[access-uk] Re: Panasonic Viera smart TV with Voice guidance

Hi Steve, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. Its akin to how you look at a half filled glass of drink, is it half full or half empty.


I don't know the answer to your first question.

The second and third are sort of linked and the answer is yes. When I was testing the TV at RNIB, they had connected an external USB drive and I was able to successfully set up something to record and access programs that had been previously recorded.

There's considerable scope for development, but in my view its a good start.
Yusuf

On 18/03/2012 20:12, Steve Hyde-Dryden wrote:
Hi Yusuf,

Yes, whilst I agree with your sentiment, it is a really great leap forward to 
incorporate voice guidance on their new range, it is an oversight not to 
include the facility for the main operating system of the telly.  It can be 
alikened to the Sky Talker which is very good and a step forward but it doesn't 
take you all the way.  The thing is though that we are all virtually stabbing 
in the dark as only a couple of people have really had the chance to try it out 
in some detail.  So, could I ask you a couple of questions?

1  Can you change inputs easily?  Example, HDMI to Composite or PC?  Can you 
get the voice on this?
2  I presume that it wouldn't read data on an SD card or USB?
3  If you can access the EPG, the guy giving the talk on Insight said you can 
use your own media storage and record, can you get the speech with this?

Kind regards

Steve




-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Yusuf
Sent: 18 March 2012 19:57
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Panasonic Viera smart TV with Voice guidance

Hang on a minute here. I was one of the testers and I did suggest making the 
various other menus accessible. I'm sure the RNIB were doing the same thing. 
But we can't make Panasonic do it. The fact they went through user testing is a 
pretty positive step I would have thought.
Since the law isn't in place to make companies make all their products 
accessible from the outset, its a matter of working with them and persuading 
them that its in their interests to make them accessible.

Sure the TV has its limitations and sure you can legitimately argue that it has 
accessibility drawbacks. But it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't turn on 
voice over as a blind person on your own. Apple changed that and now you can. 
Whose to say that Panasonic won't do the same thing, and improve their products 
accessibility as time goes by.

I'm not saying that anyone should go and by it, or they shouldn't, just that we 
should take into account what the TV does as well as what it doesn't do. In my 
view the voice is better than the one on the Smart Talk, its a smoother 
experience, the responsiveness is better, we obviously have access to channel 
info, audiodescription info and, this is a winner from my perspective, 
recording and playback options.

But I do recognise that not being able to access the TVs own menus, including 
scanning for channels and setting up the TTS independently are drawbacks, as is 
the inability to access the various web features.

It is a step forward, I don't think we've ever had 30 tVs with TTS onboard 
released at the same time. It'll be interesting to see if other TV 
manufacturers take up the challenge.
Yusuf



On 18/03/2012 19:36, martin wilsher wrote:
I agree with all that has been said here. the thing needs to be
accessible from the word go, and this isn't. what on earth were the
RNIB thinking of when giving their blessing to this box? if it is not
accessible when you turn it on, it's not accessible at all imho.

     ----- Original Message -----
     *From:* Iain Lackie<mailto:ilackie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
     *To:* access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
     *Sent:* Sunday, March 18, 2012 7:28 PM
     *Subject:* [access-uk] Re: Panasonic Viera smart TV with Voice
guidance

     For a long time now, I have been saying that one of the points which
     impresses me still about the Sonus DAB radio is that it allows
     access to the menu system. The station names may be out of date, but
     I can live with that. Any television which doesn’t allow access by
     voice to the menu system cannot in my view truly be described as
     accessible, especially if you have to gain access to the menu system
     to switch the voice on.
     Iain
     *From:* Barry Hill<mailto:barry.hill3@xxxxxxx>
     *Sent:* Sunday, March 18, 2012 7:20 PM
     *To:* access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
     *Subject:* [access-uk] Re: Panasonic Viera smart TV with Voice
guidance

     Now, did the RNIB say we want this that and the other, for Panasonic
     to simply do what they wanted and use the endoursement of the RNIB
     as a publicity stunt, or did the RNIB fall short of their obligation
     to VI users?

     Cheers

     Barry

     *From:*access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On
     Behalf Of *william lomas
     *Sent:* 18 March 2012 5:53 PM
     *To:* access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
     *Subject:* [access-uk] Re: Panasonic Viera smart TV with Voice
guidance

     and yet they are supposed to have consulted with RNIB during this
     development cycle?

     On 18 Mar 2012, at 17:13, Gary Robinson wrote:

     Hi all,

     yesterday I had a chance to have a lookat the new Panasonic Viera
     smart TV range which includes voice guidance and audio description
     as mentioned on this list and on Insight radio last month.

     On the plus side, you can choose male/female voice, set voice rate
     and volume. The voice is good, it sounded better than my Goodmans
     Smart talk box and more responsive.

     IT speaks the channel, programme you are on and works within the
     programme guide, but sadly doesn't work within the various settings
     menus.

     Ironically therefore like audio description on DVDs you probably
     won't be able to turn on the voice guidance without sighted help.

     Sadly therefore and very frustratingly given the sheer amount of
     functionality and connectivity these TVs have (Internet,
     wifi,DLNA,USB,SD etc) most of the functionality will be wasted so
     far as a visually impaired user is concerned.

     There is a Viera remote control App for Apple devices, but i don't
     think this will help in providing access to the multiplicity of set
     up menus which controlmost of this very flexible TV's features.

     The full price of the 32" model is around £499 though it will
     probably be available cheaper if you look around.

     whilst Panasonic are probably to be commended on including voice
     guidance as standard across the range, it is nontheless very
     frustrating to be in effect short changed by the limitations of what
     they have provided.

     I am going to try to speak to someone in panasonic technical
     department and see if there is any way of getting the set up screen
     information output to an external device which might give a way of
     getting more access to these otherwise very impressive TVs.

     Gary

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