Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Overview of the audio description in spanish DTT channels

Francisco José González León, Juan Manuel Carrero Leal, Mercedes de Castro Álvarez, Belén Ruiz Mezcua


This paper presents a research of current practices in audio
description broadcast in Spanish television channels. The results of this
research show that in some television channels the audio description is
broadcasted in ‘receiver mix audio description’ mode while in other channels
the alternative used is ‘broadcaster mix audio description’ mode. In both
cases, correct signalling and correct audio description coding is crucial so
that digital television receivers can recognize audio description in the
broadcast signal and reproduce it upon user request. The current practice of
audio description broadcast in Spanish television channels only partially
fulfils DVB standard. In addition, not all digital television receivers are able
to reproduce appropriately the wide range of options defined in DVB to
convey audio description in the television channels. The consequence for the
users is less availability of audio description services than expected. Some of
the problems detected for the activation of audio description in users’
receivers can be solved by applying some enhancement to signalling
information used by broadcasters in their DVB television channels. Finally,
some recommendations for the users are included to present the key aspects
for audio description activation in their digital television receivers.

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