Long story short, It’s called TellMe TV, it launched in November, it costs $6.99 per month after a seven day free trial and it aims to provide described video content through an interface 100 percent accessible to people using assistive technology. Right now the selection is pretty limited, but they say they’re working to license more content and eventually hope to start producing their own descriptions in house so that it won’t take quite as long to get things added.
I know everything has to start somewhere, but skimming through the browse page I can’t help but notice that there’s really not a whole lot that I’m personally in any hurry to watch, especially not for $7 a month. It can be difficult acquiring the rights to top notch programming, but I almost think it may have been better to put off a launch until they nailed down something that could reasonably be considered a draw in 2016. I’m sorry, but a smattering of movies you may or may not have heard of, some documentaries and a few episodes of Ozzie and Harriet and Dick Van Dyke aren’t going to have anyone, especially blind people who often bitch and chew about having to pay for things at the best of times, clamouring to open up the old wallet. At some point I’ll probably try it out because I really do like the idea, but not until I see something on the recently added page that grabs my interest a little.
I wish these TellMe TV folks all the success in the world, I sincerely do. Greater access to as much described video as possible is absolutely a good thing, and anything they can do to that end is certainly welcomed. But the poor offerings (at least initially) are going to make it a tough sell especially in the face of competition from Netflix, iTunes, traditional broadcast and cable television even though the described video features aren’t the easiest to activate independently, not to mention other streaming and download services of dubious legality.
If any of you have given it a go, how was your experience? And just as importantly, what sold you? Was it the concept itself or did you find something you truly wanted to see?