A Guide to DTV Auxiliary Television Services
Compiled 9/14/2012 by Dan Ullmer; WECT/WSFX Chief Engineer
Second Audio Program (SAP), Descriptive Video Service (DVS),
and Closed Captioning (CC)
If you are hearing Spanish or
a second voice explaining action while watching your TV program, you likely
have an Auxiliary television service turned on.
We often hear from viewers who are confused by this. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
requires television stations to provide these services on their main channels
and we comply with these regulations. This
article will explain what these services are and provide some guidance on how
to control them.
Second audio program (SAP), also known as secondary audio programming, is an
auxiliary audio channel for television that can be broadcast or transmitted
both over the air and by cable/satellite TV.
It is most often used to broadcast alternate Spanish language or DVS audio
When this service is selected
on your TV or cable/satellite receiver, it replaces the normal audio
programming you hear from your television.
When you are receiving local programming from WECT and WSFX, a mono mix
of the stereo audio channels is provided on the SAP channel. WECT and WSFX do not generate Spanish or DVS programming
locally, but it is passed on from the networks (NBC and FOX) when available.
For most Digital Televisions,
The selection for SAP or alternate audio channels is located in the menu system. For Toshiba Regza sets, it is under setup/audio/digital audio selector. You will need to select AC-3 English for normal program audio
and Spanish for Spanish or DVS
audio. For Sony Bravia sets, it is under
Options/alternate audio. You need to select audio-1
English for normal program audio or Audio-2
Spanish for Spanish or DVS audio.
See your owner's manual for specifics regarding your digital TV
settings. Some remote controls have a
SAP or audio select button on the remote and pressing it will switch you to the
other audio services without going into the setup menu. This is a source of much confusion and
frustration when it gets pressed accidentally.
SAP is not available on 6.2 (Bounce) or 26.2 (This TV) channels.
Descriptive Video Service (DVS) refers to an additional audio track for blind and
visually impaired consumers of visual media (including television and film,
dance, opera, and visual art). It consists of a narrator talking through the
presentation, describing what is happening on the screen during the natural
pauses in the audio, and sometimes during dialogue if deemed necessary. DVS audio program is available on WECT and
WSFX when the network provides it, in place of Spanish (either/or, but never
both) and is often listed under the Spanish heading. To turn it off, follow the procedures above
under SAP. DVS is not available on 6.2
(Bounce) or 26.2 (This TV) channels.
Closed captioning (CC), or subtitling is the process of displaying text on a
television, video screen or other visual display to provide additional or
interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it. Closed captions
typically show a transcription of the audio portion of a program as it occurs
(either verbatim or in edited form), sometimes including non-speech elements.
Most programming has closed
captioning service available. For most
Digital Televisions, The selection for closed captioning (CC) is located in the
menu system under setup/preferences/closed
caption selector. Some remote controls have a button usually labeled "CC"
on the remote control which can be pressed to turn closed captions on or off. There are several options but CC1 should be
selected if you wish to view normal closed captions on your programs when
available. Select OFF if you do not wish to see closed captions.
Note: definitions obtained from and Wikipedia with some modification.