Fraunhofer showcases dialogue enhancement technology at IBC 2011

This year’s IBC event saw Fraunhofer preview its new dialogue enhancement technology.

The new technology allows TV and radio audiences to individually adjust the volume of dialogue, music or sound effects within a single broadcast programme. It will also be the first technology of its kind to enable such a level of audio control at the low bit-rates required for broadcasting.

Having recently been tested during Wimbledon 2011, Franuhofer’s technology allowed users of a specifically designed media player to listen to Radio 5 Live’s online stream and adjust the audio volume levels of the commentator or background ambience during live coverage of the match.

The company’s dialogue enhancement technology works via an audio encoder, which receives audio objects such as a commentator’s voice or the sound of the spectators and produces a single mix, as well as a stream of parametric side information. The transmission of the mix, plus side information, is designed to be extremely bit-rate efficient, as each audio object only slightly increases the overall bit-rate. Furthermore, the mix can be produced automatically or by a sound engineer. On the receiving side, the user is then able to adjust the volume of each object individually, to improve the intelligibility of the sports commentator.

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