Sunday, 20 January 2013

Talking Freeview + Recorder

I thought I pretty much owned every talking product I needed to get by in life. Speech software for my computer, Talks on my mobile, talking scales, talking colour detector, talking alarm clock and of course my sat nav speaks too. However, only by chance did I hear that you can make your TV talk as well!

We have had a Freeview recorder for a good few years now and I guess it was a little frustrating not always knowing what was on TV and unable to play programmes when home alone, but I can’t say I was overly bothered. When our current system began failing, it just seemed logical to purchase the TV Onics talking Freeview + recorder.

Now we’ve had it for about a month, I wish I had gotten one sooner! It is actually great to know what’s on TV, set my own recordings, watch what I want when I want, have the ability to pause, fast forward and rewind TV knowing where I am in a show and best of all it was relatively simple to set up and is dead easy to use.

There is also a button on the remote control that allows you to turn on and off audio description. This is something I have always had an aversion to when I have briefly seen it in action, finding that it can give too much information and irritating that someone is talking over a programme. Nevertheless, I have been trialling it out on shows, such as Home and Away and Holby City, as well as the odd film and it’s growing on me. I am learning to laugh it off when it gives descriptions, such as ‘heavily tattooed Heath is doing such and such’, as I already know he has tattoos and the detailed information doesn’t really contribute to the plot. I suppose they are trying to help you build up a picture in your head of individual characters though. Audio description isn’t available on all programmes, but a surprising high amount seem to have it and you can know which ones have and haven’t from the shows synopsis.

No product is perfect and a couple of features that let this one down is that you can’t view your planned recordings in one go, the talking lady interrupts your programme to let you know when she’s starting to record a programme and more often than not it doesn’t just come on when you press the power button! Despite these minor issues, the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives.

The TV Onics talking Freeview + recorder can be purchased from RNIB, click here for more information.

Friday, 11 January 2013

The Year of 13

One thing I do love about blogging is being able to look back and appreciate all of the events that have happened. I often wonder if I am too honest on here, but if I sugar coated my life, I would only create false memories and an inaccurate account of real life to others. I always find myself embarrassed when people say they read this blog, the most unexpected people say they do, yet there’s something quite exciting about people taking the time to see how my life is progressing.

Well, despite not making the London 2012 Paralympics, which meant so much to me, I am still going to proclaim that it has been one of the most amazing years ever!

Competing in the Olympic stadium against the best athletes in the world has to be my highlight of the year by far! Then sitting in that same stadium for both the Olympics and Paralympics was just epic. Having the games here, in our country, is something that will never be forgotten.

Regarding my athletics ambitions, I have no intention of quitting just yet. I am more than satisfied seeing my name on the IPC World Rankings for 2012, stating that I am No.2 in Europe and No.21 in the World for the T11 100m and No.5 in Europe and No.21 in the World for the T11 200m.

I feel it is going to be an important year for me both academically and with regards to my athletics. I am finally going to graduate, which I am delighted about, but hope I achieve the degree classification that best echoes the hard work I have put in. Then with my athletics, I am not aiming for the World Championships in Lyon, as I am learning how the athletics system works (only athletes who are funded are most likely to be taken), but I have my own personal targets I want to achieve. To give you a bit of an insight, one will be to run the qualification standard for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealths, but that is as much as I am giving away right now. I mean I would hate to set myself up to fail...that’s not like me at all (winks)!

One thing I can tell you is that I have this terrible hunger to fulfil my dreams and you just know I am not going to stop until I no longer have to dream! Hell, I know loads of people think I am deluded, but it really doesn’t matter what others think, you can really do that cliché of doing anything you put your mind to.

A massive thank you to everyone who reads these ramblings and also to everyone who follows me on Twitter! May 2013 prove to be everything you hope for and more!