Television for the Blind? Sony is Working on That Now

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Sony Bravia TV

We’re all familiar with subtitles on televisions; those are for people who are deaf, mainly. But did you know that the technology already exists to make blind people watch television meaningfully?

The new Sony Bravia – the entire line – allows that kind of experience for the visually impaired. Sony calls it Audio Description or AD.

Audio Description is an additional narrative soundtrack for blind or partially sighted people. During gaps in program dialogue, an additional voice explains visual plot points, enabling visually impaired people to follow the storyline more fully.

Audio description is available on a variety of television programs but, until now, has only been accessible through the purchase of a separate set-top box or satellite receiver. Now, all Sony Bravia TV sets come equipped with Integrated Digital Television (IDTV) as standard, and provide access to AD without the need for an additional decoder.

There are a few hurdles though that need to be overcome before AD becomes widespread, and Sony wants a little help here from legislators to make it mandatory, and also from the media to promote awareness of the technology.

[Site: Sony Europe]

Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.