GTT Edmonton Meeting April 11, 2016
The most recent meeting of the Get Together With Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held April 11 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
18 people attended.
April Feature Topic – Apple TV
Our member, Menna Perez, demonstrated her new 4th generation Apple TV.
What Is the Apple TV?
• A small device slightly larger than a pack of playing cards.
• It comes with its own remote control.
• It costs about $200.
• It connects to your TV via an HDMI cable.
• The remote control is about the size of a candy bar. It has only 5 buttons below a small touch screen that is about 1 square inch in size.
• The Apple TV gets its content from Internet sources such as iTunes, Netflix and others.
• Thus, it must be connected to your Internet router wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable.
• It has Bluetooth to support wireless keyboards.
It has a choice of 32 or 64GB memory for storing apps.
What the Apple TV Can Do:
• Play movies, TV Shows, music, or podcasts from the Internet or from your computer.
• Most content must be paid for by having a subscription to a service such as Netflix or buying/renting movies or TV shows from iTunes.
• There are third party apps you may install from the app store to add functionality such as support for Netflix or games.
• There is an app for playing YouTube videos which are free.
The remote control has Voice Over meaning all the menus to control playback and descriptive text such as lists of movies or movie descriptions can be read to a blind user.
• The remote control also supports the Siri voice command assistant so you can do verbal searches. For example, you could press the Siri button and say, “Find all the movies with Denzel Washington” and a list will appear. You can then flick your finger on the small remote control screen to scroll through the list. Voice Over will read all the titles in the list. When you find a movie of interest just click the screen by squeezing it and the movie will play. Same for searching TV shows, podcasts, or music.
• As an alternative to Siri voice commands, you may also use a wireless Bluetooth keyboard to control the device and type search strings etc.
• While a movie is playing you can also give Siri commands such as, “What did he say?”. Siri will then rewind the movie 10 seconds and continue playing.
• There is an audio description setting. IF you turn on audio descriptions then any movies produced with descriptive video will include the description in the playback.
• For low vision users there is also a Zoom feature. IF Zoom is turned on the menus and text displayed on your TV screen will be magnified.
• The Apple TV set up and settings are accessible with Voice Over.
• Voice Over can be easily toggled on or off with 3 clicks of the Home button on the remote.
What the Apple TV Cannot Do:
• The Voice Over talking screen reader will only read the content supplied from the Apple TV device. In other words, Voice Over will not read the TV channel directory of your satellite or cable TV provider.
• Similarly, Voice Over will not speak the built-in menus of your TV to, for example, turn on the secondary audio program (SAP) feature.
• Similarly, the Zoom magnification will not enlarge any text that does not originate from the Apple TV device. Again, this means you cannot magnify the cable TV channel guide or your TV built-in menus.
• It cannot play TV Shows or movies from your cable TV or satellite provider unless there is an app from those content providers that can be installed on the Apple TV.
• You cannot use your Apple TV remote in place of your TV remote control.
• When you want to use your TV normally, you just press the Sleep button on the Apple TV remote and your TV will be returned to its normal operation using its own remote control.
For More Information
The Apple TV home page is at:
Next Meeting (Monday May 9at 7pm)
This will be an open meeting with no official presentation. We will spend the entire meeting helping each other with our tech questions.
As always, for help with other technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.
• Send your meeting topic ideas to GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com.
Meeting Location and Logistics
• Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
• We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
• Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
• Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
• If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.
GTT Edmonton Team
• Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
• Gerry Chevalier is blind. He is retired from HumanWare where he worked as the Product Manager for the Victor Reader line of talking book players.
• Heather MacDonald is a career and employment specialist with extensive experience helping blind and visually impaired people find employment.
• Russell Solowoniuk is blind and works with alternative formats and assistive technology at Grant MacEwan University.
• Lorne Webber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
GTT Edmonton Overview
• GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
• GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
• Each meeting will present a feature technology topic and general question and answer about any other technology.
• Small groups or one on one assistance is possible at the meetings.
• Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
• There are GTT groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference.
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