Although the feature is often referred to as audio description on today’s streaming apps and televisions, it’s more accurate to call this service “described video.”
This feature delivers narration with the surrounding visual elements within media works that someone with sight impairments might be unable to see.
If you’ve ever listened to a guided meditation track or attended a visual art exhibition, you’ve heard elements of this feature.
Even if you turn it off in an app or on your television, it sometimes engages automatically.
Audio Description Won’t Turn Off
Audio description is a feature that helps people with sight disabilities to understand the visual elements of television shows and movies. It can be offered on live broadcasts, often with a narration placed during a natural pause during the audio track. It’s also incorporated into dialogue when needed to provide context and clarity.
Although most modern televisions come with audio description as a menu feature, not all programs and movies have this feature. If you hear it during a broadcast, it was likely turned on inadvertently.
Some smart televisions have the audio description turn on automatically after a hard reset. This usually occurs when power loss from the grid happens, but it can sometimes happen if the set gets inadvertently unplugged.
Apps can sometimes be the cause of the audio description feature activating. If your local TV broadcasts don’t have this feature active, but Netflix does, you’ll need to get into the software settings instead of the television’s menu screens to turn it off.
For most people, turning the audio description off is as simple as changing the setting. If you go into the root menu, you’ll just change the “on” to “off.”
If you have a cable provider (Xfinity, Wave), the audio description function sometimes turns on if the language changes.
You can switch the settings back through the box’s menu choices in that circumstance instead of trying to go through the TV options.
I’ve Tried Turning Audio Description Off, and It Won’t Change
Although most apps and TVs turn off the audio description once the settings change, the updates don’t always save.
If you’ve changed the feature to “off” and it didn’t stop, the next best option to try is to shut off the TV or close the app.
When using a game console or another device to stream shows and movies, a reboot cycle is often necessary to clear the memory issue that develops to create the unwanted menu setting.
After the boot cycle completes, go directly to the menu. Check to see if the app or TV corrected the setting. If not, switch it again to the “off” position. It should update immediately after taking those steps.
Every app and TV has different pathways to manage when you want to turn off the audio description feature.
Here is a look at some of today’s most popular products and services to help you remove the narrator for your show, broadcast, or movie.
■ How to Turn off Audio Description on Apple TV
If you have Apple TV that engages audio description without a settings change that you remember, these steps can help you correct the situation.
- Turn on your television.
- Find the Apple TV remote.
- Choose the Menu button, pressing it until you hear “stop.”
- Press the Down button once, then push the Right button repetitively until you hear “stop” a second time.
- Push the Select button twice. If you press it more times than that, you’ll need to restart the sequence from the beginning.
- Press the Down button until you hear “stop” again.
- Now, push the Up button four times.
- Finish the process by pressing the Select button two more times.
If you have a Fourth Generation Apple HDTV at home with an audio description feature that won’t turn off, you can instruct Siri to do the job for you by saying, “Turn voiceover off.”
You can also press the Menu button on the remote three times.
If a manual change is necessary, you’ll need to go to the settings icon. Choose Accessibility, then select VoiceOver. You can turn it off from there.
■ How to Turn off Audio Description on a Samsung TV
When your Samsung Crystal UHD AU8000 Series television (or another Samsung smart TV) has the audio description turned on automatically, the first step to take is to review your apps and cable box settings.
Most of the audio description issues with these televisions involve third-party settings.
If you’ve verified that the television is causing the narrator to appear, you can take the following steps to rectify the situation.
- Open your Samsung smart television menu.
- Choose the Settings option for the TV.
- Navigate to the Smart Feature choice in the options you can see on the screen.
- Search for Voice Recognition.
- Go to the voice recognition setting to turn it off.
It might require a reset to complete these steps. If you don’t get the narrator off on the first try, you may need to unplug the Samsung TV for up to five minutes before repeating the steps above.
■ How to Turn off Audio Description on a Sony TV
If you have a Sony television that starts acting up with the audio description setting, the steps to follow to turn it off are relatively straightforward.
- If your Sony television is still in use, turn off the equipment. Allow it to sit for at least 60 seconds before turning it back on.
- Search for the Accessibility option on the TV.
- Once the menu appears, select the Services option.
- You’ll see two choices appear at this step: Talkback and Screen Reader. Both of them must be disengaged to ensure the narrator doesn’t continue speaking.
- Return to the Accessibility menu.
- Look for the shortcut to those features and turn them off.
When you don’t take the final step to disengage the accessibility shortcut on a Sony Z9J 85-inch TV (or another modern model), the audio description function often continues to operate.
■ How to Turn off Audio Description on an LG TV
When you have an LG TV at home, the audio description feature can sometimes engage automatically. Although the reason for this settings change is unknown, it might have something to do with how the television interacts with the data from certain apps, third-party services, or the broadcast stream.
The LG NanoCell 75 Series does an excellent job of maintaining its settings. Its AI-powered approach to 4K Ultra-HD, active HDR, and other features guarantees consistency.
If you need to alter the audio description feature, these steps ensure that the work gets finished.
- Turn on the television.
- Go to the Settings option on the LG TV.
- Choose General, followed by Accessibility.
- Once in the Accessibility screens, head over to Audio Description.
- Turn off the feature to disengage the narrator.
If these steps don’t create the outcome you want, it might be necessary to unplug the television before trying the process again.
Should the issue persist, there could be an app or a cable box issue triggering the change.
■ How to Turn off Audio Description on a ROKU TV
Several brands incorporate ROKU as an option with the television. One of the most popular choices is TCL because of its combination of quality and affordability.
The TCL 55-inch 5-Series 4K UHD television is an excellent choice that offers voice control access.
You can’t change the menu settings with Alexa or Google Assistant, which is why some people feel that the narrator won’t disengage.
You’ll need to make the settings change manually.
- After turning on the television, find the Settings menu options from your home screen. Some remotes have a direct command that allows you to access this information.
- Choose the Accessibility option from the available choices.
- Select Audio Guide within the secondary menu to access the narrator.
- Turn off the feature to stop it from functioning.
Some TCL televisions freeze after making a settings change. You might need to do a hard reset after to restore functionality.
A Final Thought on Turning Audio Description Off
It is essential to separate the audio description feature from the TV and those of apps and cable boxes. If you encounter this issue on one station or streaming service, you’ll likely need to turn it off from those platforms instead.
This issue typically occurs when a thunderstorm comes through your area. If a lightning strike hits a power line or the wind blows a pole over, the power surge that happens briefly before everything goes out seems to change some settings.
For some televisions, this issue corrupts the volume controls. Others have a problem with the audio description.
If you ever want to turn on the audio description, the steps are the same as they’re outlined above. You’d just need to choose to turn it on instead of selecting the off position.