Audio description

Audio description is an additional commentary that describes the action taking place in a film or television programme. The spoken narration compliments the original soundtrack, making it possible for blind and partially sighted people to enjoy programmes on Sky TV.

Sky provides audio description for 20% of its programmes, with the exception of Sky Sports and Sky News which already have high levels of spoken content. Sky channels are regulated under the 2003 Communications act, and follow the Ofcom Code on Television Access Services.

Turning Audio Description on when watching a TV programme

If you have a Sky+HD box or Multi-room box you can quickly turn Audio Description on when you are watching a programme as follows:

  1. Press the Help button on your remote control
  2. Use the left/right button to turn the setting ON
  3. Press Select to continue.

If you have a Sky+ or Digibox you should also follow the three steps above.  This will switch Audio Description on temporarily until you change channel.  To switch Audio Description on permanently please follow the instructions for Sky+ and Digiboxes below.

Turning Audio Description on and highlighting programmes with Audio Description in the Sky Guide

If you have a Multi-room box, please follow the instructions below for boxes manufactured by Sky.  If you have a Sky+HD box, first please check the manufacturer of your box by following the steps below.

  1. Press the Services button on your remote control to see the Options menu
  2. Press the right arrow button for the Settings menu
  3. Press the down arrow button for the Picture menu
  4. Press the right arrow button to reach the System Details menu
  5. At the bottom of the menu you can see the ‘Manufacturer’ details.

If the manufacturer is Sky, then follow the steps below.

  1. Press the Services button on your remote control to see the Options menu
  2. Press the down arrow button to highlight ‘Accessibility’
  3. Press the down arrow button to highlight ‘Audio Description’
  4. Use the left/right arrow button to turn the setting ON
  5. Press the down arrow again to reach ‘Highlight Programmes with Accessibility’
  6. Use the left/right arrow button to change the setting to AUDIO DESC
  7. 7.      Press the green button on your Sky remote control to save your settings.

If the manufacturer of your box is Amstrad, Pace or Samsung, then follow the steps below:

  1. Press the Services button on your Sky remote control to see the Options menu
  2. Press the down arrow button to highlight Sky+Setup on the middle menu
  3. Press the right arrow button to highlight the Subtitles menu
  4. Press the down arrow button twice to highlight Audio Description
  5. Use the left/right arrow button to turn the setting ON
  6. Press the down arrow button to reach ‘Highlighted Programmes’
  7. Use the left/right arrow button to change the setting to AUDIO DESC
  8. 8.      Press the green button on your Sky remote control to save your settings.

If you have a Sky+ or Digibox please follow the steps below:

You can set up Audio Description permanently on these boxes by following the steps below:

  1. Press the Services button on your Sky remote control
  2. Press number 4, for System Setup.
  3. Press number 3, for Language and Subtitles.
  4. Highlight Narrative, and then use the left/right arrow keys to turn the setting On.
  5. Highlight Highlighted Programmes, and then use the left/right arrow keys to change the setting to Audio Description.
  6. Highlight Beep if Narrative Present, then use the left/right arrow keys to turn the setting On.
  7. Highlight Save New Settings, and then press the Select button on your Sky remote control to confirm your choices.

You can search for programmes with audio description in the What's on TV section of this website. It's a full TV listing for the next seven days, and Sky+ and Sky+HD customers can also use the remote record feature.