How to navigate the TVNZ OnDemand service with NVDA

Have there been times when you have missed your favourite TV show on the television? Even though, now on certain channels here in New Zealand, you can watch the same show when it is played an hour later, there are times you still miss the show you want to watch. If the person is lucky enough, they might have a PVR (Personal video recorder) with which to record the show;  However, these units are inaccessible to the visually impaired and blind, so a sighted person will be needed to record the show. Being recorded off the TV set, it will also record the audio description track that airs with certain TV shows (as long as it has been enabled first on the unit) for example Coronation Street, Shortland Street and so on.

When the same show goes to the on demand service, at present you will not be able to play the show with audio description. However, if you still want to catch up on the show (even though it is not audio described) please read on. Most TV on demand services will roughly have the same layout to navigate around.

Signing up for a TVNZ OnDemand account

The very first thing you will have to do is sign up for a TVNZ OnDemand account. This will be used to sign in and watch your shows online. Please note, you may have to increase your broadband allowance, so that you can watch a lot more content online.  If you cannot remember the web address for the on demand service for channel one or two, you can always go to the main page of the website - for example  Then, you would have to locate the TV on demand link service that is on the main page. A quick link to this page is

The next step is to locate the login/register link on that page, then press the Enter key. When the next page comes up, you will need to locate the sign up heading. Under this section, it will give you the option to sign up for a new account or log in if you have already created one before. Locate the sign up button, then press the Enter key. It will ask you for certain details such as your name, age and so on. It will also ask for an email address, so your account can be verified.

Then after the form has been filled out, it will send an email to your inbox, and this will need to be clicked on to verify the account when you go to sign into the TVNZ OnDemand service.  The TV OnDemand service that will be used, will be for Channel One and Channel Two here in New Zealand.

You will need to go back to the page where it has the sign in/register link on it. It may be a good idea to bookmark this page for later reference and make it easier to find. The next time you go to log in, it is a matter of just entering your email address and your password, then signing in. The page to log into your account can be found here

After you have signed into your TVNZ OnDemand account

You can jump around the online service with your single letter navigation keys using NVDA (for example H for headings, K for links, L for list and so on).  You can use your Alt + left arrow key to take you back a page on the website and the Alt + right arrow key to take you forwards a page. This will only work if you have been to those pages first.  To quickly get to different parts of the page you can also use the elements list in NVDA.  It may be a good idea to get a feel of the page with NVDA to see how the page/pages have been set out. Use the NVDA key + the down arrow key to read the page for you.  You will notice it has been broken up into different sections (for example TRENDING, EXPRESS FROM OVERSEAS, NEW ZEALAND VS. AUSTRALIA, TV2 FAVOURITES and so on).

The new player for the TV One on demand service

Below will be the name of the buttons and sliders in the player.

To interact with any of the buttons the easiest way is to use the Ctrl key + Home key to go to the top of the page. Next, while in browse mode in NVDA use the letter B to jump down the page by buttons. Stop on any of the buttons you want to interact with. Press the spacebar to interact with the buttons.

To interact with the sliders you will need to change into focus mode on the slider. You can use either the up or down, or left or right arrow keys to adjust the slider.

After you have done that you will need to go back into browse mode again to navigate around the page. You will have to change between the two modes if you want to interact with the other sliders. To change between browse mode (where you can use single letter navigation keys) and focus mode (where you can type into an editable area) use the NVDA key + spacebar. This will change you between the modes if done more than once, and will also let you interact with some of the controls.

The player controls are below

Play button

Just under the play button you will need to change into focus mode to adjust the volume with the arrow keys. Change back into browse mode to stop interacting with the volume slider.   

Button Mute

Current Time (01:07 is how far you are into the show or movie).

/ (separates the current time and total duration time)

Duration Time (19:04 is how long the show or movie is).

Loaded: 0% (0:00)

Progress: 0% (01:07)

 Button Fullscreen

Browsing, playing an episode of a show, and using your TVNZ OnDemand watchlist (adding and removing episodes)

In this same section (after you have logged in) you will also find a heading called watch list. This section will have a list of shows that you have added previously, or are currently watching.

As you browse around the page to get a feel of the layout, there may be shows that you find of interest. If not, you can also search under a section called A - Z. This will have a list of all the TV shows starting with that letter. When you have located this link, and pressed the Enter key, the next page that comes up - you will be able to jump down by headings to the shows starting with that letter (for example the letter C).

To jump down by shows starting with that letter, use the letter K in NVDA while in browse mode. This will let you jump down by links starting with that letter. If the letter G is used, it will jump you down by graphics. Locate the show you want to watch (for example Criminal Minds). Next, press the Enter key. The next page that comes up will give you brief details on the latest show you may want to watch (for example what the episode is about that night, the starting time, running time and channel it is on). To watch the latest episode of Criminal Minds, locate the watch latest episode link, then press the Enter key. The show will automatically start playing for you. To pause the show at any time, go to the top of the page. Next, press the letter O. This will land you on the player. NVDA will say embedded object. Press the divide key on the numeric keypad, so NVDA does a left click. Your show now will be paused. To start the show off again, press the divide key again and the show will start at the spot you left off. If focus is lost for any reason, you will have to do the process again. You can pause any of your shows and watch them at a later date where you left off by repeating the process.  To get yourself out of the embedded object with NVDA, use the Ctrl key + Spacebar + NVDA key. This key combination will get you out of the flash object.

If there are episodes of the show you have missed, you can go back and watch them by locating the EPISODES heading. Here it will have a list of earlier shows for that series (for example Criminal Minds Episode 21 with a date). The shows are only kept for a period of time (such as a month).  To view any of these episodes, locate the play link, then press the Enter key. Now your show will start playing for you.

Any of the shows that may be of interest to you can be added to your watch list or to your Favourites. It is a matter of locating the link called add to watch list (or add to favourites), and pressing the Enter key. If you added the show to your watch list, the next time you visit your watch list, that particular show should show under the section called watch list. Remember, they time out after a period of time. The shows that have been added to your watch list can also be removed. Locate the shows heading (for example Criminal Minds), then locate the remove from watch list link. Press the Enter key and it will be removed from the watch list section. You will notice this by jumping down to the Watch list section and seeing it is no longer there.

Adding and removing a series to your TVNZ OnDemand Favourites

To add a series of a show to your favourites, locate a show you want to watch (for example Criminal Minds). When you come to the page where all of the episodes are listed, locate the name of the show (Criminal Minds). Just under the heading will be two links. One will be add to watchlist, and the other will be add to favourites. Press the Enter key on the second one, and it will be added to your favourites. This can also be removed by going back to the same section, locating the remove from favourites link and pressing the Enter key. That series will now be removed from your favourites.

Your favourite shows can be located under the My Shows link.

The My Shows section on TVNZ OnDemand

Make sure you check out the different links/sections in the TVNZ OnDemand section.  Under this section, it will list shows you have added to your watch list, and also a history of the shows you have previously watched.

Signing out of your TVNZ OnDemand account

To log out of your account, you will need to locate your user name (for example Kenny) on the page that you are on. After you have located your user name, you will need to route the mouse to it. Use the NVDA key + the divide key on the numeric keypad to do this. This is a mouse over link. This will bring up a sub menu. You may have to arrow up or down to locate this menu. Locate the log out link, then press the Enter key and then you will be logged out of that service.

To listen to an audio tutorial on how to navigate the TVNZ OnDemand service with NVDA please go to