Age demographics have led to an increase in the proportion of the population suffering from some form of hearing loss. The introduction of object-based audio to television broadcasting has the potential to improve the viewing experience for millions of hearing impaired people. Personalization of object-based audio can assist in overcoming difficulties in understanding speech and the narrative audio. This research presented describes a Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) implementation of object-based clean audio that presents independent object streams based on object-category elicitation. Evaluations were carried out with hearing impaired people, and participants were able to personalize audio levels independently for four object-categories using an on-screen menu: speech, music, background effects, and foreground effects related to on-screen events. Results show considerable preference variation across subjects but nevertheless the expanding object-category personalization beyond a binary speech/nonspeech categorization can substantially improve the viewing experience for some hearing impaired people.
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