Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2012: 5. Panasonic gets us Talking about Talking Televisions

We're over halfway to revealing the top story of 2012 in our Blind Bargains top 10. This year's panel included participants from across the assistive technology scene: Darren Burton, Jason Meddaugh, Wayne Merritt, Jamie Pauls and Joe Steinkamp. We'll post a new story every day until we reach number one, which will be revealed on SeroTalk live on January 3. In case you missed them, you can read our earlier stories on our countdown. Number 5 concerns a possible breakthrough for accessible televisions.

In February, news broke that Panasonic was adding accessibility features to 30 television models available in the UK. While our largely-U.S. based readership likely salivated for a bit and quickly forgot, there are some major takeaways from this story to note. First, notice that Panasonic has chosen to add accessibility to an entire line of televisions as opposed to creating a special television to meet legal requirements. This is similar to Apple adding accessibility features to virtually every new product it releases. Panasonic is choosing to be another company who includes accessibility as a part of the design. And the cost? negligible according to Panasonic spokesman Nigel Prankard, who says the company has learned how to include the feature without a lot of fuss. With CES coming up soon and new lines of televisions for 2013 soon to be released, we wouldn't be surprised to see this technology spread further into the world very soon.

Read when we first covered this story in February. and sound off in the comments.

Category: Articles
Displaying 1 comment.
Maxwell Friday, 04-Jan-2013 9:01 PM ET:

We also need accessible set-top boxes, perhaps even more than accessible TV's. With the advent of digital TV in the U.S., the cable-ready set has disappeared, at least for now. The problem isn't so much adjusting the vertical hold on the TV but using the DVR in the set-top box, be it from Comcast or Dish Network. This may be an even tougher nut to crack. After all, how many times has it proved impossible to get to the SAP channel in order to hear the few DVS broadcasts out there?

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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