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Learn About Audio Description Service


Cox Communications supports the FCC-required pass-through of the Audio Description Service from networks that provide this option for television programs.

Audio Description Overview

Audio Description is an audio-narrated description of a television program’s key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s English dialogue. Audio Description makes TV programming more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

the video descriptive logo is a capital D with several curved lines in front

On August 25, 2011, the FCC adopted rules to implement the audio description provision of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, passed by Congress in 2010. All video distributors like Cox including DirecTV, Dish, Verizon, and AT&T are required to ensure that programming identified in the rule includes audio description.


Per FCC rules, audio description is included in 87.5 hours of prime time or children’s programming per quarter, or an average of about four hours per week. Actual availability times may vary by network.

To activate Audio Description Service for enabled television shows, the SAP audio setting must be on. To resume normal audio, the setting must be switched back to primary audio.

Voice guidance is provided on the Contour TV guide.

Do not change both the TV and receiver settings to SAP. If the TV is connected to a receiver, only the receiver should have SAP enabled.

Learn how to turn SAP settings on and off for your guide using Managing Secondary Audio Programming Settings.

Changes to Current SAP Functionality

If you have configured your receiver or television to play SAP audio to listen to Spanish language track for a show, when audio descriptions are available in television shows it will temporarily replace the Spanish language audio track with English descriptions and dialogue.

Once the show is over, Spanish language audio should automatically return to programs that include it. You will not have to change any setting to receive Spanish audio through SAP nor can you disable audio descriptions on your Contour TV box.

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