App icon for Spectrum Access Enabled Media app.
Accessibility & Technology

Spectrum Access App Enables Private Audio Description

Apr 16, 2021

Spectrum Access App Enables Private Audio Description

The TV commercial gets your attention. It’s surprising to see a commercial about accessibility for people with vision loss, in primetime. It is powerful, as it elevates awareness for everyone who sees it when this kind of information still typically travels through word-of-mouth. And that’s not the only unusual aspect, this is a commercial about a product from Spectrum Communications which is available, free of cost, whether you are a Spectrum customer or not.

The 60-second spot shows a movie clip running along with an audio description track, providing the visual details pertinent to understanding what’s happening on screen. We then see a group of friends watching together and reacting to the movie’s unfolding events. One friend in the group is visually impaired and she is hearing the audio description privately from an app on her phone. “The Spectrum Access app gives the visually impaired audio description right from their phone, so nobody misses a thing.” This is a solution that gets you the information needed to enjoy movies and TV, without imposing it on others. The app puts you back in control.

Watch the Spectrum Access App TV Commercial

Here’s how it’s done.

  • Select the title to sync with your streamed TV program or movie. There are currently over 450 titles available on the app, with more being added regularly.
  • Download the title’s audio description.
  • Sync the audio description to your TV audio using the microphone on your smartphone. It syncs quite impressively to the exact same spot as the TV audio.
  • The video content on TV can originate from any streaming platform including Spectrum, Netflix, Hulu, PrimeVideo, On-Demand, and more. Spectrum is also partnering with NBC, CBS, and others to build the library of titles read to sync.

Get the Spectrum Access Enabled Media app on the App Store and on Google Play.

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About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.



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