Tv with audio description

tvOS and Apple TV Apps

I understand that you can purchase certain TVs with built in Freeserve which will provide audio description. I’m also thinking that Apple TV also has audio description. which is better, Freeserve or Apple and what make tv is best for this? Thanks and looking forward to your feedback



Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, November 8, 2019

The Apple TV isn't great for streaming live TV and, as far as I have discovered, there are no live streaming apps that include audio description.

Most TVs have tuners in now that will have the option, channel and show dependent, of audio description.

I've got a recent Samsung TV which has a voice on it like VoiceOver, but not as good. I can get the Apple TV app on there, as well as Netflix, amazon prime and iPlayer. Not all of the apps are accessible but some of them are. This tv also includes means of turning on audio description and, if you plug in a hard drive and set it to record, you can record the show and still optionally turn on and off the audio description.

Wow, I said audio description a lot there.

Submitted by Andrew Engelhardt on Friday, November 8, 2019

I am one who loves Audio Description. My suggestion is to get something affordable. Apple TV would be The best option. Thanks to Apple creating Apple TV plus subscription, the Apple TV App is available on the Amazon fire tv devices. The Apple TV App has audio Description in the accessibility Settings that you can turn on. The Amazon Fire tv devices have their own screen reader called voice view.

Hi and thanks for your feedback I’m not very it savvy so I’m sorry if I don’t use the right words/phrases or sound ignorant I’m liking what you’re saying but I don’t want to have to use a fire stick etc as I don’t think it’ll be easy for me. Am I able to buy a set which has everything in built? I’m hoping an Apple TV will have this as I’ll be able to use voiceover as well. Hope I’m making sense

Hi Oliver
Thanks for your useful feedback you’ve mentioned live tv, by this do you mean that the programme is being aired as it is happening?, for example the 6pm news or for you mean pre recorded network programmes such as soaps and documentaries? I’m in the uk and think that when certain programmes, such as dramas, soaps and even some movies they are transmitted with audio description and this is what I’m wanting. I’m also hoping that the icing on the cake is that this is available on Apple TV and I’ll be able to talk to Cirri or am I asking too much?

Submitted by J.P. on Saturday, November 9, 2019

I have the 43 inch Toshiba Fire tv. The Voice View screen reader is built into the tv. It’s activated by pressing Back and Menu button simultaneously. Very easy to use.
When you start program or movie you go to playback options. Choose audio and audio description format when available.
I also have Apple TV 4K. Again, easy to use when option is available.

Submitted by Caroline on Friday, November 8, 2019

I’m going to investigate I’m concerned about the ease of operating the tv which is why I’m thinking apple with cirri will be easier

Submitted by Travis Roth on Friday, November 8, 2019

Keep in mind Apple TV is a set top box, so it has to connect to another TV. So if you have an inaccessible TV e.g., it's hard to change the input, then using Apple TV can become impossible.
The best solution is to get an accessible TV, such as a TV with FireTV built in, that way there is a screen reader (Voice View) to control the actual hardware of the TV such as changing inputs. Then connect an Apple TV box to this TV if Apple TV has programming you want.
This is just my opinion, but for me for example using the Netflix app on my FireTV is easier than navigating the Netflix app on Apple TV.

Submitted by J.P. on Friday, November 8, 2019

Good luck. Amazon Fire products are fully accessible. Along with a full system screen reader. Very simple remote layout. Amazon also has produced their tutorials with instruction for blind. Like button layout on remote.
Just as simple as Apple.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, November 9, 2019

In reply to by Caroline

With it you can use Alexa to turn off or on or find a TV show or something. She is easy to use.

Submitted by Caroline on Saturday, November 9, 2019

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

Thanks. You’re mentioning Alexa so I’m assuming you’re talking about the Echo? if this is the case,there’s so many of them now, which one do you recommend?

I believe it works well with Alexa. Check or call their disability number and let them know what are you looking. Most TV come with Alexa or fireTV. With it you can use the TV OK. Regarding descriptive TV, that will be on the TV shows or movies. That is different from accessible TV but the TV will make it easy for you to access the descriptive TV if the movies has it.

