The BBC has announced a new feature it is trialling called ‘Accessible and Enhanced’ audio which is designed to make it easier for people with a hearing impairment to enjoy dramas and follow every twist. An episode of Casualty features this new technology where you can set the audio mix to suit all needs.
Lauren Ward, the mastermind behind the project, explains more about this new system in an interview on the BBC website. Accessible and Enhanced’ audio is a new feature that allows you to change the audio mix of the episode to best suit your own needs and preferences. At the right-hand side of the slider, you get the same mix as heard on TV. At the left, the dialogue is enhanced and some of the other sounds are quieter. You can adjust between these two extremes to get the right balance of dialogue, important sounds and atmosphere for you.
“For many people, the level of background sound in a TV programme can make understanding the dialogue difficult, particularly for viewers who have a hearing impairment. We designed this feature to allow viewers to personalise their listening experience: enhancing some aspects of the audio mix and reducing others so that they can get the most out of TV dramas, tailored to their hearing needs.”
The A&E Audio Project is a collaboration between BBC Research and Development, Casualty and the University of Salford.
Read more of the interview with Lauren Ward and try the new technology here.