'Talking' set top box could be part of Govt $308.8m digital TV hand-out

Bush talking set top box trialed by Government as part of Household Assistance Scheme, will be available in stores

A Bush high definition digital TV set top box.

A Bush high definition digital TV set top box.

Digital TV equipment manufacturer Bush Australia has shared details on its 'talking' set top box for digital TV, which is currently in development and testing in conjunction with the Federal Government and low vision services provider Vision Australia. The talking set top box has been trialled by the Government as part of the digital TV roll-out currently underway around Australia, and may be one of the devices chosen to be part of the $308.8million Household Assistance Scheme announced in the 2011 Federal Budget.

Bush Australia purchasing manager Carl Robertson told GoodGearGuide that the talking set top box used an existing design pioneered by Bush's UK parent company called the Goodman Smart Talk. The Smart Talk was designed and tested in the UK by Bush in conjunction with the Royal National Institute for Blind People. Bush's Australian version has been significantly altered to suit Australian users, with several upgrades and extra features over the existing UK model.

According to Robertson, the Bush talking set top box came about after a Government tender for a digital TV set top box with accessibility features. "[They] wanted products that assisted people with a disability." The set top box has been refined with the help of testing through Vision Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that provides services to people with blindness or vision impairment. "We worked very closely with Vision Australia, and [their] feedback helped us design it for Australia."

Bush has added extra features to its Australian talking set top box including comprehensive help screens, adjustment for the speed of the talking voice, and a key learning mode that explains each remote control button when pressed. Bush's set top box is the only model in Australia to feature an Australian accent for the synthesised voice. The talking set top box also supports audio description — a service that is not currently running in Australia, but is scheduled for trials with the ABC later in 2011.

It is not yet known whether the Bush talking set top box will be chosen for distribution to blind and low vision pensioners as part of the Government's Household Assistance Scheme — according to Robertson, "the Government is undergoing [its] process" and a report will be tabled to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in late June. Hills TechLife and Skybridge also have prototype talking set top boxes that were trialled as part of the regional Victorian digital TV switchover. The Bush talking set top box will be available to purchase in retail stores and through Bush's Web site at the end of next month.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags digital tv switchover

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?