Many of the audio descriptions seem to have been done in England actually as England has many audio described services for blind television users. Their cable boxes have built in accessibility which tell a user what is playing on what channel, they can use the tv guide feature and search through tv listings with description, and blind users can press a button on their remotes which switches the audio stream to audio description just like Americans can press the sap button and switch the audio language to Spanish.

I make it a habit to learn as much as I can about things after learning the hard way when I was a new screen reader user that just because I was inexperienced, didn't mean something wasn't accessible. Now before I go off on something, I try and educate myself. Harry Potter is an excellent example to explain how different things are between countries. That was my first experience with the difference in content. harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone vs. Sorcerer's. I thought it was a typo until I went and researched it.

Submitted by blinky321 on Monday, December 10, 2012

frank your words are very hash are you a blind or vision impaired person

Hi. I would be willing to pay extra for audio description for sure. I couldn't get enough during the trial that was held on the abc and would be quite happy to pay a monthly subscription fee to be able to hire/rent audio description titles or whatever. I live out in the country and it's pretty hard to find audio describe anything. Hopefully one day there will be a way to at least legally download sound tracks with audio description even if there's no picture to listen to on iOS devices. I am in australia and don't think i would subscribe to net flicks even if i could simply because it's pretty hard to figure out what's happening when everyone sighted is engrossed in the show lol.

Submitted by frank perry on Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In reply to by blinky321

Hi. After looking at all the links on this website, I think I can safely say the audio content can't be downloaded in Australia. They mention they want US eye doctors who are registered in the US proof of your eye condition, and extra concessions are given to those patriotic Americans who are wounded, in other words, blind or physically unable to pick up a book to read. Blinky321, I'm genuinely sorry if you took my answers as personal attacks, I assure everyone especially the editors of this website, this wasn't meant to happen in that manner. If anyone wants to contact me off this website, my email address is. And yes, I am partially blind, and no, I do not work for apple.

Submitted by Bill Freeman on Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Serotek has recently released an update to their IBlink Radio app, which now allows their customers to access Samnet content from their I-Devices. I have used this feature quite a bit while at home and on the go, to listen to audio-described movies and TV shows. It's awesome! I really haven't had any problems with buffering, even while streaming content over the cell network, and the player remembers your place in a show between settings. To find this new feature, go to the Samnet Sampler option, then to the connect to Samnet link. After logging in for the first time, the Connect to Samnet option will show up on the main screen, and will not require you to log in again.

Am I breaking the law if I download description from Serotek? Is it like Napster? I recently saw this post on the forum for the Audio Description Project about an illegal site and just want to make sure it's not the same deal.

Hello! Mathayu here from the Solo-Dx team. My partners and I have been excitedly reading great feedback about Solo-Dx from the US, UK, and Australia, including eager requests for movies and series. And we've gotten questions about ways we can improve the service, too. We want to invite anyone who has comments or suggestions to email us. More importantly, if you want to try out Solo-Dx, let us know!

I agree with you 100%. But I can say that I never needed it, I always google for the movies transcript, read it and watch the movie. Works awesome IMO. Sure some movies do not have the transcripts mostly the new ones, but they are far easyer to find then AD.

Submitted by allseed on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First, apple tv is basically a super remote for your home theatre system in that it sends stuff to and fro and allows you to choose stuff through it so it's got content which is imbued with descriptive video but no more than any other method of sucking up the medium. There is a company which produces well done video description tracks and you can find them in iTunes. the company I think is called solo-dx and it may be affiliated with access hollywood.