Getting Visual: The Benefits of Descriptive Video Service

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) is an invaluable tool that creates unique viewing experiences for people with visual impairments. DVS provides audio descriptions of what is happening onscreen, allowing these individuals to enjoy movies, television shows, and other media without missing a moment. This article highlights the many benefits of DVS, including increased accessibility, enjoyment, and understanding.

What is a Descriptive Video Service?

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) is a technology that allows people with visual impairments to experience the same movie or television show as sighted viewers. Through DVS, audio descriptions are integrated into the soundtrack of movies, TV shows, and other media that provide additional information about what is happening onscreen.

This includes data like facial expressions, body language, scenery, and other visual elements that a sighted viewer would take in without much thought. With this additional audio layer, people with vision impairments can experience the same viewing experience as everyone else.

The Difference Between Described Video and an Audio Description

Described video is a service offered by broadcasters to provide access to programs for people with vision impairments. An audio description, on the other hand, is a separate audio track that provides a narrative of what’s happening in a movie or television show. Audio descriptions are typically available as an add-on or extra feature from streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

UK DVS Rules and Regulations

In the UK, all major broadcasters are required to provide a minimum of 10% of their programming with described video. This includes content that covers news, drama, and children’s programs. Additionally, the UK has mandated that all television sets manufactured after October 2020 must have DVS enabled by default.

The 3 Types of Descriptive Video Services

Standard Audio Description

With audio description and described video, producers add a secondary soundtrack to the finalized video after production is completed. This form of alternative solution allows for voiceovers to be played during pauses between the initial dialogue or audio.

Extended Audio Description

Audio descriptions can sometimes be too vague to provide enough context. A lot of explanation may need to occur, and there might not be any natural pauses in the audio for additional clarification. To avoid confusion, viewers have the option of pausing the video at their own discretion so that they can hear every detail without interruption.

Real-time Audio Description

Descriptive audio doesn’t have to wait until post-production – with live events, real-time audio description will get the job done. This is perfect for award shows, YouTube videos, sports broadcasting, and other events that happen in an instant! Descriptive video services provide professionals who can speak as each event transpires, so you won’t miss a single moment of the action.

Benefits of Descriptive Video Service

Descriptive video service provides a wide range of benefits for people with vision impairments, including increased accessibility and enjoyment. Here are just some of the ways that DVS can improve the viewing experience:

1. Increased Accessibility

With descriptive video services, all viewers can have access to the same content. This is especially beneficial for people with vision impairments, as they’re able to enjoy movies and TV shows without any difficulty.

2. Increased Enjoyment

Audio descriptions provide additional information about what’s happening onscreen, making it easier for viewers to follow along and understand the plot. This can enhance the viewing experience and make it more enjoyable overall.

3. Improved Understanding

By providing audio descriptions, viewers can pick up on subtle details that they might otherwise miss. This can help them gain a better understanding of what’s unfolding in the scene and make it easier to follow along.

4. Greater Appreciation

With descriptive video service, viewers are able to take in more of the nuances of a movie or TV show. They’re able to appreciate the finer details that would otherwise be missed without audio descriptions.

5. Increased Engagement

Audio descriptions can help to keep viewers engaged and make them feel like they’re part of the story. This encourages them to stay invested in what’s happening onscreen and ensures that they don’t miss out on any important details.


Descriptive video service provides several benefits for people with vision impairments, allowing them to enjoy movies and TV shows just like everyone else. With increased accessibility, enjoyment, understanding, appreciation, and engagement, descriptive video services can make all the difference in enabling viewers with vision impairments to fully take part in the viewing experience.

With audio description and described video, producers add a secondary soundtrack to the finalized video after production is completed. This form of alternative solution allows for voiceovers to be played during pauses between the initial dialogue or audio.

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