Getting descriptive video service even with SAP off
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Getting descriptive video service even with SAP off


This is a discussion on Getting descriptive video service even with SAP off within the DTV | HDTV Chat forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.


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  1. #1
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    Getting descriptive video service even with SAP off

    I watch a ton of PBS and KET (our local Kentucky PBS affiliate, different programs) but i have a problem i cannot solve. i have a Zenith Digital converter that i use the most, and when i am watching PBS i am hearing what can only be described as Descriptive Video Services for the blind (audio narration in the background)

    While i understand the service for those who are visually impaired, i CANNOT TURN IT OFF! i'm not impaired and i looked it up, says to turn OFF the Second Audio Program option. i have, still hearing it. also tried using MONO instead of stereo, still there. tried resetting and rescanning, still there. tried turning it off and back on (the box) guess what? still hearing that voice! how do i make it stop?!

    Both my boxes do it, both have the SAP feature turned OFF. the other box is a DigitalStream.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTVuser2009 View Post
    I watch a ton of PBS and KET (our local Kentucky PBS affiliate, different programs) but i have a problem i cannot solve. i have a Zenith Digital converter that i use the most, and when i am watching PBS i am hearing what can only be described as Descriptive Video Services for the blind (audio narration in the background)

    While i understand the service for those who are visually impaired, i CANNOT TURN IT OFF! i'm not impaired and i looked it up, says to turn OFF the Second Audio Program option. i have, still hearing it. also tried using MONO instead of stereo, still there. tried resetting and rescanning, still there. tried turning it off and back on (the box) guess what? still hearing that voice! how do i make it stop?!

    Both my boxes do it, both have the SAP feature turned OFF. the other box is a DigitalStream.
    does your tv have this said feature and if so is it turned off there

  3. #3
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    nope the TVs are older than dirt, no remote, the one hooked to the Zenith DTT901 is a RCA color with two mechanical knob tuners, the one hooked to the DigitalStream is a Zenith with a button pad, LED channel display but no remote IR capability. both are over 20 years old. none are stereo or SAP capable. just old TVs i found in the dump. the Zenith converter is hooked up through a built-in sound system in my Fleetwood trailer, to benefit movies and is hooked to the system through the RCA audio out plugs. but it also shows up on the RF outputs on either TV if i have the audio system off.

    The PBS site says turn off SAP but i have tried it on or off, doesn't even stop imomentarily, it's almost as if the channel doesn't care if it is on or off or if it is exempt from alternate audio, best description is it's part of the channel itself.

    It only happens on the HD versions of the KET and PBS channels. PBS channel 9-2 (WNIN SD) and KED 2, 3, and 4 (31-2, 31-3, 31-4) doesn't do it but then the channel is squished like widescreen and i cannot zoom and i hate that crappy picture. the HD version is zoomable and i can fit to the screen properly but the audio description is annoying.

    BTW on the boxes' browse banners the icon for SAP or multiple audio tracks is not lit so i think for some reason it's not broadcasting the DVS service on the SAP track, even though their website says otherwise. i would hate to be forced to watch a squashed picture to compensate for the DVS, but i hate anyone talking through the audio.
    Last edited by DTVuser2009; 02-19-2009 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    I can't turn it off either

    Quote Originally Posted by DTVuser2009 View Post
    The PBS site says turn off SAP but i have tried it on or off, doesn't even stop imomentarily, it's almost as if the channel doesn't care if it is on or off or if it is exempt from alternate audio, best description is it's part of the channel itself.
    I have the same problem here in Connecticut and only with PBS on HD WEDWDT). SAP only applies to analog broadcasts supposedly, but when I toggle it on and off, I can activate it on other channels but PBS in HD is completely unaffected. On "Cyberchase" we get both Spanish AND the blind audio track. It is unwatchable. We are going back to analog for PBS broadcasts.

    My TV is a little over 1 year old and high quality (Sony LCD panel). This happens over a HDMI connection to a set box (with SAP clearly OFF) and also through a QAM ATSC tuner (SAP toggle is not an option there since SAP is analog ONLY). Like I said, I can turn it on or off on other channels---it is only PBS in HD which is unresponsive.

    It is clear to me that PBS has made a mistake and is pushing the Video Description in a manner it cannot be deactivated. My cable company independently arrived at the same conclusion. Alas, WEDW must have a full inbox because all e-mails are bounced back.

