Does Apple TV Have Audio Descriptions? And What Is AD?



Audio Description (AD) is lesser-known than closed captions, but just as essential.


Does Apple TV Have Audio Descriptions? That’s a question you may never have asked yourself before, but it’s an important one to know the answer to, especially if you have any friends or family who are hard of sight or blind.

Here’s everything you need to know:

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What Is “Audio Description”?

Audio Description is an important accessibility feature that allows those who are blind, hard of sight, or have other issues that impact their vision to better follow along with and enjoy the content they are engaging in.

Audio Description is spoken text that describes what is happening on the TV screen. This is important for the blind and hard of sight because, though they can hear dialogue being spoken, they may not be able to see the other action–some of which may be pertinent to the story–going on on the screen.

That’s where Audio Description comes in. If a movie or TV show supports Audio Description, a narrator will speak out loud any onscreen action that is taking place, that the person consuming the content might not see.

For example, in a thriller movie, much of the tension or information might come across visually and without sound. Imagine a movie about a burglar in someone’s house. The scene may show the burglar hiding around the next corner as the main character goes to flip the light switch, but if there is no sound signifying the bugler is hiding around the corner (though the audience can clearly see him), how would someone hard of sight get this information?

Audio Description means this information can be relayed audibly, which increases the enjoyment to the hard of sight listener and allows them to better follow the plot.

Does Apple TV Have Audio Descriptions? And What Is AD?
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Quickly Turn ON Audio Description On Apple TV During Video Playback

If you already have VoiceOver enabled on your Apple TV, you can quickly google Audio Description on while watching a movie or TV show even after it’s begun. Here’s how:

  1. First, make sure you have VoiceOver enabled on your Apple TV by going to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver (or use the Siri Remote to turn it on by saying “Turn VoiceOver on”).
  2. Now, using the Siri Remote, press the center of click pad on the remote (second-generation) or press the center of the touchpad on the remote (first-generation).
  3. Doing so will quickly toggle Audio Description on. Press again to toggle Audio Description off.

Turn On Audio Description System-wide On Apple TV 

If you are someone you live with are blind or hard of sight, it will likely be better just to leave Audio Description enabled at all times on Apple TV. This will mean Audio Description will play (if available) whenever you watch a TV show or movie on the Apple TV.

Here’s how:

  1. On the Apple TV open the Settings app.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Select Audio Descriptions.
Does Apple TV Have Audio Descriptions? And What Is AD?
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Apple’s Audio Description logo and definition.

How To Find Out Which TV Shows And Movies Support Audio Description

The Apple TV app lists most TV shows and movies that have Audio Description. To find out f a show or movie supports the feature, do the following:

  1. Open the TV app on the Apple TV.
  2. Select a TV show or movie so its info screen appears.
  3. On the show or movie’s info page, look for the “AD” logo near the description. This will tell you the content supports Audio Description.

And check out Does Apple TV Have Subtitles? Don’t forget to look at How To Download Apple Podcasts To Apple Watch! Also, check out How To Download Hulu Videos (Movies & TV Shows)! And don’t forget to discover How To Get Apple TV’s Screensavers On Your Mac! And check out Will Apple Make a TV?

And take a look at How Do I Watch Major League Baseball On Apple TV+? And check out How to Stop Apple TV Keyboard Notifications On iPhone! Also, check out tvOS 16: All The New Features, Release Date, & Supported Devices!

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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