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.