Accessibility features for YouView TV from Plusnet

YouView from Plusnet has loads of features to help customers with a disability or impairment get the most out of their TV, including subtitles, audio description and sign language.

There are two kinds of YouView box:

  1. the YouView+ box which can record, pause and rewind live TV.
  2. the mini YouView box which can pause and rewind live TV but can’t record it.

Both kinds of YouView box have lots of features to help you get the most out of your TV.

If you find it hard to hear what people on TV are saying, then you might find subtitles useful. Subtitles are a text version of the dialogue and sound effects in programmes. If a broadcaster has added subtitles to their content, you’ll be able to see them using YouView.

How to use subtitles with YouView

Subtitled programmes have an [S] icon next to their title in the programme guide.

You can turn subtitles on or off by pressing the Sub button on your remote control or by pressing the YouView button then going to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Subtitles.

If available, subtitles are automatically recorded even if you have them switched OFF at the time of the recording.

Like a narrator telling a story, Audio Description (AD) is a commentary that describes body language, expressions and movements. AD gives you information about things you might not be able to see, so you can keep up with the action.

How to use Audio Description with YouView

You can see which programmes have Audio Description by pressing the information button on your remote control. On the programme summary page it will say [AD] if there's Audio Description. You can only get Audio Description on TV programmes that broadcast it. You can find a list of programmes with Audio Description at www.tvhelp.org.uk.

To turn on Audio Description, press the AD button on your remote control, or press the YouView button then go to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Audio Description.

If available, audio description is automatically recorded even if you have it switched OFF at the time of the recording.

Sign language is a visual language that uses hand shapes and patterns together with facial expressions to communicate. Programmes using British Sign Language will show a person in the corner of the screen translating the speech and expressing feelings.

How to find out if a programme has sign language

Not all programmes have sign language – it depends on whether the broadcaster has made it available. You can find out if a programme has sign language by viewing the programme summary:

  • press the information button on your remote, on the programme you want to view with sign language
  • if the programme summary shows [SL], it has sign language available.

Turning on the sign language feature

You can turn on this feature on by pressing the YouView button on your remote then going to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Sign Language. Turning on this feature means that if a version of On Demand content with sign language is available, you'll see that version of the programme.

If you record a programme with sign language, its sign language will be recorded too.

If you find it hard to see the screen, you might find the audio feedback feature helpful. It generates sounds so you know that YouView has received the signal when you’ve pressed a key on the remote control.

How to use audio feedback with YouView

You can switch on Audio Feedback by going to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Audio Feedback. You can then go left or right to turn it on or off.

Audio feedback tones

Your YouView box will make a single short bleep when you press most keys on the remote control to show it's received the signal. Some buttons have a different tone (or sequence of tones). You can see details of these in the table below.

Audio feedback tone description Tone type Tone length
Button pressed on remote control (excluding those below) Dit 0.2s
AD button pressed - turns AD 'on' Dah, dit 0.5s then 0.2s
AD button pressed - turns AD 'off' Dah 0.5s
Vol+ & Vol- No tone No tone
Info button pressed Dit, Dah 0.2s then 0.5s
Turning Audio Feedback on in 'Settings' Dit, Dit, Dit 0.2s & 0.2s & 0.2s
Dialogue message displayed on screen Dah, Dah, Dah 0.5s then 0.5s then 0.5s
Dialogue message dismissed from screen Dah, Dit, Dit 0.5s then 0.2s then 0.2s

Changing volume levels for Audio Feedback

The Audio Feedback volume isn’t affected by the normal volume settings. Even if ‘mute’ is turned on, you'll still be able to hear the tones.

To change the Audio Feedback volume, go to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Audio Feedback Volume.

You can make the text on your menu screen bigger or magnify part of the screen with the Zoom functions on YouView.

Using Zoom

The Zoom button has two functions, one for your YouView Menu and the other for the Electronic Programme Guide (TV Channels).

