Enable or Disable Audio Description Commentary


When viewing BBC1 HD on Freesat, many programmes have a voice-over which I understand is for the partially sighted. Is there any way to switch this off?

Submitted by Austin Reynolds


Our Answer

What you’re referring to is called Audio Description, and as you say, is a service for the blind or partially-sighted. Audio Description provides a commentary of the on-screen action, for example “Chuck leaves the room following Sarah”.

The service is available on many TV programmes, and is provided by the broadcaster. It’s not offered on all channels, and it’s not available on all equipment.


Turning Audio Description off and on

By default, TV sets and set-top boxes have audio description turned off. If you have a receiver that supports Audio Description, there will be a way to enable this service from one of the on-screen menus.

Each TV set and set-top box is different, and so without knowing the make and model, we can’t give precise advice on how to turn it off for every single make and model of digital TV equipment, although we’ll try to help with some general guidance.

If you’re not sure how to turn Audio Description on or off, then the first place to try should be the TV manual. Alternatively, you can try to find the option from the on-screen menus. Try looking under “Language”, “Subtitles”, “Audio” or “Sound” in the Settings menu.

Here is some information on how to turn on or off Audio Description on some common equipment

Freesat Receivers: On some boxes, try Menu > Settings > Language. You may find the “Audio Description” option there, with an option to “Enable” or “Disable”

Sky+ HD Box: Press Services, scroll to “Options”. Select “Subtitles”. Here, you’ll find “Audio Description On/Off”. Change as appropriate, and press the Green button on the remote to save

Basic Sky box / Older Sky+ box: Press “Services”. Select “System Set Up”. Select “Language and Subtitles”. Adjust the “Narrative” options as required, then move to “Save New Settings” and press Select

Help us to update this section. If you know how to enable or disable the Audio Description commentary on a digital TV set-top box or TV set that we’ve not listed here, please add a comment below.

This entry was posted in Digital TV.

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