To see the channel list, press select/enter. You’ll be able to add/remove channels and create a favorites list this way. You’ll find all of your saved channels, including sub-channels, on the left-hand list. To delete a channel or sub-channel, select it and hit enter/select.
How do I regain access to my television’s channels?
Nearly 1,000 TV stations around the country, including those in Central and Southwest Virginia, are required by law to alter frequencies to accommodate cellular services.
This will occur on September 6th at 12 a.m.
What does this imply for you personally?
It simply indicates that you must rescan your TV channels. When you’re done, tune in to WFXR and WWCW on channels 21 and 27. You do not need to rescan if you watch TV through cable or satellite. Your service provider will take care of it.
Keep in mind that the procedure for doing a channel scan may differ. If your TV’s terminology differs from the alternatives presented, see your TV’s user manual for assistance.
It’s important to note that doing a channel scan is not the same as pushing the Channel UP/DOWN buttons on your remote. There may be channels accessible that you won’t be able to tune in to until you run a scan, even if you pick them directly.
After you’ve set up the antenna, do a channel scan to get the most programs. It’s a good practice to do a channel scan monthly, whenever a channel is lost, and whenever you change places to maintain your channel line-up up to date (after you move into a new home, for example).
On my Insignia TV, how can I change the channels?
Smartphones, tablets, and computers have all become more accessible in recent years, but completely accessible televisions are a newer phenomena. With two lines of televisions from Insignia and Toshiba that use Amazon’s Fire TV software as the TV’s operating system, Amazon has entered the accessible smart TV market.
In September 2016, we reviewed the preview version of VoiceView, the screen reader available on the Fire TV, and it has since improved. I was pleased to hear that the operating system had been included on a television after using my own Fire TV Stick. I utilized the Insignia 32 Inch Fire TV Edition for this review (Model NS-32DF310NA19). Note that Toshiba has a series of televisions that feature the Fire software, and that the operating system is also available in different screen sizes.
In this review, I’ll go through the hardware and software of the television, with a focus on how to use the device’s television functionality, but I’ll also go over the Fire TV operating system and the VoiceView screen reader in general.
Hardware and Documentation
Before we go into the functions of the television, let’s have a look at the hardware. The TV is a typical flat screen television with a single button on the underside of the TV towards the front and left that functions as both a power and an input button. The majority of the available ports are on the left side of the television. A 3.5 mm headphone jack, a Digital Optical Audio output, a USB connector, and three HDMI ports are located from top to bottom (1-3 from top to bottom).
From left to right on the back of the device, you’ll find the coaxial antenna/cable connector, a set of RCA audio/video connectors, and an Ethernet port. The power port is located on the far right side of the device’s rear.
The television is supported by two bases, one on the far right and one on the far left. Because these are somewhat bent inward and the back is slightly shorter than the front, it’s simple to figure out which should go on which side. The bases are held in place by screws, and the holes in which these should be inserted were reasonably tactile, so I was able to install them without the use of my eyes.
The remote is comparable to a Fire TV or Echo remote, however there are a few differences that may be confusing. You should be able to figure out what the buttons on the top portion of the remote do if you’re familiar with a Fire TV remote or have read a description of one on the VoiceView help page. I couldn’t find a full description of the TV remote online, but once VoiceView is activated, it provides a detailed and informative description.
A dedicated TV button, vertical volume rocker, mute button, and a set of rectangular buttons launch various streaming services such as Prime and Netflix, in addition to the buttons found on a Fire TV remote (Microphone, Left/Right/Up/Down navigation ring, Select, Back, Home, Menu, Rewind, Play/Pause, and Fast Forward). The remote has a power button on the top right.
A quick start guide and a handbook are included with the television. Both are accessible in PDF format on the Insignia product page. Although the PDFs are not tagged, Adobe Reader’s automatic tagging offers adequate access to the guide and manual, including linked parts in the handbook.
