Why are My TV Shows in a Different Language?


I have a RCA TV and the menu says "Language --> English". However, when watching TV, the commercials are in English and the program is in Spanish. How do I fix this?

-submitted by lump5628246


First, if the language option in your TVs menu says English, that doesn't mean the programming you watch will be in English. This option simply dictates what language the TV's menu and on screen displays themselves will appear in. Depending on the model of the TV, you could have a variety of options here.

Now that we understand what that does, it's time to get your shows back in the right language.

Introducing SAP

Have you ever been watching a show on TV that flashes something like "SAP Transmitido en Espanol" at the bottom of the screen when the show starts? You may not have ever noticed, but this is exactly what's affecting you.

What these shows are referring to is called SAP, which is an acronym for "Second Audio Program", "Secondary Audio Program", or "Secondary Audio Programming"... depending on who you ask.

Say, for example, you're watching an episode of CSI: on CBS. CSI: is a show that's originally broadcast in English. However, many broadcasters will also transmit a second audio track for the show, which your TV has the ability to tune into. These secondary audio programs are typically a soundtrack in a different language from the original, and is most commonly a dubbed Spanish track.

You can select which audio track you'd like to listen to by adjusting a setting on your TV. Most original TV remotes have a dedicated button for switching between the primary and secondary audio track. If your remote does not have this, you should find an option in the audio menu of the TV.

Then why are commercials in English while the show is in Spanish?

If you flip your TV into SAP mode and start channel surfing, you'll undoubtedly find several programs with the normal audio track. While it is common for many broadcasters to transmit programs (particularly in prime time) with a second audio track in Spanish, there are several that don't. If the TV does not find a SAP signal to lock on to, it will use the primary audio signal by default.

Commercials rarely have SAP, so when you're watching a show in SAP mode, the TV will seemlessly switch between audio signals as SAP appears and disappears. If you didn't know SAP existed, you would have no idea what was going on.

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