Not everyone who has a Roku is in great shape. Some people have trouble seeing, which makes it hard for them to use menus because they can’t see things as clearly as healthy people.
When this happens, they need help because they also want to use the streaming device without any problems if they can.
They do have an option, thanks to Roku’s voice feature, because Roku devices include built-in voice narration.
When this accessibility feature is turned on, it will read aloud the text on the screen, so people who can’t see can understand what’s going on even if all they can see is a blurry image.
For the record, this feature is called “Screen Reader,” and as the name suggests, it makes it easier to read text on the Roku UI.
It works perfectly, but if your eyesight is fine, you might be better off without it.
Don’t worry, Screen Reader is optional, so you can turn it off if it doesn’t help you.
The same is true of descriptive audio, which tells you what people are saying in movies and other shows.
If you don’t think you need it, just turn it off.
How to turn off Roku’s voice (narrator) using the remote?
With a functional Roku remote, you can enable or disable this feature in the blink of an eye.
Look at the asterisk button on the remote.
When you press it four times quickly, the Screen Reader (or Audio Guide) will switch from inactive to active mode, or vice versa.
Another method is to use the on-screen Settings.
- As usual, access the Settings menu on your Roku device.
- Once you’ve hit the home button, select ‘Settings’ from the left sidebar.
- This will open a list of other options on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Go ahead with Accessibility > Screen Reader (on some devices it’s Audio Guide).
- Right next to it, there are labels that read ON and OFF. Just choose one accordingly using the directional pad on the remote.
How to turn off Roku’s voice (narrator) using the Settings menu?
It is possible that you will hear narration after completing the previous method.
That isn’t because it didn’t work, but rather because another accessibility feature was enabled.
A Screen Reader, for your information, describes your interaction with a Roku device by voice. It will convert text into speech sounds as you navigate through the menus.
However, if the voice appears in a video, it can be attributed to a feature known as Descriptive Audio.
It is turned off by default, but you may find yourself in the opposite situation for some reason.
Here’s how to turn it off in various services:
- Apple TV: Choose the gear icon on top of the Apple TV main page. Select Accessibility > Audio Descriptions > OFF.
- HBO Max: Hit the star button on the remote, select ‘Accessibility & Captions’. Scroll through until you come across ‘Audio Track’. Select one language in which Descriptive Audio is nonexistent.
- Hulu: Hettings’. Just like before, you’d want to choose a language that doesn’t have this feature enabled.
- Netflix: Press. Choose one free of Descriptive Audio.
- Hulu: Press the UP button > Settings > Audio. Change to a language that doesn’t contain Descriptive Audio.