What are Virgin Media's TV accessibility services?

Last updated: December 5, 2017

We want everybody to enjoy their favourite things on TV, whether it's a movie, live sports or the news.

We've put a lot of time and money into making our TV access services as useful as they can be.

We have subtitles and audio description on as many channels as possible on our TV service. And we show many thousands of hours of subtitled, audio described and signed programmes every year.

If have either our Virgin TV V6, powered by TiVo or TiVo box, you'll be able to use these features (and others) even more quickly and easily. Our V boxes include some features too. Read on and we'll show you how.

 

We hope that one day everything you watch on Virgin TV will have a subtitles option.

At the moment, all channels with an audience share above a certain number must offer subtitles for their programmes. (That's the rule according to the broadcast industry watchdog, Ofcom.)

The amount of subtitling varies widely across channels, but many broadcasters do much more than they have to.

If you have our Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box, you can watch content on BBC iPlayer with subtitles.

We promise that whenever subtitles are made available by a broadcaster, you'll be able to see them on Virgin TV.

Note: Subtitles are mainly available on live TV channels. Some streaming or On Demand services may not offer subtitles

How to turn on your subtitles

On your Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box

The easiest way to turn on subtitles on your box is to press the Subtitles button on your remote.

You can also turn subtitles on through your box's menu:

  1. Press Home on your remote
  2. Go down to Help & Settings, press the Right arrow and go to Settings
  3. Now go down to Displays, then press the Right arrow button or OK
  4. Go down to Subtitling and press OK on your remote
  5. Press the Right arrow to turn subtitles on or off
On your V, V HD or V HD box
  1. Press Guide on your remote to bring up the mini guide
  2. Press the blue key on the remote control. This turns on subtitles for all channels
  3. To turn them off again, just repeat steps 1 and 2

If you can't see your screen very well, audio description will transform the way you watch TV.

A voice tells you what's happening in the programme you're watching. You'll never miss important things like facial expressions, body language and movements on screen - because they're all described in detail.

Broadcasters only provide audio description for certain programmes. But whenever it's available we'll make sure you can hear it.

How to turn on audio description

On your Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box
  1. Press the Info button on your remote control to bring up the Info banner
  2. Press the down arrow twice to go to Audio description
  3. Press OK to turn audio description on or off
On your V V HD or V+ HD box
  1. Press the Home button on your remote control and select Settings
  2. From the Settings menu, choose Change display & audio settings
  3. The Audio Description When Available option can be turned on and off
  4. Press OK to say yes to the new settings and go back to the previous menu

Note: Some TV stations have separate channels that broadcast with audio description. Just grab your remote and enter the numbers of the channel you want to watch.

  • For BBC1, tap in 851
  • For BBC2, tap in 852
  • For ITV1, tap in 853
  • For Channel 4, tap in 854
  • For Channel 5, tap in 855

Signed programmes have a presenter using British Sign Language to interpret what people are saying on your screen.

Broadcasters provide these shows themselves, but Virgin Media will always show signed content when it's available.

Signed programmes appear on BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 but, since 2009, they've almost disappeared from many digital channels.

This is because many of the multi-channel broadcasters joined to create the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust. Its role is to work with the deaf community to increase the number of dedicated signed programmes on TV. So, although there are fewer channels showing signed content, the number of hours of programming has probably increased.

On Virgin TV, you can find the BSL Zone on the Community Channel (233) or Film 4 (428) . Shows start on the Community Channel at 2:00pm on Tuesdays, 7:30pm on Thursdays and 7:30am on Saturdays. On Film 4, shows start at 8am on Mondays. For more details, visit the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust website

Our Virgin TV service has access features, including audio description, subtitles and signed content.

Accessibility features can be found from the main Settings menu or the Info Banner. There's also a Subtitles button on your Virgin TV remote.

Using the Info Banner

Press the Info button on your Virgin TV remote to bring up the Info Banner. Then use the arrow buttons to choose one of the options below.

Subtitles

Use this option to turn subtitles on or off. If subtitles aren't available for a programme, the icon will be dimmed.

Audio description

Use this setting to turn audio description on or off. If the icon's dimmed, audio description is unavailable.

Using the TiVo service's audio cues

If you have difficulty seeing your screen, TiVo's 'audio cues' might help you find your way around your menus. These are sounds that show actions and reactions to button presses on the remote control.

There are five main audio cues:

  • A tone that starts low and goes higher - this means you've moved forward into the next menu
  • A tone that starts high and goes lower - this sounds means you pressed BACK or returned to the previous menu
  • A single tone - this sound means you've pressed a button when moving around the TV guide
  • A deep tone - you'll hear this sound when you've tried to carry out an action that isn't available

Our high contrast remote is available to all our Virgin TV V6 and TiVo customers with accessibility needs who may benefit from it.

All Virgin TV V6 and TiVo remotes offer the following features:

  • Buttons of different shapes to make using them easier
  • Curved sides so you know which way it's facing
  • A raised indicator on the 5 button
  • Audio feedback cues on the TV
  • Audio description available

Want to use the app as a remote control for your Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box? You can.

Once you’re all set up on the app, you can use Virgin TV Control on your chosen device to change channels, find out more about what you’re watching, plus pause, rewind and fast forward TV too.

You can only use the app as a remote control when your device is connected to the same home network as your Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box. If you’re out and about you’ll see the remote icon has an exclamation mark or an orange ‘x’ over it.

See Using Virgin TV Control as a remote control to find out more.


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