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TVonics, RNIB launch speech-synthesising DVR

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Set-top box maker TVonics has equipped its 500GB DTR-HD500 Freeview HD recorder with text-to-speech tech, the better to help blind and partially sighted folk enjoy what's been on the box.

Created in co-operation with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the DVR reads out the Freeview electronic programme guide, programme info, and the machine's menus and settings.

TVonics DTR-HD500

In March, Panasonic introduced a Freeview HD TV with a similar voice synthesis system. Panasonic calls its version Voice Guidance. It reads out on-screen info and "provides clear instructions on how to navigate around the TV menu". The speech-synth'd voice can be made to speak louder or more quietly. Its speed can be adjusted too.

The RNIB is selling the speak-out-loud set-top box for £180, but TVonics said the software will be delivered to existing DTD-HD500s through its website. The code will also work with TVonics' DTR-Z500HD box. ®

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