Another digital set-top box... yawn... but... hang on. This set-top box won’t take my jaded indifference — it talks back, and for a very good reason. Digital set-top boxes are rather commonplace in the Australian market — I noted at the recent Humax PVR launch that they stated some 82 per cent of Australian homes were digital ready, and while some of those would clearly be via integrated tuners, there’s still an STB market out there. But they’re hardly that thrilling a technology. Bush’s latest STB has one interesting quirk, however — it’s a talking set-top box.
This isn’t just technology for its own sake, however. The $199 BHAS03 was developed in consultation with Vision Australia with an eye towards those with vision impairment and how they might use digital TV services; it’s fairly evident where having spoken feedback for things like EPG selection and general menu navigation could be useful. It’s also got the facility to speak back the name of any button pressed on the remote to help users learn how to use it. [Bush]