Quality of voice? I thought Alexa was main voice? She probably wants to know the quality of the voice and whether the voice is easy to understand. How much? I am also interested in one for my bedroom.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, November 9, 2019

In reply to by Caroline

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Fire TV Specs

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hello Caroline. All of the above recommendations are solid advice. It really depends on what you are wanting to accomplish and how much your wallet holds.

If you have a TV that you can easily switch inputs, i.e., going from HDMI 1 to HDMI2, for example, then an Apple TV would suit your needs for things such as watching Netflix or Hulu. Of note, Hulu does have a live streaming subscription plan, in the US, at least. Uncertain of elsewhere.

I find that the Netflix and Hulu apps function nicely on the Apple TV. I do prefer the Netflix app because I think it was designed better. However, I have no issues navigating the Hulu app. I should also mention that I really enjoy utilizing SIRI on the Apple TV. I also have the Roku TV and you can use the built-in voice with this device, as well, but be prepared for terrible but useable voice assistant. The quality of the voice could be much better, but you can accomplish what you wish to. This box gives me free content. You can utilize Netflix and Hulu on the Roku but I prefer Apple TV for these apps.

If you cannot switch the input on your current TV, then the Toshiba would be a good option. You can still get Netflix, Hulu, etc. on this TV.

Personally, this is how I solved my problem. I have a 10-year-old Insignia TV from Best Buy and I cannot switch the input myself. I purchased an Apple TV fourth generation version, a Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player 4K/HD/HDR 2019 with Premium JBL Headphones, and a switching box. Now I have the best of both worlds. The HDMI switch box I purchased is from It is the Kinivo 550BN 4K HDMI Switch with IR Wireless Remote (5 Port, 4K 60Hz HDR, High Speed-18Gbps, Auto-Switching). The remote is quite accessible. It has those bubble buttons on it. There are seven buttons, The upper lefthand corner has an up and down button, in the shape of the braille letter B. On the right side there are five buttons in the shape of the with braille sign. Port one is dot four, port 2 is dot five, port three is dot six, port four is dot two. port five is dot three. This box reliably switches between the Apple TV and the Roku box for me. Apple is assigned to port one, Roku to port two, meaning dot four and dot five. If I had a DVD player that was HDMI compatible or if I used some version of a cable or satellite box for more TV access, these would also fit right into the HDMI switching box.

As stated previously, it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I am very satisfied with my configuration.


Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, November 9, 2019


I'm uk based too which makes this easier. No, the Apple TV box, as I will call it as there is now an Apple TV app, just to confuse matters, does not do live to air well. There are apps that can stream live tv through the internet but they're a bit ropey and don't include audio description.

As mentioned elsewhere, an all in one smart TV might be your best bet, especially the one with fire TV included as this seems to tick all boxes including giving you access to the Apple TV app which is where you can find the new Apple TV + content as well as any movies and series you've rented or bought through apple.

It's a bit of a pickle all of it but it's come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

Also, Hooloo doesn't work in the UK. Most of that content over here is put out by amazon prime video and HBO is done by Now TV which is a subsidiary of Sky. Amazon prime video does have some content with audio description, Now TV has nothing.

Also, just to add more to the already confusing lineup of streaming services, britbox has just come onto the scene which is BBC ITV and channel 4 box sets. Sadly no audio description on this service at the moment.

It certainly sounds like the tv with integrated fire TV might be the best choice... Sorry apple. I actually still find Apple TV a bit of a mess especially when considering the amazon prime video app.

Submitted by Caroline on Sunday, November 10, 2019

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

This sounds exactly what I’m looking for. thanks, I’m going to investigate

Submitted by Caroline on Sunday, November 10, 2019

In reply to by Roxann Pollard

Hi Roxann
Thanks for your very detailed and helpful explanations. I’ll be starting from scratch so I want to get a TV with everything in belt. I’ve now got a lot of investigating to do ☺️

Hi Oliver
Thanks for your detailed advice and yes you’re right it is a bit of a pickle, IT Has definitely moved on so much in the last couple of years hence the reason for my post and after reading the above feedback I am now starting to think that an integrated fire stick TV is the way forward i’ve now got a lot of investigating to do☺️