The purpose of a community focused organisation like CTC is not just to deliberate on matters of importance to the industry but also to act and support where required to improve outcomes. Recently, CTC has partnered with the UKCA to help address the growing concern by charities and movie-goers over the state of audio description equipment within cinemas in the UK.
“Delivering the very best outcomes for movie-goers relies on cinema operators regularly checking and maintaining all equipment in the auditorium,” says Richard Mitchell, President of CTC. “Of course, due to the nature of the technology and its placement in the auditorium, audio description hardware can be inaccessible so can go unchecked for long periods of time. From a growing number of reports, it appears that some legacy hardware (which relies on infra-red technology) has either lost the ability to broadcast signals at sufficient strength to cover the auditorium stopped working completely thus causing a negative experience for consumers that rely on this essential service to enjoy their movie-going experience. Often it is only when the movie-goer highlights the concern that the exhibitor realises there is a problem. The intention of both the UKCA and CTC through our joint initiative is to help raise awareness over the importance of testing AD equipment regularly,” Mitchell adds.
CTC has made available its unencrypted Test DCP which includes additional test functionality for checking output of channel 8 (traditionally used for audio description) from the audio processor or server. The freely available DCP also comes with an installation and best practice guide for checking audio description and is available via the CTC website www.cinema-technology.com/resources.
“The Association is hugely grateful to CTC for its help in developing a resource to support the better maintenance and testing of assistive technology in cinemas. This will make a real and meaningful difference to the big screen experience for disabled cinema-goers and is just one example of our productive ongoing dialogue and partnership, says Phil Clapp, CEO of the UK Cinema Association.