Netflix has launched a new Audio Description service in a bid to make it more accessible.
Launching in tandem with the latest exclusive series Daredevil, the new service details facial expressions, costumes and scene changes alongside the regular audio.
Based on the Marvel superhero of the same name, Daredevil stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and vigilante superhero by night. At present, it’s just Daredevil that features Netflix’s Audio Description feature.
More shows including political thriller House of Cards, hugely popular prison-comedy/drama Orange is the New Black and Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will get the feature in the coming weeks.
Netflix is working with studios and other content providers to increase the amount of audio description offered across a range of devices, including smart TV’s, tablets and smartphones. Perhaps taking a leaf from Vimeo’s book, Netflix is actively looking to expand into offering Audio Description tracks in foreign languages in the future.
Netflix is also one of a handful of companies working with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) on a closed trial of an Audio Description app.
Apple, Amazon and Sky are also part of the trial, which aims to eventually bring improved audio description features to iTunes, Prime Instant Video, Sky Go and Now TV. The RNIB app will allow users to download AD tracks to their smartphone or tablet, which will then sync with films and TV as they play.
YouView has worked closely with the RNIB to improve the accessibility of its connected TV platform and the most recent Sky+HD updates promise high contrast menu modes for partially-sighted viewers.