Digital TV equipment and services

These guidelines are aimed at broadcasters, consumer equipment manufacturers and policy makers seeking to improve the quality, capacity and appeal of television products and services by adopting or advocating a universal design approach.

They describe the functional requirements for access, understanding and use by all people, regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. They are not specific to any country or region.

The emphasis is on providing practical information and good practice guidance to help stakeholders understand and address universal design as an aspect of innovation, creativity and improvement, to be considered alongside other factors such as cost and functionality.

Where possible, suggested solutions and standard implementations are described to support the functional requirements, although it should be recognised that all methods of meeting the functional requirements are equally valid.

The guidelines cover, but are not limited to:

  • Hardware.
  • Connectivity and set-up.
  • On-screen interfaces such as electronic programming guides.
  • Remote controls.
  • Documentation and consumer information.
  • Access services such as subtitles and audio description

The guidelines are categorised into 3 main sections:

The development of the guidelines followed a universal design process which you can read about in the about these guidelines section. The section on additional resources contains information on the primary sources of information used to compile these guidelines as well as some case studies, relevant legislation, regulation and standards.

How to Use The Guidelines

1. If you are new to Universal Design in general:

Read the section universal design for ICT
This tells you what is meant by universal design and and how it is realted to accessibility. It describes the benefits of universal design for users, producers and service providers.

2. If you are new to digital tv equipment and services

Read the section about universal design of television services and equipment
this describes the general requirements for the design of accessible public access terminals and the difficulties faced by users.

3. Use one of the following summaries of the guidelines

Broadcasters and television service providers

How the guidelines can assist you:

    • To ensure that your programmes can be understood and enjoyed by the maximum number of viewers, giving you the widest possible audience, consult the guidelines onprogramme content.

    • To define universal design requirements for receiver equipment to be used by customers, follow the guidelines on consumer equipment.

    • To improve the usability of online or embedded programme guides, see the guidelines on on-screen interfaces.

    • For guidance on the most appropriate forms for communicating efficiently with a diverse range of customers, read the guidelines on universal customer service.

Consumer equipment manufacturers

How the guidelines can assist you:

    • To improve the ease of use of remote controls, see the guidelines on remote controls.

    • To improve the usability of on-screen menus and programme guides and make them accessible to all users, see the guidelines on on-screen interfaces and spoken output.

    • For guidance on the most appropriate forms for communicating efficiently with a diverse range of customers, read the guidelines on universal customer service.

Policy makers

How the guidelines can assist you:

    • To learn about how consumer equipment such as set top boxes and remote controls can be designed to meet the needs of the widest range of consumers, consult the guidelines on consumer equipment.

    • For information about how programme guides should be designed, see the guidelines on on-screen interfaces.

    • For information about how programme content can be made to serve the needs of the widest audience, consult the guidelines on programme content.

  • For guidance on the expectations that can be placed on service providers to ensure they communicate effectively with all customers and support them according to their individual needs, read the guidelines on universal customer service.