Government confirms national audio description trial for August

Friday, 16 March 2012 12:14pm

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has confirmed that the trial of audio description on the ABC will take place in August. The Government also expects to be able to deliver the service nationally.

The FAQs released this week confirm that the trial, which will consist of 14 hours of prime time programs being audio described for thirteen weeks, will commence in August. The intention is for the trial to be made available nationally, and the ABC is expected to report on it by late 2012.

One question that many people have been asking is what equipment will be capable of accessing description during the trial. The government has engaged Australian Digital Testing to survey digital televisions and set-top boxes currently on the Australian market, and provide a report by late March. A list of suitable digital receivers will then be made available to the public.

Some questions about the trial are still to be answered. It is not yet known whether it will be available to FOXTEL or AUSTAR subscribers, or those in remote areas who receive digital television through the VAST satellite service, or services set up by their local councils.

The government has stated that the FAQs will be updated as more information becomes available. We have published our own FAQs which explain the trial in more detail.

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