The primary issue I had while reading the manual and guide was that the diagrams were sometimes confused. Note that while the handbook and guide are intended to provide instructions for the television, they provide minimal information about the Fire TV operating system. The VoiceView for Fire TV user’s guide gives a thorough introduction of VoiceView as well as the Fire TV operating system. This PDF has been appropriately labeled for screen readers. The TV has a few more features than a standard Fire TV streaming device, but the interface is largely the same.
Setting up the TV
When you turn on your TV for the first time, you’ll hear a series of sounds in quick succession. When you hear a tone playing at a regular interval, hold down the Back and Menu keys for 2 seconds to activate VoiceView. The left and right buttons in the row of three little buttons above the Navigation Ring are labeled “BACK” and “MENU.” You’ll be prompted if you want to listen to the VoiceView lesson after you’ve activated VoiceView. A description of the Fire TV remote, a key describer, and a series of VoiceView suggestions are included in the tutorial. I was pleased to see that the remote was discussed in length, but I believe that more detailed instructions on how to use VoiceView will improve the course.
You’ll need to set up the TV after the tutorial. All of the options are available here. You’ll connect to your wifi network, choose whether or not to sign into your Amazon account, set your language, and make a few other small adjustments at this phase.
Before going into the Fire TV operating system, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the VoiceView screen reader’s features. VoiceView will provide information on what you have now highlighted as well as other pointers and extra information as you travel across the UI. When I highlight a movie or TV show, for example, I’ll be notified of the item’s name first, followed by navigation information for the current screen or item, and then information regarding the selected item, such as synopsis, rating, and so on. You can stop VoiceView from speaking by using the Play/Pause button, or you can move through the extra information by pressing the Rewind or Fast Forward buttons. By tapping the Menu button, you can have further information and navigation instructions repeated. As a result, you’ll have to hit the Menu button twice to restore its previous functionality.
In addition to actively engaging with the UI, VoiceView has a Review Mode that works similarly to the browsing modes seen in a Windows screen reader. By holding the Menu button down until VoiceView says “Review Mode On/Off,” you can toggle this mode on and off. When in this mode, you can use the Left and Right arrows to move linearly through the content on the screen, and the Up and Down arrows to modify the granularity of your navigation. As an example, I overheard something I didn’t completely grasp. I used the Right key to travel to the item after turning on Review Mode, and then the Down key to cycle the granularity until I heard “character.” Then I pushed the Right key one more to hear the item one by one.
Character, Word, Heading, Link, Form Control, List, and List Item are some of the granularity options available in Review Mode. It’s worth noting that the granularity options for HTML elements like Heading and Link appear only when that type of content is visible on the screen. If you’re using one of the Fire TV’s Web browser apps, Review Mode can be very useful.
A screen magnifier and high contrast setting are included with the Fire TV if you have limited eyesight. During setup, hold down the Back and Fast Forward buttons to activate the screen magnifier. The magnifier can magnify all non-video content, including captions, and has ten distinct magnification settings. An indicator that appears when changing zoom levels and displays where you have zoomed to on the overall screen is new to the magnifier. Visit the Fire TV Accessibility page to learn more about the low vision features available on the device.
The Fire TV Launcher
The Fire TV launcher is the Fire TV’s main interface, and it allows you to access all of the device’s capabilities, features, and apps. There are seven tabs at the top of this screen: Search, Home, Your Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, and Settings. You will be placed on the Home tab in this row when you press the Home button. The Left and Right keys can be used to navigate this row of tabs, while the Down key can be used to enter a tab. Several categories are presented in rows on the Home, Your Videos, Movies, and TV Shows tabs. Left and Right go through things in a row, while Up and Down move between rows.
The Home tab will most likely be where you spend the most time, and the first few categories are particularly interesting. It’s worth noting that some categories are only visible when you’ve completed a specific action. The Recent category, for example, only displays after you’ve viewed content or accessed apps.
