Sydney Talk

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Sydney Talk

  1. 1. How will the changeover to digital broadcast television affect Australians with disability ? Dr Robert Pedlow Brian Cooper
  2. 2. Talk outline. <ul><li>1 Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The significance of TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The digital change-over </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparisons with the UK and US experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 Overview of digital TV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How it is delivered to the viewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How it is received by the viewer – end-user equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 Accessibility issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Closed captioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set Top Boxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remote controls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactivity </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Talk outline. <ul><li>4 The potential for design exclusion due to the digital changeover </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capabilities required to access & use digital TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disability and age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of population of people with disability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Four scenarios for the impact of the digital changeover for people with disability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>5 Conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is at risk of being excluded as a result of the digital changeover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concluding thoughts and observations </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The significance of TV in daily life. <ul><li>Television viewing is the single largest leisure time activity in Australia. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adults aged 19-64 spend an average 41 hours per week watching television. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No data available in Australia on TV viewing by people with disability but US data indicates that people with vision impairment are active viewers. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The digital change-over <ul><li>Australian Government has set a firm date of 2013 for the changeover to be completed </li></ul><ul><li>Social impacts of the change-over has received limited attention in Australia </li></ul>
  6. 6. Comparison with the US situation. <ul><li>Small minority of US households rely on broadcast TV – est. 15%. </li></ul><ul><li>Coupon scheme provides subsidy for the cost of a basic Set top box for low income households. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Comparison with UK situation <ul><li>Take up of pay/ satellite TV - high </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Under the Digital Switchover Help Scheme people who are aged 75 or over, have lived in a care home for 6 months or more or are eligible for specified disability benefits or are registered as blind or partially sighted can receive assistance with conversion to digital. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How is digital TV delivered? <ul><li>Digital Terrestrial broadcast </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Cable (pay tv) </li></ul><ul><li>Satellite (rural/ remote area) </li></ul>
  9. 9. How is digital TV received by viewers? <ul><li>Set-top box Translate the digital signal for display on existing analogue TVs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Australian Standard 4933.1 – specifies the design of set top boxes includes requirement to decode and display captions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Television including digital tuner </li></ul><ul><li>Pay TV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Est 28 % of households have access to digital TV (OZTAM 2008) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Closed Captioning <ul><li>Broadcasting act requires provision of closed captioning. </li></ul><ul><li>This requirement will continue with digital broadcast. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Video description <ul><li>Video description involves the insertion into a TV program of narrated description of settings & actions not available in the dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently available for some analogue programming and DVDs </li></ul>
  12. 12. Remote controls <ul><li>Have existed for a long time. </li></ul><ul><li>No interface design standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing complexity due to growing functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Some accessible remotes available. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Interactivity <ul><li>Electronic program guides – low usage due to poor support by broadcasters </li></ul><ul><li>Other interactive services – available with pay TV services e.g. video on demand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>require a back-channel. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Understanding the potential for exclusion as a result of digital TV. <ul><li>“ An estimated 3 million American households will lose their television reception this week. Those most likely to lose reception are the elderly and low income families who do not have cable or satellite TV.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Age June 10 2009 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Capabilities required to access & use digital TV. <ul><li>Purchase & installation. </li></ul><ul><li>Accessing programming – using Electronic Program Guide (EPG). </li></ul><ul><li>Controls and configuration e.g. captioning and video description </li></ul>
  16. 16. Impairment and age Adapted from (ABS 2003). 43 4.22 Difficulty gripping 53 7.04 Hearing loss 26 2.93 Difficulty learning 44 2.15 Restricted use of arms/hands/fingers 51 1.44 Sight loss % of those with impairment over 65 % of population Impairment
  17. 17. Characteristics of population of people with disability <ul><li>Lower average income </li></ul><ul><li>Access to support and information varies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Younger people with disability – more likely to access disability information and resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Older people with later onset disability less likely to access disability information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geographical distribution – more older people and people with disability in some areas eg. rural areas </li></ul><ul><li>Needs for home modification support – particularly for older people most often provided by family/friends. </li></ul>
  18. 18. How can we understand the impacts of technological change on a user population? <ul><li>Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Empirical research – user surveys </li></ul>
  19. 19. Four scenarios – the impact of the digital changeover <ul><li>(age, disability, higher income, social support) </li></ul><ul><li>Donna is 84 – she lives in a retirement village just outside of Melbourne. She bought a plasma screen because her kids told she would be able to see the screen more easily. Her son came and set it up for her. She finds it a real benefit and her friends come by to watch with her. </li></ul><ul><li>(age, disability, lower income) </li></ul><ul><li>Jim is 73 he lives in a small town in rural NSW. He lives on the pension. He has some hearing loss and is developing some vision problems. He has an old analogue TV he’s had for years. The reception is not all that good but he is used to it. He saw something about the changeover in the paper but didn’t pay much attention to it. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Four scenarios – the impact of the digital changeover <ul><li>Younger, disability, technology aware </li></ul><ul><li>Jim is 36 and lives in Canberra. He has low vision and receives a disability pension. He knows a lot about technology and recently bought a plasma TV with a digital tuner. </li></ul><ul><li>Older, low income, isolated </li></ul><ul><li>James and Mary are both in their late 70’s they live outside a small rural town in NSW. They are on the pension and don’t have much money to spare. They watch TV quite a bit on their old analogue TV. They saw something in the paper about the digital change-over but didn’t pay much attention to it. They don’t have many visitors these days. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Who is at risk of being excluded from access to TV due to the digital changeover? <ul><li>Older </li></ul><ul><li>Low income </li></ul><ul><li>Disability </li></ul><ul><li>Socially isolated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be particular geographical areas </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Concluding thoughts & observations <ul><li>The digital broadcast trial/switchover process announced recently incorporates potential for learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The broader issue here is understanding and managing the impacts of technological change </li></ul><ul><li>Digital TV uptake survey – does not currently include any indicator of people with disability in households surveyed. </li></ul>

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