Experiences of Audio Description

Picture: AD logo courtesy of the American Council of the Blind

This Tech Roundtable invited representatives of media organizations to discuss or learn about workflows for Audio Description (AD). It was held by the EBU's Time Text group. The session included International Sign Language (ISL) signers.


  1. New AD workflow examples. With the quantity of audio description increasing over the past few years, the turnaround for producing has often been reduced. How are different public service broadcasters around Europe adapting their AD production workflows?

  2. Three content creators from broadcasters ORF (Christian Znopp), MDR (Georg Schmolz), and RTÉ (Kevin Sherwin) explained how they are...

    1. streamlining their handling of AD script and video files,

    2. switching to a more collaborative environment,

    3. using a more efficient way for recording both human and speech synthesized voices,

    4. and optimizing mixing procedures.

  3. The development of open standard AD and Dubbing script exchange formats, enabling content producers and broadcasters to use interoperable tools without vendor lock-in. Today, AD is usually delivered as an audio file, either pre-recorded or synthesised, but up until now, AD has not been deliverable as accessible text using an open standard. Nigel Megitt (BBC) shared the work being done in W3C to define such a file format. He showed the requirements needed for text documents that can support audio description script exchange throughout the workflow, from production through to distribution.

  4. Finally, we heard from Christian Simon (Fraunhofer IIS) about new audio mixing solutions for both file based and live AD.


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