What does the AD))) logo mean?

Have you noticed this logo popping up on TV shows? It’s the logo for “Audio Description,” a separate audio source that describes what’s going on in the scene. Closed Captioning works for people who can’t hear, and Audio Description works for those who can’t see.

You’ll find this logo on a lot of network programming, although the list keeps on changing. It’s not a federal requirement like closed captioning, so it’s not on every show. Not only that, since it’s not required, it’s also not available on some cable systems. You can look at the secondary audio programs available by using the Audio button on some remotes, or in the case of DIRECTV, by pressing {INFO} and scrolling to Audio.

Audio Description service is a good idea that costs only a little bit. A subcontractor (usually “Descriptive Video Service”) is hired to watch a program and write a script that describes the action briefly. The script is read over the program, with as much care as possible taken to avoid speaking over the dialogue. The end result is like an old radio show. Obviously this opens up a whole new market for television, which makes the cost worthwhile.

If your cable or satellite provider includes the AD audio stream (it might be called AD, DVS, or even just be called “English”) it’s worth trying just to see how it works.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.