The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the rollout of talking set-top box technology as part of the Government’s Digital Switchover Household Assistance Scheme (HAS).
“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that no-one is left behind in the switch to digital-only television,” Senator Conroy said.
“As part of this commitment, I am pleased to announce that talking set-top boxes are now to be integrated into our Household Assistance Scheme and rolled out with the Digital Switchover program in the future.”
Talking set-top boxes are designed to assist blind or vision impaired people to navigate electronic program guides, onscreen menus, and the settings of their television. Text-to-speech technology is used to describe programs; menu items and menu layouts; and the box includes the ability to change the style of speech, and to provide talking instructions for the remote control.
The talking set-top box will be provided to eligible HAS recipients from the time the Scheme opens in northern NSW in June 2012.