Accessible Talking Set Top Box goes on sale in Australia

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Monday, 12 September 2011 13:53pm

In a development that will revolutionise television viewing for the blind and vision impaired, the Bush Talking Set Top Box has just gone on sale in Australia. It features talking installation screens, menus, help screens, electronic program guide and a ‘key learning mode’ which tells the user what each key on the remote control does.

The HD digital box is only the second talking box to go on sale in the world (the first was the Goodman’s ‘Smart Talk’ box, which was released in the United Kingdom in 2010). Designed with assistance from Vision Australia and Media Access Australia, the box will also receive audio description. (A trial of audio description on the ABC has been proposed by the Federal Government for later this year).

“The new Bush talking box is a terrific product which I am sure many blind and vision impaired people will love,” said Chris Mikul, Project Manager at Media Access Australia. “It’s really easy to set up, and tells you each step of the way how the installation process is going. Once that’s done, when you press the ‘info’ button on the remote, it tells you what program is on, when it started and when it will finish. It also reads out the 7-day electronic program guide, and gives a brief description of each program.”

The Talking Set top Box (model number BHAS03) has a recommended retail price of $199. It will be available from Vision Australia stores, and can also be ordered online from the Bush Australia website.  

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