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Learn About Video Description Service


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

Video Description Overview

Video Description is audio-narrated description of a television program’s key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s English dialogue. Video 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 video 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 video description.


Per FCC rules, video 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 video 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.

The Contour 2 guide also provides voice guidance. Learn more about voice guidance with Using Contour 2 Voice Guidance. For more information on availability and accessibility visit, https://www.cox.com/aboutus/accessibility.html.

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 video descriptions are available in televisions 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 which include it. You will not have to change any setting to receive Spanish audio through SAP nor can you disable video descriptions on your cable box.

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