Talking set-top boxes for vision impaired

Last week the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the commercial release of talking set-top boxes.

Designed to help people who are vision impaired switch to digital television, they offer text-to-speech technology, describing programs, menu items and menu layouts. They help the blind or vision impaired to navigate electronic program guides, onscreen menus and settings of their television.

“This kind of technology has been developed in other countries, however, no talking set-top box was available in the Australian market until now,” Senator Conroy said.

Following a technical trial in regional Victoria, the Government is considering operational and funding requirements to provide talking set-top boxes as part of the Household Assistance Scheme.

“Australia is striding forward in the global migration to digital TV with 82 per cent of households across the nation already converted to digital TV,” Senator Conroy said.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that no-one is left behind in the switch to digital-only television.”

But when will Senator Conroy require closed captions on digital channels for the hearing impaired?

For more information visit or call 1800 20 10 13.

One Comment:

  1. I don’t watch the digital channels much, except ABC24, due to the lack of captioning. Whilst I can rent movies on DVD with captioning the same movies are not broadcast with captioning. Strange.

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