How to Zoom when using your Youview main menu

If you’re finding it difficult to read some of the text while you’re in your YouView main menu or sub-menus (such as settings), you can use Zoom to make it bigger.

For example: press the YouView button on your remote control to bring up your YouView main menu, then press zoom to make the text bigger (you’ll be able to use the options on the screen as normal). Press zoom again and you’ll be able to use the arrow buttons on your remote control to move around the screen and press select to be able to use the options again. Press zoom for the third time to go back to the normal view.

How to Zoom when in your YouView Guide

Press the YouView button and select Guide. When you can see the TV listings, press zoom to make the text bigger (you’ll be able to use the options on the screen as normal). Press zoom again to return the text to its original size.

If you find the YouView menus difficult to read, there’s another high-contrast colour scheme you can use instead. It uses white text on black and the menu options don’t blend in with the background.

How to switch on the high-contrast colour scheme

  1. Press the YouView button on your remote then go to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Colour Scheme.
  2. Scroll across to change to the colour scheme from Default to High Contrast and then press OK.
  3. You'll see a message telling you that the change can take up to 60 seconds. Press Continue to confirm.
  4. Your screen will go black for a minute, before coming back on with the new colour scheme.

If you use a hearing aid, then you can attach an induction loop to your YouView+ box. An induction loop works with your hearing aid to reduce background noise, so you get a better sound and don’t need to turn up the TV volume.

Using an induction loop with YouView

You can connect an induction loop to the audio out socket on the back of your YouView+ box.

Front view of YouView+ box back view of YouView+ box highlighting the Audio Out socket

The loop will only work when your hearing aid is switched to the ‘T’ setting. It then connects the sound from your YouView+ box to your hearing aid, cutting out background noise.

An induction loop is prone to electromagnetic interference from computers, mobile and digital phones, so it's a good idea to keep these away from your TV.

If you have the mini YouView box and you want to use an induction loop, you can connect it to the audio output of your TV set.

You can find out more about induction loops on the Action for Hearing Loss website.

You can control YouView with a device like a USB keyboard or a game controller, which some people find easier than using the remote control.

How to use other devices to control your YouView box

You can control the TV with a plug in UK USB keyboard or game controller instead of the remote control.

Using your keyboard as a remote

You can use a UK USB keyboard to interact with your YouView+ box, either alongside the remote control or instead of it. There’s a USB connection on the back and the left-hand side of the box.

  • This option supports popular USB keyboards.
  • Certain keys imitate the buttons on the remote control.
  • You can use the standard alphabet keys to enter text.
  • The '1' key also cycles through punctuation.
  • The keyboard number keys work in just the same way as the number keys on the remote control.

A number of keyboard layouts are supported including Jumbo, Clevy and multimedia. Click on the keyboards below to see which keys map to which remote control buttons:

You can read more about this and print out keyboard overlays at support.youview.com

You can use either the keyboard or controller to replace the remote control, or use both together. This works across all the YouView menus, including the On Demand players.

Grid 2 is software for Windows computers, which can be used to control your YouView+ box without a remote control or keyboard. It accepts input from a wide range of devices including switches, head pointers and eye gaze systems.

You can find out more about this at support.youview.com and sensorysoftware.com

You can hide the mini screen TV picture shown in the top right hand corner of the YouView menus and Guide. This is handy if you find the moving image distracting when reading the text.

How to remove the mini TV screen

To hide the mini TV picture shown in the top right-hand corner of the screen, press the YouView button on your remote control then go to Settings > Subtitles & Accessibility > Mini TV Screen. Then move left and right to turn the mini screen ‘ON’ or ‘OFF' and press OK.

You can plug in a Bluetooth headset to your YouView box so you can hear the TV better.

You can record any programme or series onto the hard drive and, when you play it back, you’ll be able to use the subtitles or audio description (as long as the broadcaster has made these available).

If you didn’t catch something or need to leave the room, you can pause or rewind the programme you’re watching. The TV will pause for different lengths of time depending on whether you have a mini YouView or a YouView+ box – see your user guide for details).