Amazon unveils features to enhance dialogue clarity in TV shows

Amazon has launched a new feature on its streaming service, Prime Video, called Dialogue Boost. Designed to make dialogue in TV shows and movies more intelligible, the feature uses AI to analyse the original audio and identify points where dialogue may be hard to hear above background music and sound effects. The speech patterns are then isolated and the audio is enhanced to make the dialogue clearer, providing a targeted enhancement to portions of spoken dialogue. Initially launched on select Amazon Originals worldwide, including The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and The Big Sick, the feature is an accessibility solution for viewers who are hard of hearing, as well as a response to a common complaint among viewers who find dialogue harder to understand than ever before. In a 2022 survey of 1,260 American viewers, 50 percent of respondents said they watch content with subtitles most of the time, citing muddled audio as a common issue. Dialogue Boost offers a solution that could improve the viewing experience for many.

Amazon unveils features to enhance dialogue clarity in TV shows

In a bid to make dialogue more intelligible for viewers, Amazon has introduced a new feature to its streaming service, Prime Video, called Dialogue Boost. The feature is designed to enhance dialogue in movies and TV shows by isolating speech patterns and making them louder relative to background music and sound effects. This targeted approach is a departure from the general amplification of sound in home theatre systems, which can leave dialogue muddled for viewers.

While Dialogue Boost is partly an accessibility feature for those who are hard of hearing, it also addresses a common complaint among viewers. According to a 2022 survey of 1,260 American viewers, 50 percent said they “watch content with subtitles most of the time,” with many citing “muddled audio” as a reason for doing so.

The reason for this development is multifaceted, but it can be attributed, in part, to the fragmented viewer experience. With a wide range of devices used to watch content, from cheap TVs and laptops with built-in speakers to high-end Dolby Atmos surround sound systems, audio capabilities vary greatly. TV manufacturers also introduce proprietary technologies and configurations that can alter how the same content sounds on different devices, making it challenging for professionals to encode audio for streaming networks.

Amazon unveils features to enhance dialogue clarity in TV shows

Other factors contributing to the problem include changes in TV acting styles and varying streaming bitrates and audio quality. However, Amazon’s new feature, which initially launched on select Amazon Originals worldwide, could potentially solve these problems for viewers. While some streaming boxes and audio systems already offer similar dialogue-boosting features, Amazon’s feature is designed to work on any device, making it more accessible to viewers.

As of now, Amazon has not announced when the feature will expand to more content, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see other streamers offering similar features in the near future. With Dialogue Boost, viewers can look forward to a clearer and more enjoyable streaming experience.

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