Text-to-Speech on the Set-Top Boxes
MarilynAndSteve

There's no appropriate area to post this, this one's the closest I can get, so here goes.

First off, hats off to Verizon for beating the end-of-year deadline to get text to speech working on its Fios set-top boxes. We customers who are visually iimpaired thank you for your support. The speech is clear, pronunciations are accurate (except for Dr. Oz who comes out as "Doctor Ounce"), and for a first shot out of the gate, it's a good one. Lots of work needs doing, such as the double-press of INFO does not speak the additional info screen, and it sure would be nice to hear the names of tracks played on the Music Choice channels.

But I digress. This message is really about programming.

The programming I'm writing about is DVS. For those who don't know what that is, DVS stands for Descriptive Video Service. Pioneered by WGBH in Boston, DVS is spoken text accompanying certain programs and formerly broadcast using the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) audio channel on old-style analog MTS-stereo televisions. Fios has the feature on the set-top boxes, but when turned on, no DVS programming ever comes through. There was a law passed that says all the major networks--we now have five of them--are required to provide fifty hours a month of described video. I've had Fios in my home since 2010 and have yet to hear a word of DVS when the feature is turned on. There's definitely something systemically wrong because others in other cities report the same thing--no DVS audio on shows that have it when the box feature is enabled. Tomorrow ABC TV will have audio descriptions of the presidential inauguration, and I, as a visually impaired customer, want to hear them. You can be sure I'll have my box's DVS enabled and eagerly await something, but I'm not hopeful, as I've not heard anything in nearly six-and-a-half years. Can this please be looked into? Like soon? I'm thinking it's something simple, like somebody forgot to push a button or plug in a plug somewhere. That's precisely what happened on another cable system a friend of mine is on, and when the right person found out, DVS came on, so I'm thinking this is the right place to get it looked into.

Carry on, VZ, with a fine product suite, and I'll be listening.

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kh-gary
Moderator Emeritus

Hi MarilynAndSteve,

Your issue has been escalated to a Verizon agent. Before the agent can begin assisting you, they will need to collect further information from you. Please go to your profile page for the forum and scroll down the page to an area titled "My Support Cases." You can reach your profile page by clicking on your name located above your post, or at the top right of this page.

Under "My Support Cases" you will find a link to the private board where you and the agent may exchange information. The title of your post is the link. This should be checked on a frequent basis, as the agent may be waiting for information from you before they can proceed with any actions. To ensure you know when they have responded to you, you may subscribe to the case. At the top right of your support case there is a gear icon which provides a drop down menu with support case options. Click that and choose "subscribe." Please keep all correspondence regarding your issue in the private support portal.

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MarilynAndSteve

Well, this is not good. The company hasn't even responded with "we're sorry for the inconvenience, ...". Or is this just a forum for customers solving other customers' problems? If that's the case, then here's another one for you other customers to chew on.

The DVS problem I reported on yesterday only happens in certain geographic areas. I'm in New York City. A friend of mine in another part of New York has the same problem I do, but with different FiOs hardware. A friend in Pittsburgh's boxes work perfectly, and his hardware is the same as my crosstown friend's. I called VZ's technical support department at around ten a.m. this morning, the nice technical support representative couldn't give me an instant answer, said she'd call me back. I'm not holding my breath. This is definitely a strange situation. And it's not new. I've been trying to solve this since the 2016 Olympic Games.

Will report more when there's more to report.

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