Audio Description

Audio description is an optional additional narrative of on-screen visuals, usually inserted between dialogue (that is, in the quiet parts it may say something like "Mark walks towards the car and almost trips over"...). It can be turned on or off. Audio description is available on DVD's, TV's, UHF digital set top boxes, satellite receivers and computers. This service allows blind and vision impaired people to build an image in their mind of what is happening on-screen. A TV show or movie without audio description may not make sense to a blind or visually impaired person as they cannot see visually what is happening on the screen.  Audio description is also currently available in some live theatres around the country, however you will need to enquire with your local theatre as to which ones are audio described and when they are showing.

Audio description and subtitles available on in New Zealand

Attitude live is on TV1 here in New Zealand and features people with a range of disabilities, great attitudes and their personal stories about overcoming adversity. To find out more, or to view some of these stories with audio description (for the vision impaired) and/or subtitles (for the hearing impaired) please visit the following link

How to play an audio described video on
To play a video on go to the top of the page with the Ctrl + Home shortcut. Just under the browse submenu will be the shows. You will need to expand the browse submenu to see them with the Spacebar. You will be able to see the different sections like Congenital, Intellectual, Physical, Sensory etcetera. Locate one of the sections you want to watch, then press the Enter key. On the next page that comes up, go to the top of the page, then locate a show to watch. You can jump to the first heading with the letter H but then will need to arrow down to each show or use the letter K for link in NVDA. There will be a play link, so press the Enter key on it. This will only be for the first show on the page. For other shows underneath, you will need to go into the show, then go to the top of the page and locate the play link. Press the Enter key on the show, then it will start playing. While it is playing, tab a few times until you hear NVDA say audio track, then press the Spacebar. You will need to arrow down to descriptive, then press the Enter key. The show should now be audio described. Please note: You will need to repeat the process for each show as not all shows are audio described. To watch some of these videos (both with and without audio description) please visit the following link

Audio described video

The following link takes you to a video called Changing Lives, which has been audio described. It is the story behind the free NVDA screen reading software.

Netflix features both audio description and subtitles

Were you aware when Netflix (an online streaming service) came to New Zealand in April 2015, they also introduced extra services? One service was audio description (for the visually impaired and blind) and the other service was subtitles (for the hearing impaired). These services will have to be turned on in Netflix. For more information on how to enable these features on your device please go to

Hopefully these two services will come to our on demand services (streaming) here in New Zealand as well! Imagine if online subscription based streaming services had audio description in the future (just like TVNZ and some DVD's do now)?! It would open up the door for not only visually impaired and blind customers, but others who are print disabled who could gain a better listening and/or viewing experience with the assistance of such an additional audio track.

If you have a Google smart speaker and a Chromecast connected to your TV, then you can voice control the shows that you are watching (Eg. Command it to Play, Pause, or Rewind etcetera).

Disneyplus features both audio description and subtitles

Were you aware when Disneyplus (an online streaming service) came to New Zealand in November 2019, that as part of their service they included subtitles for the hearing impaired and audio description for the visually impaired on certain shows? These will need to be enabled in the player after the show is started.
If you have a Disneyplus, a Chromecast and a Google smart speaker you can use voice commands to play, rewind, fast forwards and pause the show you are watching with your voice.

For more accessibility features that people can use in Disneyplus, please see the following page at

Subtitles for the hearing impaired and audio description for the vision impaired at some movie cinemas in NZ

Are you aware at certain cinemas in New Zealand you can watch movies with either subtitles for the hearing impaired or audio description for the blind? To find out more, please go to the following page at Please check with your local movie cinema to see if these features are available in your area.

Audio description listing information for TV 1, TV 2 and Duke (from

Have you ever wondered which programmes are being audio described on channels 1, 2 (or an hour later on channel 1 + 1 or channel 2 + 1) and Duke? provides information on the shows that are audio described giving information such as the title, channel it appears on, and the duration of the programme.