  5. #5
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    I haven't gotten the annoyance for the last few days. my trailer burned so i wasn't even much on the forum for awhile but i got another identical Zenith DTT901-b, and i haven't gotten the audio narration since. either the channel was malfunctioning at their end or the new box solved it. i don't know what was up. i'm just glad i can watch shows in peace.

    I hope though that it won't in the future become mandatory on other channels, since anyone trying to stop it would then be declared unsympathetic to blind people. it's not that at all, i just don't like the feeling of subliminal advertising whispering in the background. and why are blind people watching TV?

    I have started fights with this rant too, on the radio, on 92.5FM country, the will have these 'Saint Jude Radiothons', which would be nice enough if it was between songs for during commercials. but those 'thons are the only time you'll hear rare country tracks from the late 1970s to early 1980s and every time it's people talking in the song's audio saying 'these children need help, will you donate and help these poor souls?' and i swear it's so annoying when you're trying to listen to a rare track and it's butchered in that way. it also reeks of subliminal advertising.
    Last edited by DTVuser2009; 03-10-2009 at 04:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    I have never heard of this. Is this people telling the blind what is going on with the show they are watching? Like, "Charlie has entered the room", kind of stuff?

  7. #7
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    Video description

    Quote Originally Posted by #40Fan View Post
    I have never heard of this. Is this people telling the blind what is going on with the show they are watching? Like, "Charlie has entered the room", kind of stuff?
    Yes, that's it. Pretty terrific technology if you are blind. Also used to deliver Spanish audio tracks.

    This is not SAP---that is for older analog broadcasts only. This is a newer digital technology, and like most digitial technology, you'd think it'd be easy to activate or deactivate based on a setting. Alas, WEDW (PBS) in CT pushes the audio track for the blind and sometimes also the Spanish track simultaneously (!) and there is no way to suppress it. I bet the blind don't want to hear it in Spanish any more than I want to.

    WEDW has ignored my e-mails and phone calls. My Cable company has also tried to contact them, as they believe this is most definitely WEDW's problem.

  8. #8
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    It's only on the HD-PBS networks here, although it's possible that it can span to other channels, too in the future. i hope not, i have nothing against blind folks but i'm not blind, there should be a switch somewhere. but i've tried it all. i just deleted 'PBS-HD' manually from my channel list. KET is SD mode only (4:8) and simulcasts PBS content, as it's the same thing albeit Kentucky-owned. same programs, same times. more sub-channels, too.

    The only problem as although all my TVs are SDTV only, the SD channels have borders on any TV with a 19" or larger screen, and the boxes won't zoom and crop the SD channels, meaning i must live with a 13" picture in the dead-center of a 25" TV, and Public Access accounts for 50% of my TV viewing, and that stinks!

  9. #9
    Jaine Blaize
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    (SAP) Need Help With TV Descriptive Services

    Wow, and here I am TRYING to get this kind of service for my father. Not to entirely hi-jack this thread
    but did any of you do anything to get this started? Some say that they turned off the SAP; I turned mine on and I still don't get the descriptive Services that I'd like. Some say that they have a converter... do any of you get your programs without the use of a converter or a cable box? In other words, do you have your coax cable plugged directly into your TV? Mine is going through a cable box and I'm thinking that this is what is blocking the Descriptive Services from coming through. I am hoping that if you all help me figure out how to get it, then conversely you guys would learn how to get rid of it (which would mean to do the opposite of whatever I have to do to get it) and we'd all be happy campers. What sayeth you all?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaine Blaize View Post
    Wow, and here I am TRYING to get this kind of service for my father. Not to entirely hi-jack this thread
    but did any of you do anything to get this started? Some say that they turned off the SAP; I turned mine on and I still don't get the descriptive Services that I'd like. Some say that they have a converter... do any of you get your programs without the use of a converter or a cable box? In other words, do you have your coax cable plugged directly into your TV? Mine is going through a cable box and I'm thinking that this is what is blocking the Descriptive Services from coming through. I am hoping that if you all help me figure out how to get it, then conversely you guys would learn how to get rid of it (which would mean to do the opposite of whatever I have to do to get it) and we'd all be happy campers. What sayeth you all?
    I don't know where to start, but in this thread they're all getting TV OTA with an antenna. Their converter box is a analog to digital converter and not something you would use in a cable installation.

    I would suggest you contact your cable company. I would think the setting for descriptive services would be on your cable box, and perhaps your box won't support it. In addition, many broadcasts dont support Descriptive services, but I believe that most PBS channels do.

 

 

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