Described Video

Described Video

  • DVD, Blu-ray, Videotape
  • Television
  • Theatrical Releases (Movies)

What is NCI Described Video? NCI Described Video — also known as “audio description,” “video description,” or “DVI” (Descriptive Video Information) — provides 21st-century access to television and recorded video & film programming for people who are blind or have low vision.

NCI Descriptions include:

  • Characters in the scene
  • Location of the scene
  • What the characters are doing
  • What the characters are wearing
  • Facial expressions, body language, and other physical features
  • Text shown on objects or as subtitles & other on-screen graphics
  • Colors and shapes of objects

Creating NCI Descriptions: Upon delivery of a client’s work tape or digital video file, one or more members of NCI’s Described Media Team review the program and then begin the multi-layered process of creating a description script.

  • The script writers create concise yet vivid descriptions of the program’s visual elements, taking special care to describe only those visual elements that are relevant to the understanding and appreciation of each scene.
  • The writers time-code the script, adding audio or video cues, to fit the descriptions into selected natural pauses and lapses in the program dialogue.
  • Once the initial script is written, it is reviewed a second time for content, adherence to nationally accepted video description style practices, and word efficiency so that the narration will fit into the selected non-dialogue spots. The final script must by necessity be word-efficient, as the level of description detail depends on the time available for speaking.
  • NCI’s skilled description voicers (also known as “voice talent”) read the script while engineers in our professional studio record the voiceover in a high-quality digital format. Our engineers then mix the descriptions with the original soundtrack for optimal sound levels, ensuring that the voiceover is neither intrusive nor in competition with the program dialogue. The description mix is now ready for layback to a master tape, and then the final soundtrack becomes accessible on the SAP (Secondary Audio Programming) channel of televised programming or on a separate soundtrack for other media.

NCI’s Competitive Edge: NCI is a leading provider of closed captions for television, and we created Described Video to reinforce our commitment to media access and to fully complement our successful captioning services. We are confident that our established reputation for quality and timely delivery, coupled with our unparalleled team of trained personnel, will exceed your expectations.  Since so many elements of the process are already in place, we can offer captioning as part of the same process, competitive pricing, and unrivaled quality. We also offer a choice of either union or non-union actors to voice the descriptions.

The Benefits: In addition to compliance with accessibility regulations, providing Described Video allows programming to reach yet another new and extremely appreciative audience! With over 12 million visually impaired American viewers or potential viewers, the importance of this type of access to news, information, and entertainment cannot be overstated. The members of our Described Media Team are dedicated to NCI’s steadfast commitment to providing accessible media to this ever-growing audience.

Some of our Clients: PBS, APT, Turner, National Park Service, Ovation, WETA-TV, WNET-TV, Sesame Workshop, independent producers

Some of Our Described Programs:
TV: Sesame Street, Globe Trekker, Sid the Science Kid, Nature, Ken Burns’ Baseball
Movies (theater, DVD, Blu-ray): Mission Impossible 4, Paranormal Activity 3, Hugo, Tin Tin, Thor