You can visit the Able website to find out more about audio description, as well as sign up on the Able website to get emails sent out weekly informing you about which shows will be audio described. Please visit the following link

The importance of a well described commercial

For those who are not vision impaired, try listening to a TV show or commercial and see if you can tell what it is about without having to look at it. Before TV became popular, most people listened to the radio. Well described radio broadcasts meant that listeners knew what the broadcast was about (for example a good ad would say the name of the product or service, its price and where to purchase it from or how to contact them etcetera). This made the ad accessible to a majority of listeners. Imagine the Pizza Hut ad being broadcast on TV, with less audio information and more visual information (such as if the Pizza Hut ad - instead of singing "0800 838383 Pick up Pizza Hut" - had the phone number written on the screen, and the "Pizza Hut" logo shown on the screen instead of being able to be heard). Simply by putting the jingle back in, the ad is made effective for both radio and TV (thus catering to a much wider customer base).

Live theatres around NZ

For up to date information on live theatre events currently available around New Zealand, please contact the following:
St.James Theatre and Opera House in Wellington; or the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland. These performances can be booked through THE EDGE groups line (09) 357 3354 or email: You can also visit the-edge website for further details. Also, the Circa box office Wellington can be contacted on (04) 801 7992; visit in person at 1 Taranaki Street Wellington, or contact them via email

Accessing audio description programmes on a digital TV with Freeview builtin

NZ On Air currently provide around 20 hours of funding a week to bring you a variety of audio described programmes. On television currently - TV ONE, TV 2, TV ONE plus 1 and TV 2 plus one have this feature.  Please visit the following link for a current list of programmes with audio description. Hopefully there are even more audio described programmes in the future.

To access audio description, your TV will need to be a digital TV with Freeview built in. For older analogue TV's that do not have Freeview built in to them, you may be able to purchase a separate digital set top box (or satellite receiver) to plug into your TV. This way, you are not wasting a perfectly good TV, and a set top box usually costs a lot less than a new digital TV. You may not always be able to access this by pressing an audio button on the remote, and may have to go into the main menus to find it. Using the remote, press menu ... system settings ... audio languages ... and change it to Italian. Newer Freeview digital TV receivers may have an Audio Description selection option instead of Italian. This may need to be turned from OFF to ON. Please refer back to the user manual for your product when attempting to enable audio description on your device for the first time.

When audio description is available, you will hear normal audio plus the audio descriptions. When there is no audio description available, you will just hear normal audio. This can also be recorded. Please note that all Freeview approved televisions, set top boxes and PVRs can only access audio description at the time of live broadcast. Check with your supplier to find out which PVRs can record audio description.

What to look for on a DVD (digital video disc)

DVDs with audio description

Many new films are now being released on DVD and Blu-ray with an audio description track included on the disk. These disks can be purchased or rented through many retail outlets.

Checking if AD is available

To check whether a film comes with audio description, you will need to check the information box on the back of the disk's cover. It will be listed as an optional audio or language track as either:

Take care with the AD))) logo when purchasing

Please note, in most cases where a disk has the AD))) logo and/or writing relating to audio description (for example English Audio Description or Descriptive narration etcetera), there should be audio description available on the DVD or Blu Ray disk. Be careful now however, as some of the re-released DVDs or Blu Rays will have the audio description logo, but not necessarily broadcast in AD if the word NO is written off to the right of it. Originally you would see only the AD))) logo, or only the wording audio descriptive services or audio description, so you knew it would work. Now, take extra care when purchasing a disk as you may not be able to return it to the shop!

Playing multizoned DVD and Blu Ray disks

Please also note that some DVD's are from other regions (meaning from other parts of the world). If you have a region locked DVD player, you may not be able to play disks outside of your zone (for example NZ falls into region 4, so if trying to play a zone 2 DVD on a region locked DVD player you may need purchase a multizone DVD or Blu Ray player, or use a programme called VLC media player on a computer instead.

