Rerouting audio description to bluetooth ear piece

tvOS & Apple TV Apps

Hi there. I'm not sure if this is yet possible but it occurs to me it would be good if, when watching the apple tv with sighted friends, that I could have the audio description routed to a headset or ear piece.

With the advent of the new 4th generation apple tv I think more and more the living room is going to again become the centre of group entertainment. I wouldn't feel right watching a film with audio description on for all to hear, neither is it an option for it to be off.

If anyone has ideas please suggest them but at the moment I don't think there is a solution to this apart from playing Netflix on my phone in tandem with what is being shown on the screen, which is a rather inelegant way of solving the problem.



Submitted by Scottsdale on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hi Oliver,

Unless this option magically appears on the next gen hardware, you're right, it can't currently be done. I've been on at Apple to expand the audio routing options for mobile device for a while now with zero success, but I reckon this is a solid use case example, so please write in.

Good luck man, keep us posted if you get any response.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I may just write in to Apple as well, as I've had this thought before. It'd be an absolutely awesome feature if I could listen to audio description without having to play it for everyone else who's watching. My wife is very gracious, but I'm sure she'd have more fun watching movies without descriptive audio playing - and honestly I'd enjoy having the descriptive audio playing separately, without the movie's audio ducking every time there's speech.

However, I can see this presenting a problem with third-party applications like Netflix. Even if Apple was to grab hold of this idea and run with it, it would only work if the audio description was a completely separate sound file than the movie. Apple could, theoretically, do this if they're providing the audio description - but on Netflix, the audio description is simply part of the audio track, which includes the movie audio as well.

So the workaround would be to have the audio described track (movie audio plus audio description) playing through the headphones, while simultaneously the Apple TV is playing the original audio track (no audio description) through the TV. I don't know how well that would work in practice, though, for the person listening to the described track.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I don't see that really being a problem if you're just using one ear. It's never going to be ideal which is a reason why I think apple might not go for it, they like fully formed ideas. I guess we could just stick with the cyncronised i device and apple tv,