When you move down from the Home tab, the top row is Featured. This works similarly to a carousel on a website in that it cycles from item to item at a set interval. Furthermore, each focused item will start playing a trailer for that item, albeit you can disable the preview audio and video material in Settings > Preferences > Featured Content.
The Recent row can be found by scrolling down. This will include a mixture of information and applications that you’ve lately used. The Your Apps and Channels row is located beneath Recent. This will show you a list of all the apps you’ve downloaded as well as the channels you’ve subscribed to. In this list, there are shortcuts to download the most popular third-party apps, such as Netflix and Sling TV. At the end of this row of things, you’ll see a See All option, which will open a grid with all of your apps and channels.
A sponsored advertising appears below this row, followed by the On Now category. After you’ve searched for over-the-air channels, this row will appear, displaying the channels that are available to you. The current program will begin playing as you focus channels, and VoiceView will inform you of what is being played as well as the percentage of the program that has passed. For example, if you were watching a show at 10:15 p.m. that lasted 30 minutes, it may say “Nightly News, 50%.” It could be the quality of the antenna I’m using, but the current program takes a while to load, causing VoiceView to stutter a little, making it impossible to understand what show is being played at times. Fortunately, we’ll go through some other, more effective ways to choose which channels to watch later. If you want to watch a channel in this category, choose it and press the Select button to start regular playing.
The list of inputs found on the TV is located below this category. Antenna, HDMI1-3, and Composite are among them. If you have something connected to one of the TV’s ports, it will appear first in the list of inputs, though HDMI ports will be presented in the order in which they were connected if you have several HDMI devices connected. A series of rows appear below this category, listing numerous shows and movies.
Similar lists can be found by returning to the top of the screen and viewing additional tabs, such as Your Videos, Movies, and TV Shows. Your Watchlist is the most important row in Your Videos, as are the Category rows in the Movies and TV Show tabs, which allow you to launch lists of content in a specific genre. When browsing genre lists, one fault I discovered is that once you open a genre, the previously selected item is read before the item you’ve changed to. Let’s say I’m focusing on “Bosch” and I want to move one item to the right. Before the item that is currently underlined, I’ll hear “Bosch” mentioned.
Apps and Settings are the final two tabs, which will be explored later. A single row of settings menus may be found on the Settings tab; selecting one will bring up a vertical list of those categories. The Back button is useful in this situation because it exits the settings menus.
The Apps page allows you to download apps for your smartphone, but keep in mind that because they are made by third parties, they may not work with VoiceView. A set of three sub-tabs labeled Featured, Games, and Categories has been added to the Apps tab. The Featured and Games tabs are comparable to the rows of suggested content seen in other main tabs, however the Categories tab offers a number of app categories that, when activated, will open a new page of apps. The first row under the Featured and Games tabs are carousels of cycling objects, similar to the first row under the Home tab, although they do not speak their titles using VoiceView.
When you select an app, you’ll be sent to a details screen where you may download it, read about it, and read user reviews. The app’s information screen is visible, however the row labels are inaccurate, for example, the Reviews row is labeled “Trailers and Screenshots.”
You may use the Search option to look for information all around the Fire TV interface. You can type on the on-screen keyboard, use the remote’s Voice Search capability, or connect a conventional keyboard. Because the on-screen keyboard needs you to utilize the arrows to find a character before entering it, I spent the majority of my time using a wired or wireless USB keyboard. Below the keyboard, a list of search recommendations will appear. There is an issue that causes one more item to be reported than there is in the list. If I search for Football, for example, I might hear “Football, 1 of 19” even if there are only 18 actual search possibilities. You’ll be transported to a screen with rows of your search results from several categories, including streaming content and apps, once you select a search suggestion. You will be transported directly to this screen if you use the Voice Search option. Also, if you ask Alexa to play a specific program on the TV, it will begin playing right away without the need to look through a list of search results.