Turning AD on

What to look for on a DVD player or Blu ray player

AD sound tracks have to be turned on using an on-screen menu. DVD players may have an audio button on the remote control that will allow you to cycle through the different sound tracks available on the DVD, until you reach the audio description sound track. For DVD player remotes that do not have an audio button, try the following steps:

What to do if your DVD or Blu ray player has an audio button

In most cases, if your DVD or Bluray player has an audio button, you may be able to cycle through the audio settings until you hear audio description coming from the movie.  This will not work on previews. This will also depend on how a disk has been structured as to whether you can do this or not. You usually have to press play twice - until the main movie loads, but on occasions where your audio button does not allow you to directly interact with the audio, you may need to choose it using the setup menu.

Turning AD on

What to look for on a TV or satellite receiver

(The following is assuming that you have set your receiver for New Zealand initially).

This is currently only available on televisions receiving Freeview digital in New Zealand. This may be different in other parts of the world.

It will almost be the same process to find it on your TV.  In New Zealand, you must have a TV with Freeview on it. There must be a digital signal being sent in your area.  You may have to check in your own area to see if there is coverage in that area.  If there is none, you will not get it.

The next step is, you will have to look on your remote control for an audio button. This may also be called a LANG/AUDIO button. Hit this a couple of times until you see text called Italian come up on the screen.  Once you have changed it to Italian, press OK to save it.  Make sure this is the "Italian" under the audio section. The TV programme should have the AD logo so you can listen to it (if not present, then the programme is not AD enabled). The AD logo has the capital letters AD, followed by three sound waves to the right.

In some cases, there may not be an audio button on the remote, so you will have to go into the menus on the TV and find the settings for audio.  There, you should be able to change it to Italian, then save your settings or just exit out of the menus.  Don't get this confused with the OSD language as this will change it from English to that language (and you do not want your text menus changed - only your sound track).  It is the audio language.

Please remember, these settings are only for New Zealand broadcasts. Also, if you record (say Coronation Street) with audio description enabled, the audio description will play back on your recording when you watch it again. (For example, If I record from my satellite personal video recorder onto my usb hard drive, as long as I have audio description enabled, I will be able to hear it when I watch it later on. If however I do not enable it, I will not be able to hear it).

Three steps you may wish to check (if AD is not currently enabled on your device)

Step 1: Checking audio description via the audio description menu
In the menu settings of the unit that you are looking at, you may need to check the following. On some Freeview approved products (such as TV's), there may be a drop down box under the audio settings called audio description. If it is off, switch it to on.

Step 2: Checking audio description via the primary and secondary language settings
If there is also another audio menu, and you notice a primary and secondary audio language option, please set the primary audio language to Italian.

Step 3: Checking audio description via the audio button on the remote
You may also have to do it on the remote as well. If there is an audio button, press it until you see Italian come up on the screen. You may see English first. Arrow down to Italian and save your settings. This will need to be done for channel 1, channel 2, and channel 1 plus 1.

Not all units will keep the AD setting on at all times, and not all programmes are audio described
Once the settings have been done it will be a matter of waiting until an audio described programme comes on (to confirm it is set correctly). The audio description should just come on automatically when the show that is audio described is being aired on those channels. Not all units will keep the settings if you flick the channel. If that occurs, you may have to hit the audio button on the remote until you hear audio description again on the programme being aired with it.

Depending on the type of device that you are trying to get audio description to work on, there may be more than one step to follow. As models vary, you may have to enable it in one or three places!

Software for your computer that works with Audio Description (VLC Media Player)

A great little programme that plays DVD's etcetera and works with screen readers, is VLC Media Player. This great little programme can be found at

The steps below, will tell you how to play an audio described DVD on your computer or machine.

Make sure you download and setup the VLC Media Player on your computer first. Put your DVD (with audio description) into the DVD rom. Next, go to a menu called VLC Media player and press enter. When it opens up, it may take a couple of seconds, next press the alt key and this will bring up the media menu, arrow down to open disc, and press the enter key.

You may need to tab a couple of times to get to find one called play menu, then press enter, it will say DVD, and press enter.  Your DVD should start.  Usually your DVD is the d: drive so this should work.  If it doesn't, you may have to change your settings to that drive.

