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01-04-2012 01:48 PM
Blind users have an extraordinarily difficult time gaining access to TV
programming. This goes well beyond the fact that TV menus and controllers
are entirely visual with no audio feedback.
It's also impossible to access the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) (aka Audio
Description, or AD) This service is advertised to be available for some movies
and programs carried in our area. So where is it on FIOS TV? It appears to be
missing or well hidden.
Yes, our home DVR has DVS turned on in the settings. Yes, there are DVS programs
in our area according to Washington Ear. Yes, our TV can play SAPs (which seem to
usually be tagged Spanish - I've never seen DVS or AD).
However, no setting twiddling brings up DVS audio. There is no DVS setup page on Verizon..
Worse, it is nearly impossible to tell where in the path the failure is occurring:
1. Is the DVS audio simply not being transmitted (if so, what is the DVS-ON setting for)?
2. Does the DVR not provide this subchannel to the TV (if not, what's the point?)
3. Do we need specific STBs (the DVR is a 6416P2, also have some simpler STBs)?
3. Is the signal not getting to the TV (if not, what is needed? Only certain connections?)
4. Is the TV not providing the option to offer the DVS audio (if not, what "SPECIAL"
features does one need to look for beyond ability to select a SAP? We do have
a Sony HD TV that is fairly modern.
Indeed, there is really NO information on the Verizon website that is helpful
for setting up or diagnosing the DVS service. I've searched extensively - and no luck.
Some programs do carry a "SAP" icon on them in the menu for sighted people
to see. Documentation is really needed, and it should be blind accessible!
Right now I'm looking at a program listed by Washington Ear as carrying DVS (TNT,
Law&Order at 4PM 1/4/2012). The menu does have a SAP,icon, and DVR Options do bring up two
audio channels (English, Spanish). Checking OK to the Spanish doesn't bring up DVS - in fact,
It's still English (so WHAT is the 2nd audio Program? Good Grief!).
What am I missing? Does anybody know:
1. Is there a way on the STB to search for programs that carry the DVS audio signal?
2. Is there an ICON on the listings that clearly indicates that DVS audio is present?
3. Is there any description of how one must configure the DVR/STB, cabling & TV to
play the DVS audio?
4. Where is there good documentation about setting up and using DVS audio?
Any help would be appreciated. I raised similar issues about a year ago, but never
got any help - the accessibility group did not seem to be tasked to help or work
on these issues,. This is very frustrating for me and my blind relative.
Any help, somebody, please?
01-05-2012 05:08 AM
The Cisco DVR hardware has an option for setting this DVS feature in the Menu. Not sure about Motorola. Perhaps they can help, depending on your location and hardware availability. It does say that DVS is not available for all content. So I am not sure where it comes from. The content provider, or the guide provider, I have not turned it on or tried it. Perhaps I will and report back. Anyone else?
10-08-2013 09:31 AM