HBO Max starts rolling out audio descriptions

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Select titles by HBO Max now have audio descriptions, which are separate audio tracks that describe what is visually happening on the screen. The option is currently available on the website and mobile apps, but not TV apps.

Audio descriptions are useful for people who are blind or partially sighted because they provide context that is not apparent from hearing dialogue and music alone. So far, the described shows and movies Euphoria, His Dark Materials Generation Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Dunkirk, and more

The audio description category of HBO Max.
Image: WarnerMedia

There is now a category in HBO Max that has all of the currently described shows and movies in one place, although it doesn’t show up in TV apps yet. There will also be improvements in the compatibility of the website and apps screen readers.

The audio descriptions and other changes will be “[allow] our community to share equally with family and friends in the truly universal pastime of television and movie watching, ”said Dan Spoone, president of the American Council of the Blind, in a statement today

For shows and movies with audio descriptions, the tracks can be enabled from the subtitle settings at the bottom of the video player.

Enable audio description.
Image: WarnerMedia

The rollout follows a settlement between WarnerMedia and blind individuals and advocacy groups reached last October. The agreement called for a minimum of 1,500 hours of described content on HBO Max by the end of March, rising to a minimum of 6,000 hours by the end of March 2023.