CARE: If you have VLC as your default player, it should start automatically when you insert the DVD, and you will miss the very first step above. You simply follow the last two steps as mentioned below.

Next, once it's started, press the alt key again, then using your right arrow go to the right, and find one called  Playback. Arrow down to one called chapter (or title). This may vary from
. Press the enter key (one should come up called resume), press the enter key again, and the movie should start.  Sometimes, there may be previews before the movie starts, (unless you jump forward by chapters to start the movie). 

If the movie is playing, to turn on the audio description, the next step is to press the alt key again, arrow right to one called audio, then arrow down to one called audio track.  Usually, the first track is the sound track for the movie, and usually the second track is your audio description track. When you have located the audio description track (sometimes the second track, sometimes not), just press the enter key and the audio description of the movie should start. Until the movie is playing, you will not be able to turn on audio description. You need to locate the beginning of the actual movie and start playing it, so that you can hear the audio description. This will not work on the previews before a movie. If you have turned it on successfully, you will hear an audible decription of the events within the movie during the quiet parts. The voice used and amount of detail described will vary from disk to disk.

Some useful shortcut keys for VLC Media player:

S stop
N next
P previous
SPACEBAR play / pause
F full screen
B cycle audio track (eg. toggle between audio tracks - audio description and non audio description etc)

For more shortcut keys that can be used with VLC Media player, please click on the following link

Movie titles with audio description

The following link will take you to the Media access Australia audio description database. It provides a list of titles available with audio description. Most of these can be purchased in a variety of places within New Zealand. Database for audio description DVD's.

In some cases it may be another track, but it will be there. Usually the first track will be called track 1 English, and if the audio description one is underneath, it will be called track 2 English.  This may change from track 2 to another like track 5 English if there are other audio languages there before it.

Audio described events available in New Zealand

As audio description is fairly new to New Zealand for TV programmes and live theatre, the list of available programmes and events will vary.

Frequently Asked Question's


Q: How will I know if the device I am buying has audio description capabilities?
A: Ask plenty of questions before you buy it, and you can also review products online. Ask if the audio can be changed from English to Italian. Ask also if the remote has an audio button, or if you need to change it within the product or software itself.

Q: How will I know if my computer will be able to get Freeview?
A: Ask your local computer shop which are the best options for your computer's setup. They should be able to advise you about minimum specifications and what else you may need to  purchase to enable Freeview channels. Please also see the section above called "Getting Freeview digital TV on your computer".

: How will I know which DVD's are available in audio description?
A: A variety of DVD's are available in audio description. There will be a capital AD followed closely by three right brackets (possibly on the back of the DVD cover). Please see the section on "Checking if AD is available" (under "What to look for on a DVD") at the top of this page for other terms used to represent an audio described movie/programme.

Q: How will I know which TV programmes are available in audio description?
A: At present channel 1, channel 2, channel 1+1 and channel 2 +1 in NZ broadcast some of their programmes in audio description (Eg. Coronation Street and a variety of movies). Coronation Street displays a capital "AD" followed closely by three right brackets ))) on the bottom of the screen. If you have internet access you an also visit the following link to keep up to date with audio described TV programming within New Zealand on a weekly basis

Q: Is there a website which tells me which TV programmes are going to be audio described each week?
Yes. Please see the previous question, or the following link

Q: Which Freeview receiving appliances can access audio description?
All Freeview-approved televisions, receivers and DTRs can access audio description at the time of live broadcast. Check with your supplier to find out which DTRs can record audio description. The following link gives instructions on how to enable Audio Description on certain devices

Q: Is there another way I can see what TV shows are audio described plus see what other shows are on as well on channel 1 and 2, let alone other channels?
A: Yes you can, if you check out then check out the TV guide you can. On channel 1 and 2 it now tells you which shows are audio described. A person using a screen reader will be notified as he arrows down the page which TV shows are audio described.

