RTVE boosts connected screen accessibility

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09 January 2015

Connected devices not only offer social TV and second-screen possibilities, but also improvements in accessibility such as the sign language system on which Spain's RTVE and Barcelona University are working.

rtveAs a member of the European consortium for innovation Hybrid Broadcast Broadband for all (HBB4ALL) - which develops connected and hybrid TV in order to increase media accessibility for people with disabilities - RTVE is currently participating in a Barcelona University project to improve sign language on TV for hearing-impaired viewers.

Through the new system, the sign language interpreter is recorded live and aired superimposed onto the regular broadcast. The format, which is being designed for hybrid devices which connect the DTT network to the Internet, is still in the research phase and different ways to implement the technology are currently being studied.

RTVE estimates that in Spain alone around 350,000 people would benefit from a better sign language system for free-to-air (FTA) TV, as the current system is only available for certain public programming.

HBB4ALL is supported by the European Commission and partnered by universities, networks, broadcasters and research centres throughout the continent, including France TV and the BBC.