Frequently Asked Questions

I am having audio issues

  • A narrator is describing everything that happens on the programs I am watching. How do I make it stop?

    You may be hearing the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) option made available to audiences who are blind or visually impaired. You can turn this feature off and on fairly easily.

    Most newer-model TVs with stereophonic sound systems are able to receive a Second Audio Program (SAP) which provides enriched verbal descriptions of what is heard and seen on a TV's primary audio and video channels. Most TVs and VCRs require you to select the SAP channel in order to receive and record DVS. The selector is usually labeled SAP, MTS, Audio 2, or Audio B on your TV panel, remote-control device, or on-screen menu. Un-selecting the SAP channel should eliminate the DVS option.

    If you're not able to un-select the SAP channel, review your TV manual or contact a TV vendor who can guide you through the process. Like closed captioning, DVS was also pioneered by PBS to ensure the widest possible audience is served.

  • There is secondary audio, such as Spanish, coming from my television while I’m watching PBS. How can I turn it off?

    You may be hearing the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) available on most TVs with stereophonic sound systems. You can turn this off with the selector labeled SAP, MTS, Audio 2, or Audio B on your TV panel, remote-control device, or on-screen menu. Un-selecting the SAP channel should eliminate the secondary or Spanish audio you’re hearing.

    If you're not able to un-select the SAP channel, review your TV manual or contact a TV vendor who can guide you through the process.

  • Why is the background music in the program I am watching is so loud?

    Some audio problems are the result of a difficulty or error that occurred during the program's production. A poor balance between background music and dialogue is usually related to production rather than transmission problems.

    You can try switching from stereo to mono whenever there is such a problem, or switch off the "surround sound" or "enhanced" feature on your television. These steps tend to assist in counteracting the audio problem.