How will next-gen audio further enhance the television experience? What is binaural audio and how might it be implemented? What are the opportunities for new access services?

As part of the session, Dr Mariana Lopez will be talking about improving accessibility of TV and Film for visually impaired people using next generation audio techniques. But of course, hearing is believing, so an example is included here.

The extracts are part of a short film called Pearl, created by 3rd year students on the BSc in Film and Television Production at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. The film was directed by Hannah Palumbo. One clip features the ‘original’ soundtrack. The other has a re-mixed soundtrack designed by Dr Mariana Lopez and Gavin Kearney. The clips should be listened to over headphones. What the new version does is add sound effects, a first person narration and uses sound spatialisation to make the film accessible to visually impaired people. The original clip had proven (though focus groups) to be completely inaccessible, while the new clip we designed proved accessible. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Original version

Accessible version

Speaker presentations can be downloaded from their bio pages.