How do I enable my Video Description?

Video Description for DIRECTV

Learn how the Video Description feature can make television and other media accessible to blind or visually impaired subscribers.


How Video Description assists the blind or visually impaired

With the Video Description feature enabled, audio descriptions of a TV program’s key visual elements are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue. Video Description supplements the regular audio track of the program when information about the visual elements that is not contained in the audio portion of the program. With Video Description, subscribers can listen to audio descriptions of TV shows on a secondary audio channel. Please visit the FCC Video Description Rules page for additional information and a schedule of described programs.

  • Video Description is provided through the receiver’s secondary audio feature and can be accessed using the on-screen menu.
  • The secondary audio may also be identified as a language feature, such as Spanish or SPA, because it is also used to provide Spanish or other language translations of English language TV programs. You can change your preferred global language to Spanish with your DIRECTV remote control and the menu screen.
  • When listening to the secondary audio, and depending on the program, you may hear the primary audio with Video Description, Spanish or other language translation, a duplicate of the primary audio, or, in cases where no secondary audio is being transmitted, silence.

To enable Video Description and Change Language you will need to use these DIRECTV remote control buttons:

  • INFO – a rubber triangular button located 4 rows below the power off button on the far right of the remote.
  • Navigational arrows – The up, right, down, and left arrows are plastic semi-circular buttons on the top half of the remote.
  • Select – The circular button in the center of the four navigational arrow buttons.
  • Exit – A rubber triangular button located to the right of the up arrow and 2 rows below the power off button.


Change Audio language on a channel

  1. Press INFO on your remote control.
  2. Press the up arrow once. If audio description is available, it will now be enabled.


Temporarily change video description for current channel

If you have talking guide turned on, you will hear spoken feedback throughout this entire process. For help enabling talking guide, click the following link: Talking Guide FAQ

  1. Press INFO on your remote control.
  2. Press the right arrow four times, then press the down arrow twice.
  3. Press SELECT once to change from English to secondary audio programming (SAP). If secondary audio is available, audio will pause briefly while the language changes. If there is an extended silence, secondary audio isn’t available for the current program.
  4.  Press EXIT to leave settings.

Note: If English is your only option, you’ll hear a low-pitch tone when pressing the down arrow for the second time.


Set default Audio Language and On-Screen Language preferences

If you want to hear video description automatically when changing channels, perform the following steps using your DIRECTV remote.

  1. Press MENU on your remote control. Menu is the center button in the first row below the power buttons.
  2. Press the down arrow 5 times for Settings.
  3. Press the right arrow six time to reach Audio. Press SELECT to enter the Language menu.
  4. The default language will be shown on screen and spoken by talking guide. Press SELECT to modify it.
  5. Press the down arrow until you hear Spanish or another language, then press SELECT.
  6. Press EXIT to leave the menu.