Human-friendly Broadcasting Service

Adjustment System of Sound Levels in TV Programs for Elderly Listeners


As people get older, they tend to become distracted by background sounds in TV programs and find that the voices of announcers and actors become harder to make out. This exhibit demonstrates a technique that reduces background sounds and make voices clearer and easier to listen to, simply by attaching an adapter to the receiver.


●Speech enhancement technology that takes the hearing characteristics of elderly listeners into account
Elderly listeners often find it difficult to separate speech from background sounds. Our technology makes speech clearer by altering the acoustical characteristics of vowels and consonants and suppressing background sounds.
●Suppressing background sounds by using the characteristics of program sound
This technology subjects speech and non-speech segments to different signal processings. A general tendency in program production is for voices to appear as if they are coming from the middle of the screen. The speech signal components are processed by taking this tendency into account, and the background sounds are reduced by suppressing the volume of other sounds. We have also devised a method that estimates the frequency components of the background sounds and subtracts them from the speech signals. Deterioration of the sound quality in the overall program is suppressed by performing volume control only on the non-speech segments.
●Integrated signal processing control method
By enhancing speech and suppressing background sounds, sound levels of broadcasts can be adjusted to suit a greater number of people.

In the works

We are researching various ways of combining speech enhancement techniques and background sound suppression techniques so as to adapt to the characteristics of the sound in programs, and we are researching automatic control methods for this purpose.

Concept of a television receiver suited to elderly listeners

Concept of a television receiver suited to elderly listeners


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