Operating systems for computers, smartphones, smart TVs, or even smartwatches come with a set of accessibility settings. On different TVs, Talkback is known with different names such as voice narrator, voice assistant, screen reader, audio description, etc. When it’s enabled, the TV starts reading or describing the menu out loud. If you own a Sony Bravia TV or any Google or Android TV and want to turn off Talkback, Screen Reader, and accessibility shortcuts, follow the easy steps given in this tutorial.
Accessibility settings are meant for hearing and visually impaired people and offer enhancements like spoken feedback, high contrast fonts, screen magnifier, etc. Basically, Talkback is a kind of hearing aid for people with weak eyesight. It works like a screen reader that verbally describes the TV menu items and other information to help TV users navigate easily. While the Talkback feature might really come in handy for people with weak eyesight, it can be seriously irritating for people with good eyes. I remember enabling Talkback on my Samsung phone accidentally when I was new to the OS and the horrible experience that followed. I really had a hard time turning off Talkback on my Android phone.
Years later, the same thing happened when my kid enabled the voice narrator on my new TV. The TV started reading or describing the menu out loud, but I was able to turn off Voice Guide on my Samsung TV easily. If you own a WebOS-powered LG TV, you should also check out my detailed tutorial on turning off the audio descriptions and Google Assistant on your LG TV. Since Sony uses the Android TV OS in its smart TVs, they either have Talkback or Screen Reader feature that works as a voice narrator or voice assistant. In this tutorial, we’ll check out the quick steps to turn off Talkback and disable the Accessibility shortcut on Sony Bravia TVs.
Sony TV Accessibility Settings
As I mentioned above, the Accessibility settings on Android TV offer a range of features to help the hearing impaired and people with bad vision.
- Talkback: It is Google’s version of a screen reader that reads text on your screen so that you can use your TV with the help of audio feedback. You can further customize Talkback via settings.
- Accessibility shortcut: It lets you turn an accessibility feature On or Off quickly by holding down the Mute button on your TV remote.
- Text Magnification: This feature allows you to see the highlighted portion of the text by magnifying it. It also lets you change the color of the text and decide how long the magnified text stays on the screen.
- Audio Description: Some TV programs come with an additional piece of audio that’s meant for providing an audio description or narration of what’s is happening on the screen.
- Subtitles: Enable and customize the appearance of subtitles in supported programs on Android TV.
- Audio output to headphones: This feature lets you play TV sound on your Bluetooth headphones or an external audio device.
Turning off Talkback on Sony Android TV
It is very easy to turn off the voice narrator, voice assistant, screen reader, or Talkback on a Sony Bravia powered by Android TV. Sony Bravia TVs that run the Linux OS version with X Media Bar as UI don’t have either Accessibility shortcuts or Talkback feature. The steps described below are strictly for Sony Android TV and Google TV from Sony.
If you don’t want to use the Talkback or Screen reader feature, you can disable it in the TV settings.
- Press the Home button on your Sony TV remote.
- Navigate to Dashboard and select the Settings tile. On older Sony Android TVs, you can directly select Settings from the home screen.
- On the Settings page, scroll to System and select Accessibility from the left panel. If you got an older Sony TV model, you’ll find the Accessibility settings right under the Settings.
- Scroll down to Talkback and click the selection button on your remote.
- On the left side of the screen, you’ll see the Enable option. Highlight and select it.
- On the next screen, select the Enable option and click it on to turn off Talkback on your Sony TV.
- Your TV will show you a confirmation screen asking if you really want to Stop Talkback. Just highlight the OK option and press the Enter button on the remote.
- That’s it! You have turned off Talkback on your Android TV.
You would have got rid of the irritating voice narrator on your Sony TV. However, if you still hear audio descriptions, you should head to the steps to disable Screen Reader by following the steps given in the next section.
Turning Off Screen Reader on Sony TV
In addition to Talkback, Android TVs also have a feature similar to it. It’s called Screen Reader and works like a voice assistant that reads out the information on your TV screen loud. If turning off the Talkback could not disable the voice narration on your Sony TV, it must be because the Screen Reader is turned on. Here’s how to turn off this feature on any Android TV.
- Press the Home button on the TV remote.
- Navigate to Dashboard > Settings > System or Device Preferences.
- Now, go to Accessibility and press the Enter button.
- Highlight the Screen Reader option and press the Enter button.
- Now go to the Enable option on the right side of the TV screen.
- On the next screen highlight the Enable option, press the Enter button, and then select OK to turn off Screen Reader on your Sony TV.
Turn off Accessibility Shortcut on Sony TV
Like all Android TVs, your Sony TV also has an option called Accessibility Shortcut that lets you create a remote button shortcut to quickly access Accessibility settings. When this Accessibility Shortcut is enabled, you can press the Mute button on your TV remote for about 3 seconds to quickly turn Talkback and Screen Reader On or Off. Since the Accessibility Shortcut window appears while going through the initial setup on Sony TVs, some people enable it inadvertently.
Below, you’ll find the quick steps to turn off the Accessibility Shortcut on your TV via settings.
- Press the Home button on the remote and navigate to Dashboard > Settings.
- On the Settings screen, go to System > Accessibility > Accessibility shortcut and press the Enter button on the TV remote.
- You can now turn off the feature by selecting the Enable accessibility shortcut option.
That’s all for now! I hope my tutorial helped you turn off Talkback, Screen Reader, and Accessibility Shortcut on your Sony Bravia TV. I’ll be coming with more tips and tricks very soon, so stay tuned.