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Dialogue Enhancement - Technology and experiments

: Fuchs, H.; Tuff, S.; Bustad, C.

Volltext ()

EBU technical review (2012), Nr.Q2, 11 S.
ISSN: 1019-6587
ISSN: 1609-1469
Zeitschriftenheft, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Finding the right balance between dialogue and ambient sound is a major challenge for sound engineers, and an increasingly common cause of audience complaints. It may therefore be desirable for audiences to influence the audio balance to suit their personal choice, their listening environment and their hearing. A new "Dialogue Enhancement" technology from Fraunhofer IIS addresses this challenge. It is backwards-compatible and adds only a moderate bitrate overhead to the transport bitstream, and is thus well suited to broadcast applications. This article gives an overview of the underlying technology, the necessary changes required in the production chain and in the broadcast signal. An experiment at the Wimbledon Tennis Championship was used as an example of how this technology could be applied and the results of this experiment, including initial audience reactions, are shown. The article also looks at the next step in Dialogue Enhancement - a comprehensive trial at Sw edish Radio in autumn 2012, using a specially-developed smartphone app.