Research project »SI4B« started

Tool for improved speech intelligibility in TV broadcasts

News /

In order to improve the speech intelligibility of television broadcasts for viewers with normal and impaired hearing, the measuring instrument manufacturer RTW and scientists from the Fraunhofer IDMT are developing a new analysis tool for sound engineers as part of the »SI4B« research project.

Oldenburg/Cologne. The TV detective speaks unclearly, there is traffic noise in the background and then loud music plays to underscore the tension – there are frequently scenes in television programmes where it is difficult to understand what is being said. TV stations regularly receive complaints about this. For viewers with impaired hearing, ranging from incipient to severe hearing loss, understanding speech when watching television can be tiring or even impossible. Within the scope of the joint research project SI4B – »Speech intelligibility control for broadcast«, the measuring technology specialists RTW and the Project Group for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT are now developing an analysis tool for sound engineers that allows continuous monitoring of speech intelligibility: on the basis of real-time analysis of the audio signal, the tool will permit display of the current level of speech intelligibility both during recording and sound mixing. The hearing perception of persons with impaired hearing will also be taken into account here. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi is funding the research project as part of the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM).

 

About the Project Group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT

The goal of the Project Group for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT is to implement scientific findings on auditory perception of normal and impaired hearing in technological applications. Scientists carry out applied research and development on behalf of industrial companies and public institutions in the fields of telecommunications, multimedia, health and care services, building technology, transport, industrial production and security. The project group was established in Oldenburg in 2008 as a branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT. Through scientific cooperations, it has close links with the hearing research facilities in Oldenburg and is also partner in the cluster of excellence »Hearing4all«.