Watching Live TV
You must first attach an antenna and scan for stations before watching live over-the-air television. Navigate to the Settings menu or click the TV button on the remote to do so. This generally takes you to the TV guide, but the first time you activate it, it will send you straight to the choice to scan for channels. After the scan, you may view the channels under the Home tab’s On Now category or by pressing the TV button on the remote to activate the TV Guide.
You will be placed in the list of channels and the name of the current program will be read when you launch the TV guide. The Up and Down keys are used to travel between channels, and the Left and Right keys are used to navigate through the programs on a channel.
When a channel begins to play, hit the Down key to bring up the On Now row on the Home screen. This allows you to change channels by pointing to the desired channel and pressing Select. You can rewind and fast-forward the currently playing channel by pressing Left or Right. The Select button also acts as a pause button for the program. This implies that, in addition to Rewind, Play/Pause, and Fast Forward, you may use the ring and Select button.
Audio description on television is supported, and the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project is a great place to start looking for audio described programming. To open settings while a program is playing, swiftly hit the Menu button twice. Select Captions and Audio Languages from the drop-down menu, then Audio Languages. Select “Spa Ad” from the drop-down menu. The audio description track is usually on the Secondary Audio Programming channel, occasionally branded “Spanish,” if this item is titled something different for you. If you want to change the level of the audio description track in contrast to the TV audio, go to the Settings tab’s Accessibility menu.
Watching Streaming TV and Streaming Audio Description
You can access media from a variety of sources, some of which provide audio description. Because other streaming services do not match the operating system’s norms, we will largely focus on watching items available through Prime in this article. Netflix, for example, appears to have its own screen reader that takes over when in the Netflix app, whereas YouTube uses the system’s Web browser. As a result, audio description and even navigation can differ from one app to the next. It’s worth noting that while using an app like Netflix, all of the information you’ll need to get the most out of it is displayed to you as you interact with it.
While a Prime title starts playing, there is significantly less talking than when watching live TV, as you are just informed of the title of the currently playing movie or TV episode, which I enjoy. Furthermore, the play/pause and seek controls are identical to those mentioned previously for live television.
The technique for enabling audio description for Prime titles is identical to that explained for Live TV, however due to a present problem, the steps are significantly less evident. When a show with audio description is playing, you must first go to the menu and select Surround Sound Preferences. You will then be led to a screen where you can choose your preferred language, including audio description. It’s worth noting that there’s a “Subtitles and Audio Languages” option, although it only has the subtitles selections. I was extremely perplexed when I first saw this error because the help page for audio description for Prime material refers you to the subtitles and languages settings.
Amazon has acknowledged that it is aware of the issue and is attempting to resolve it. This is a tiny bug, but without the proper guidelines, you may be completely baffled as to how to fix it. Though it would only be temporary, a notice on the audio description help page indicating the bug and the modified steps now required to enable audio description would be incredibly helpful.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to streaming Prime material, the Fire TV is my first option, but because of the more onerous apps like Netflix and the YouTube web interface, I find myself hunting for content on these services elsewhere. Streaming may be a more efficient choice for apps that support streaming from a smartphone/tablet to the TV, such as Spotify and YouTube.
Aside from a few minor glitches, the Fire TV operating system is very user-friendly, and the VoiceView screen reader is a great way to get around. As a result, I was curious to discover if this accessibility extended to the device’s television-specific features. I was pleased to discover that TV-specific capabilities were accessible, and that the television supplied speech for a variety of additional useful features, such as informing the user whether an input was connected and speaking when the television was switched off. The Insignia Fire TV edition is a terrific choice if you’re searching for an accessible TV for a person with visual loss this holiday season.
If the Fire TV operating system is too much for you, a long press of the Home button on the remote will take you to TV-specific features like the Channel Guide and Inputs, which will be shown in a more user-friendly vertical menu. In several circumstances, especially when using the Web browser app, I experienced latency. From a more popular standpoint, the TV’s sound is clear but lacks bass, and I had no problems with the wireless connection during my testing. Before purchasing a product, as with most other complex devices, it’s a good idea to read Amazon reviews to see what other people have to say about it.