Bringing Visual Content Alive for the Visually Impaired
PFT Blog Team | 05 Apr 2016

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 285 million visually impaired people across the globe. For the visually impaired, it is difficult to follow the action of a visual medium in which there is little to no dialogue. They miss out on elements like facial expressions, scene settings, and costumes, all of which contribute to a complete viewing experience.

This has changed with the introduction of Descriptive Video (DV), an additional narration track which describes the action taking place on-screen between the natural pauses in dialogue. For TV programs, DV can be accessed via the Second Audio Program (SAP) option, a standard feature on most contemporary TVs.

Descriptive videos allows the visually impaired to share in the collective social discourse of today's television content drives
Descriptive videos allows the visually impaired to share in the collective social discourse of… Click To Tweet

It means greater independence for the visually impaired, who can now enjoy a far more robust television experience. Further it allows them to share in the collective social discourse that so much of today's television content drives.

Creating a DV track typically involves the following steps – (1) DV scripting by an experienced writer, (2) QC of the script, (3) Auditions and casting of voice artists, (4) Studio recording of the narration track, (5) Audio mixing, (6) QC and incorporation of corrections (if any), followed by (6) Final mastering. Quality is crucial when it comes to DV, as inferior quality DV can end up alienating the very audience it is supposed to engage.

DV is now gaining popularity across the globe, and has been made mandatory in countries like UK (Ofcom), Canada (CRTC) and USA (FCC) for a certain number of hours of programming every week. Today, broadcasters are increasingly recognizing its importance in driving viewership growth. Their challenge is to find a reliable partner to produce low cost DV adhering to the quality parameters set by regulatory authorities, within a quick timeframe. In today’s 'Digital Next' era, many broadcasters also choose service providers who use digital workflows and offer the advantage of Cloud technology for instant reviews and approvals of ongoing DV work.

PFT has over 20 years of dubbing experience and strong relationships with leading broadcasting networks and service capabilities for a host of international languages including English (US / UK accent), Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Hindi. While DV is an emerging industry, PFT has already been established as a preferred partner for some of the largest broadcasters. We support their dubbing, subtitling and closed captioning operations within their region and globally.

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