Audio Description - with and without

Engeeaitch

New Member
Hi can any of you knowledgeable and creative types out there help me with this one please?

My parents are in their 90s. My mother has very poor eyesight, but my father’s is OK. My mother would benefit from being able to use Audio Description, but this would be very irritating for my father. Can anyone suggest a solution that would allow them to simultaneously watch a recorded programme one with say headphones listening to the Audio Description and one listening through the normal audio channel? I can help with the setup, but the operation would need to be very straightforward.

Many thanks for any ideas.
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
Are you considering freeview or freesat or either providing someone can identify a method you could use for recorded programmes?
The 2 are different.
Freesat has an alternative track that replaces the normal track.
Freeview has an additional track that is merged with the normal track to varying degrees of success by different manufacturers on their models.

Are you sure that your father would be irritated by the audio description? I know of people that use it to help follow the story line and never switch it off!
 
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Engeeaitch

New Member
If I bought an identical second box and used that just for audio description, do you think I could run both boxes with the one remote control?

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
You could do but if 1 box misses an instruction that the other box picks up it is going to be right pain to get them in the same state again. Also it is unlikely that the sound will be in sync to the exact micro-second. For the person with headphones this will mean some sort of echo or reverberation as they will probably be able to hear the sound from both playbacks, unless both have headsets. Both having headsets would also resolve the issue of echo/reverberation, but not of keeping the states in sync.

Have you a particular recorder in mind? The quality of their ability to mix the Audio Description and normal sound track varies enormously even on the same unit between Standard Definition and High Definition programmes from the same PVR the quality of the mix can be different.

Have you tried AD on your own HDR-FOX T2? When there are very loud noises on the normal track the latest versions of the HDR-FOX T2 turn down the volume of the AD so that it is either very difficult to hear or sometimes cannot be heard at all. There is about 30 seconds near the beginning of the film State of Play where on the first few plays I had no idea that there was any thing on the AD track for those 30 seconds.
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
If I bought an identical second box and used that just for audio description, do you think I could run both boxes with the one remote control?
(Post in preparation while Luke was posting) That would be fun and games!

I guess you have in your mind the idea that both units would respond in the same way to the same command simultaneously. Most of the time that would be true (although you need to set one for audio description and not the other). You would need to intervene with manual control inputs (if the unit in question has any) if they became out of sync - a typical example being one in standby and the other on: press the power button on the handset and the on one would go to standby and the other would become on.

Operating them individually is not straightforward either. Take the Humax range for example. The HD-FOX, HDR-FOX, and (I believe) FOXSAT have selectable control code sets and programmable handsets so that multiple devices can coexist and be controlled by their own individual handset by putting them on different control channels. On the other hand, if I remember correctly, the HDR-2000T (and others) don't have configurable control channels and therefore can't have more than one in the same room.

With configurable control channels, you can either set them both the same and operate them in parallel from the same remote control handset (with the reservations already noted), or use independent channels and each their own handset (or from one universal handset such as a Logitech Harmony, with each programmed on its own device select button).

Having them operate independently offers the option of also using them independently when simulcast is not required - one could be displaying live TV to the telly and recording another two programmes simultaneously, while the other is providing radio to headphones and recording two more programmes.
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
Operating them individually is not straightforward either. Take the Humax range for example. The HD-FOX, HDR-FOX, and (I believe) FOXSAT have selectable control code sets and programmable handsets so that multiple devices can coexist and be controlled by their own individual handset by putting them on different control channels. On the other hand, if I remember correctly, the HDR-2000T (and others) don't have configurable control channels and therefore can't have more than one in the same room.
The HDR-2000T remote has the Humax standard 6 control channels. It is the Youview range, including the DTR-T2000, that only has 1 channel.
 
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Engeeaitch

New Member
Hi - I was able to get to my parents at the weekend. They have a Humax 9300T which as far as I can tell, doesn't have any support for Audio Description.
However, I was able to set this up on their Panasonic Viera TV - the volume of the Audio Description can be independently controlled, and it can be independently turned on or off for headphone or speaker. Of course, this is only possible for live TV. Does anyone know of a PVR with similar functionality?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The TV may be able to achieve the same thing from a recording if it accesses the recorded data in the right way. The AD data is in the broadcast stream along with everything else, and a PVR such as the HDR-FOX simply dumps the broadcast stream as-is into the recording file. When the HDR-FOX then replays the recording, it is sending decoded data to the TV over the HDMI interface, so it "gets in the way" when it comes to selecting audio track etc.

If the TV were to access the data directly, it may be able to offer the same options as when receiving broadcast data directly. According to the capabilities of the TV, it might be able to pull data from the PVR by network connection, by DLNA or maybe as a NAS mount.

Alternatively, some TVs have rudimentary PVR capability themselves if you plug in a hard drive.
 
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