Booming soundtracks and incomprehensible actors often make is hard to follow – as yet. The BBC is trialing the technology that will allow audiences to tune out history noise, boost character types’ voices and – ideally – make plots easier to follow. A recently available bout of BBC One medical play Casualty was the first show to be made with the new tool, The Times reported.
A version of the event on the BBC website now includes a slider button – moving it to the right retains the standard audio and moving it to the left reduces background sound, music included, to make the dialogue clearer. The project is targeted at the 11 million Britons with hearing loss and any others who struggle to make out what actors are saying.
Commuters streaming shows on loud buses and trains may also benefit from the technology. Frustrated viewers have filed a large number of issues with the BBC after they were not able to find out the dialogue in tense dramas like Jamaica Inn and Happy Valley. Their anger prompted a national debate about stars who don’t enunciate – with the issue even being raised in parliament. The atmosphere is fine when you can lip read,’ he said in the homely house of Lords.
Share 68 shares Each individual element of the audio in a program is graded in a hierarchy centered on how important it is to the plot. Some sound effects – like the beep of a heart monitor in medical shows like Casualty – are crucial to an episode’s narrative. The new technology allows these more important sounds to stay prominent, while less essential noises are turned down.
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The response from audiences was already overwhelmingly positive, she added. The pilot bout of Casualty has been viewed by 3,300 people online, with 80 % explaining it as an improvement. The technology is still experimental but could soon become mainstream both online on iPlayer and on broadcast television.
The BBC programs to go towards a more personalized system of broadcasting called ‘object-based mass media’, that may allow TV shows to be divided into noises and structures and rearranged in different ways for different audiences. It’s aimed at people with hearing loss, but the effects of hearing loss are very similar to trying to pay attention in a high-noise environment,’ Miss Ward said.