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TV subscribers with a YouView set-top box will soon be able to use a USB keyboard to improve the programme search process.

Keyboard functionality is being rolled out primarily to help visually-impaired viewers - those who struggle with a remote control.

YouView box generic banner

But there are wider advantages to YouView users, who will no longer have to use SMS-style typing to look up on-demand content.

YouView's software version 8.1 is also introducing a high-contrast mode, text-to-speech functionality for the YouView App, improved zoom features, and support for Grid 2 software.

The update is launching on consumer boxes during early December and will arrive on BT and TalkTalk's respective YouView services in 2014.

"We hope these accessibility updates will give a wider range of customers the means to discover great TV and radio, by providing the tools to make our user interface and mobile applications easy to navigate," said YouView Director Susie Buckridge.

"We are particularly pleased with the new zoom function, which is a UK first and will give visually-impaired users a much clearer user journey."

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