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Development of Volume Balance Adjustment Device for Voices and Background Sounds within Programs for Elderly People

Elderly people sometimes feel that the background sounds (music and sound effects) of broadcast programs are annoying. In response, we have developed a device that can adjust the mixing balance of program sounds suitable for elderly people, on the receiver side. The device suppresses uncorrelated components in the stereo background sound in speech segments (intervals in which narration and dialog are mixed with background sounds), and suppresses background sounds only without deterioration by gain control alone in non-speech segments. By subjective evaluations, we have verified that the proposed method can suppress the background sounds of programs by an equivalent of 6 dB, and viewing experiments with elderly people have shown that program sounds have become easier to understand.

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