Fraunhofer IIS Wins Prestigious 2012 NAB Innovation Award

Press Release / 19.4.2012

Fraunhofer IIS, the world’s renowned source for audio and multimedia technologies, announces today that its Dialogue Enhancement technology has been selected by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for its 2012 NAB Technology Innovation Award. Dialogue Enhancement answers broadcasters’ challenge to deliver balanced dialog and ambient sounds for TV and radio.

The Dialogue Enhancement technology is the first of its kind, allowing radio listeners and TV viewers to personalize and control audio volumes of dialogues and tailor the sounds to their liking. Fraunhofer will be demonstrating this technology at its NAB booth, using material from a BBC experiment conducted during the 2011 Wimbledon tennis tournament. This demonstration provides visitors with a first hand experience, allowing them to adjust the relative volume of commentary and court sounds.

The 2012 NAB Innovation Awards, open to all organizations exhibiting a non-commercialized service or product at this year’s show, was started in 2009 to recognize advanced technology exhibits and demonstrations of significant merit to the NAB Show.

“Dialogue Enhancement nicely complements the HE-AAC Multichannel audio codec which is already widely used in broadcast and streaming”, said Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Real-time Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS. “Whereas HE-AAC enables the efficient transmission of high-quality audio with metadata, Dialogue Enhancement dramatically increases the speech intelligibility which is one of the most demanded features by regulators as well as TV and radio audiences.”

Dialogue Enhancement and the Wimbledon experiment was shown as a technology preview at IBC 2011 in Amsterdam. TVB Europe selected it for the “Best of IBC2011” Editor’s Award in the category “Audio”, published in TVB Europe’s October issue.

For more information on Fraunhofer’s Dialogue Enhancement Technology, please visit www.iis.fraunhofer.de/audio.