How do I get audio description for my TV?

If you're struggling to see your favourite television programmes then audio description (AD), a free service, may be for you.

Audio Description (AD) is commentary on the television that describes body language, expressions and movements. Most major broadcasters (like the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky) provide AD on 20 per cent of their programmes. AD is also available in Welsh on selected programmes. You will need digital television via Freeview, satellite or cable. This is either built into your television or available via a set top box connected to your television.

We have a number of resources about setting up AD depending on what services your receive your TV through:

For listings of what audio described TV programmes are upcoming see TV Help's Audio Description index.

Specifically for ITV1

Previously viewers outside the London region have had to tune into ITV1 London - Channel 979 on Sky and Channel 853 on Virgin Media - to receive audio description.

ITV has recently reviewed and changed its playout systems, from May 2017, viewers will be able to receive audio description on the regional variants of the ITV1 Channel and no longer need to shift to 979 on Sky or 853 on Virgin Media.

Audio description and on demand video

iTunes has started adding audio-described movies in a range of countries including the UK.

The films are available to buy on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) as well as through iTunes on PC and Mac.

If a film has audio description, this will be denoted by the inclusion of AD in the English language options under the Languages heading of the film's page on iTunes.

Further information

For more information please see our main site's page on Audio Description or contact our Helpline on:

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