Q: Can my Telstra T Box receive audio description?
A: Yes. To enable it, follow the step by step instructions below:
1.   Make sure you are on TV1.
2.   Press the yellow button on the remote. You will find this on the first row, above the numeric key pad. Yellow is the third button from     the left.
3.   This will bring up the option 'Audio'. Press the right arrow on the remote once, to select 'Descriptive'.
4.   Press the OK button to save.
This audio will remain active until a channel change or leaving Live TV.

SKY units

Q: Can I receive audio description on my standard definition Sky unit?
A: Yes. Sky has recently introduced audio description on channel 2. Locate the number 1, 2, and 3 buttons on your SKY remote. Directly above the number 1, is an up/down rocker button (for volume up and volume down) and directly above that is a button with a plus on it. Press the plus button and a menu should appear on screen with the word English. If you arrow down, this will change the audio from English to Italian. Press the enter button (which is in the middle of the big circle) on your remote. Your audio description should now start. If you press channel up and channel down, it will reset it to English audio, and you will need to repeat the process  again. If you stay on the same channel, it should remember the audio description setting for the length of that programme.

Q: Can I receive audio description on my MYSKY, MYSKY HDi, and MYSKY+ unit?
A: Yes.  Using your remote, locate the AUDIO & LANGUAGE SETTINGS menu. Under Preferred Language, change it from English to Italian using your left/right arrow keys. (There is a menu option below this one to save new settings). You will need sighted assistance to do this.

Q: I have a standard digital sky decoder that if left on the channel that the audio described programme is on - works perfectly. If however,  I set it for audio description (during a programme which has audio description in it), then change the channel during the ads, it looses the audio description part of the programme and I need to reset it. Why is this?
A: (An actual response we got from SKY dated October 2012). "Thank you for your email. If you currently have a standard digital decoder (not MY SKY), you will need to change the language using the 'plus' button on the SKY remote every time you switch channels during a programme you are watching that has Audio Descriptions. Unfortunately, only the MY SKY decoders have the ability to switch this function on permanently. Please feel free to contact SKY Television Customer Services on 0800 759 759 for further information during weekdays 8am-10pm and weekends 8am-9pm. Alternatively, please respond via return email and we will endeavour to reply within 24 hours". For more information, please visit the SKY website link that follows.

Q: Does a programme with audio description need to be airing at the time I try to enable AD?
A: In some cases, yes! Some TV's have a submenu which allows you to set it and it stays on that setting, but some can only be enabled while a programme with AD is airing. In some other cases, although the words audio description appear on the TV's menu, you may still be unable to set it up. For example, we were unable to set it up on a Samsung 32" LCD TV despite it being an available menu option, yet on a satellite receiver we were able to set it up without the programme airing at the time. (As usual, this refers to the audio language being changed from English to Italian and the menu which says audio description being set to ON).

Satellite receivers

Q: Can my Strong 4300E satellite receiver receive Audio Description?
: Yes. On the remote, press the Audio button. It will default to English. Arrow across to Italian and press OK. It should now work as long as the AD programme is being broadcast.

Q: Can my Orton 4100C digital satellite receiver receive audio description?
A: Yes it can

Q: Can my Starview S2828 digital satellite receiver receive audio description?
A: Yes it can. Press the audio button. Arrow to Italian. Press enter or OK it. For more information, please visit their website at the following link.

Q: Can my Zinwell ZMX 7500 digital satellite receiver receive audio description?
A: Yes it can. Press the audio button to enable it. A big letter A will appear on the screen when audio description is on.

Q: Can my Freeview box (Aerial Box T2100) get audio description on it?
A: Yes it can.  Press the settings button (bottom left of your remote). You should find audio selection. Arrow to find AD. You might see Language ENG, ENG, HE-AAC HD. Select the HE-AAC HD one, and press OK to save. This audio description setting will stay on (even if you change channels) and come back to that channel.

UHF Terrestrial receivers

Q: Can my Akai AD188X UHF/terrestrial receiver receive Audio Description?
A: Yes. Press the Language button and arrow down to the alternative audio track and press enter. Again, this must be done while the AD enabled programme is being broadcast.

