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Monday, November 30, 2009

Described Video Now on Select Sony Box Office Films

In an article in Home Video Magazine, Chris Tribbey notes that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the latest studio to release DVDs with described video, or Descriptive Video Service (DVS)¹.  DVS—pioneered by WGBH Media Access Group—provides audio descriptions of key visual elements within such visual media formats as TV and film to visually impaired and blind audiences².  WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Station in Boston, Massachusetts, developed its Media Access Group roughly 30 years ago with the mission of creating and delivering captioned and described media “to people in their homes, classrooms, at work, and in the community”³.  With over 20 million people in the U.S.—12 million of them movie watchers—possessing some form of significant visual impairment, major studios are stepping up to enhance the public’s media-viewing experience⁴.

Such studios as PBS Home Video and Universal Studios Home Entertainment provide described video on select DVD titles.  Now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will provide described video on select DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ releases of box office feature films, starting with The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and followed by such hits as District 9, The Ugly Truth, and Julie & Julia⁴.

According to Home Video Magazine, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment lists the described video feature as an audio option in the languages menu of their DVDs and Blu-rays¹.  And while some studios simply state “Described Video Services” or “SAP” on the packaging of any titles that feature described video, others note the option on their packaging with symbols (examples below).

When looking for titles that feature described video on the Midwest Tape website, search via SmartBrowse™ keyword “described video” to view the DVD (and now Blu-ray) titles we’ve categorized as having the described video feature.

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