Separate audio description channels for BBC One, BBC Two and ITV have been removed from Virgin Media’s cable TV network. It removes the loophole allowing viewers in Scotland to watch ITV.
The move follows the technical integration of audio description on to the main versions of the channels.
Previously, users who required audio description of programmes shown on BBC One, BBC Two and ITV needed to switch to Virgin Media channel 851 – 853, which carried the additional soundtrack. An information screen now awaits viewers who select these channels.
Instead, subscribers can now access Audio Described programmes through channels 101, 102 and 103.
Technical reasons have previously forced satellite and cable providers to offer a duplicate copy of the main public service channels for audio description. This is where it has not been possible to add a separate AD soundtrack to the existing channel. Where there are regional variants, the audio described copy is usually the London regional version.
Virgin Media has recently reconfigured BBC channels to include a fully regional HD service. This service also includes audio description tracks on each regional and national version of BBC One HD and BBC Two HD, making the separate AD channels redundant.
A similar arrangement is now in place on ITV, which has made all but Border Scotland and Channel Television available in HD.
For viewers in Scotland, it is no longer possible to watch ITV London instead of STV via cable.
What is Audio Description?
Audio Description (AD) provides an additional narrator who describes scenes, gestures or expressions for the benefit of blind and visually impaired consumers. The narrator’s comments are inserted into the existing soundtrack during dialogue-free moments. In most cases, existing channels carry a separate soundtrack with the AD feed.
How to turn audio description on or off on a Virgin Media TV box (cable receiver)
How to turn on audio description on a Virgin TV 360 box
- Press the home button on your remote control,
- Next, press the left arrow twice then [OK] to get to Settings. You are now in Profiles
- Press the down arrow four times.
- Press [OK] to turn audio description on or off
How to turn on audio description on a Virgin TV V6 and TiVo® box
- Press the Info button on your remote control to bring up the Info banner.
- Then, press the down arrow twice to go to Audio description.
- Press [OK] to turn audio description on or off.
[Source: Virgin Media]
Republished on 03/05/2022 following the removal of ITV AD on Virgin Media. Remaining AD standalone channels will also be removed shortly.