Q: Can my Strong SRT5410 UHF terrestrial receiver receive audio description?
: Yes. Press the options button on your Strong remote. Use your arrow down button to select Italian. Press the OK button. Select exit to hide the menus again and you should hear audio description if the programme is currently being broadcast in AD. It will still stay on AD (for that channel) if you change channels and come back to it.

: Can my Hills HSMT-200 HD receiver receive audio description? If so, how do I enable it?
A: Yes. On the remote select Menu. Right arrow to Settings. Arrow down twice to Audio and press Enter. Arrow down to Supplementary audio. Right arrow to Audio Description. Press Enter to save and then exit.


Q: How do I enable voice guidance on my Panasonic TH-40GX700Z Smart TV? (This also applies to a Panasonic 58HX700_Series smart TV)

A: Press the following keys Menu (button)…It says Main Menu…Arrow down to sound…Press OK button. Arrow down to Voice Guidance Settings…Voice guidance… Press the OK button… Select On. Press OK….Select the Speed (Fast, Normal, Slow) … Press Ok. It will then speak your channels up and down, the name of the show, the time slot, a brief synopsis of the show, volume up and down, and the level that your volume is set to. To use the voice guidance on the EPG (electronic programme guide), press the GUIDE button for 2 seconds and arrow around to find out what is on and when. To find out information on the programme currently screening, simply press the i (information) button to hear the channel, time and synopsis.

Q: How do I enable audio description on my Panasonic TH-40GX700Z? (This also applies to a Panasonic 58HX700_Series smart TV)

A: Press the Menu (button)…It says Main Menu…Arrow down to sound…Press OK button. Arrow down to Audio Description…OK…Arrow up to On then press the OK button. When finished click on the back (left facing arrow) button.

Q: Can my Panasonic Viera TH-32AS630Z LED television receive audio description?
A: Yes it can. Press Option...arrow down to Audio OK... (use your arrow keys to hear Off or Auto) Auto... press OK to confirm. You are also able to change channels and the audio description (if being broadcast) will still be there when you come back to the channel! To set the Audio description language preference for AD Press Option...arrow down until you hear Audio selection/ OK...(use your arrow keys to hear the options) eng HE AAC AD and press OK. (You will hear these options spoken to you once you have enabled the voice guidance feature).

Q: Can my Panasonic Viera TH-L24XM6Z LED television receive audio description?
A: Yes it can. Press the Menu button...arrow down to the right arrow...arrow down until you reach Audio description (which is the second last in this list)...right arrow and you can set it to either off or auto. Set it to auto. Now press ok. You are also able to change channels and the audio description (if being broadcast) will still be there when you come back to the channel!

: Can my Panasonic Viera TH-L32U30Z television receive audio description?
A: Yes it can.

Q: Can my Panasonic Viera TH-P42X30Z television receive audio description?
A: Yes it can. To enable audio description on freeview on the Panasonic, press down to sound...(press) ok...arrow down to audio description...(press) ok...arrow to EXIT.

Q: Can my Veon 19 inch TV + DVD player VN1980LED/DVD-V2 get audio description on it?
A: Yes. To enable it, turn the TV on...then press the LANG/AUDIO button. A list of sound options will appear. Arrow down and highlight the English AAC VI option, then press ENTER.

Q: Can my Veon 24 inch VN2480LED-FHD TV get audio description on it?
A: Yes it can.  While an audio described programme is on, press the audio button, then down arrow, then press the audio button again to make the menu disappear.  It should now do audio description.  The only drawback is that every time you flick to another channel, then back again, the process has to be done again. It defaults to the main audio language, and the channel that you flick to may not be airing in audio description.

Q: Can my Veon 50 inch TV VN50D3LED get audio description on it?
A: Yes. Power on the remote... press the menu button... right arrow until you come to the sound menu...arrow down to AD switch and press Enter. Using left and right arrow select AD switch on. Press Enter. Arrow down to the AD volume and adjust it by arrowing right or left. Once you are happy with the volume, press exit and this should stay on the setting.

Q: How can I enable audio description on my Veon 50" TV? It's model number is VN5019LED.
A: Go to menu...sound...(scroll down to the AD switch) on and exit. On the remote, go to up or down the list of sound optins available and select AAC VI. Press Enter/OK button and the audio description should now be heard.

Q: Can my TV (model number SRO9101) from The Warehouse do audio description? I think it is The Warehouse brand but I can't see a name on it anywhere?
: Yes. Select Menu...arrow right to Audio...arrow down to AD switch...set to Ok. Press the Audio button on the remote...3 options will English AAC V.I. (if not already selected)...Select it and press the OK button...Audio description will now stream when available.
Q: Can my Konka 19 inch TV get audio description? It is model number KDL - 19GS618A
A: Yes it can, however it will not stay on permanently if you change the channel. If you do stay on the same channel however it will stay on for the duration of that programme.  To enable AD on this model, press the NICAM button on the remote, arrow up to AAC VI and press the ENTER button.

Q: Can my Sony Bravia LCD TV (model number KDL- 40BX450) do audio description?
A: Yes. You will need to enable it in three places. Firstly, twice under the TV's main audio settings, and finally using the audio button on the remote.  In the main menu, go to Options...arrow down to Audio Language...Set the Primary Preferred language to Italian...Set the secondary preferred language to English...Left arrow to Primary Preferred Language... Arrow down twice to audio description...Press Enter...Arrow up to set it to ON...Press Enter. On the remote, press the AUDIO button...continue pressing it to cycle through the options  until you locate the option called Italian HE-AAC 2/0... You will need to press the AUDIO button on the remote while on channels 1, 2 and 1+1 respectively so they can each receive the audio description track while broadcasting.

DVD players/recorders/Blu Ray players

Q: Can my Sanyo HVR DX700 (DVD recorder) do audio description while playing a DVD?
A: Yes. Put your TV onto the DVD channel that you use.  Insert the DVD, and press the play button - once the disk is loaded. It will then come to another screen. Press play again so the movie starts. Press the audio button until you hear it being audio described. Remember, you may need to press next to move through previews in the beginning as the audio description generally only comes up in the main movie.

Q: Can my Philips BDP 2700 (Bluray Disk Player) do audio description while playing a Blu Ray disk or DVD?
A: Yes it can.  Once the DVD has loaded, press the play button. It will go to another screen. Press play again and the movie should start.  This may be different if there are previews first.  Once the movie has started, press the audio button until you hear the audio description from the movie. Give it a short while between pressing of the audio button, as you may be in a spot where there is silence for a second or two and you could cycle straight past it. If you have pressed the audio button and gone past it, simply press it again slowly until you hear the audio description again.

Q: Can my Panasonic DMR-XW390 DVD recorder receive audio description?
A: Yes you can listen to a TV programme with audio description if available. Press the audio button (third from bottom left), and keep cycling through the options by pressing the button until you find one called ita(He-AAC). This will work for TVNZ channels 1, 2 and 1+1.

Finding out which TV programmes are audio described

Q: Does the Telephone Information Service or (TIS) tell me when audio described programmes are on?
A: Yes it does. (At present in NZ, channel one, channel two, channel one + one, channel 2 + one and Duke air audio described content. Hopefully in time there will be more to follow. Dial 0800 363344 (or the TIS number for your local area). You will need to have set up a user number and pin number through the Foundation to be able to access this extra information. Option 2 should take you to the TV/radio schedules. You will need to enter in your user number and pin number, and then you will need to select a number which corresponds with the day and the channel that you wish to find out about. Select the corresponding day (for example 2 for Sunday). Finally, enter in the corresponding channel number (for example number 21 for channel one) or number 22 (for channel two), to see what programmes are audio described that week.  (Hopefully it is still option 2 from the other TIS phone numbers. I have only tested this from the 0800 number). If a particular programme has been audio described, you will hear the time, the name of the show and the words "audio description".

Please note: You may also like to sign up to the weekly email listings to receive an email about which programmes have AD, or alternatively you can visit their website.