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I have been looking everywhere. Sound bars, surround sound, TV Ears - Nothing available really seems to help. My parents are elderly and hearing impaired. Dad has Parkinson's and can't keep up with closed captioning.


If each channel carries a specific part of the total audio; someone said the center channel carries 95% of the dialog, the two (or 4) other channels carry only ambient sound and special effects audio. So why isn't there some way to modify the volume by channel to drop the background noise and pull the dialogue out?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenMcD /forum/post/19622395


If each channel carries a specific part of the total audio; someone said the center channel carries 95% of the dialog, the two (or 4) other channels carry only ambient sound and special effects audio. So why isn't there some way to modify the volume by channel to drop the background noise and pull the dialogue out?

It is true that in a conventional 5.1 movie, the dialog is concentrated into the center channel. Some AV processors offer a mild dialog enhance enhance feature that boost the center level a few dB, or applies some mid/hi frequency boost.


If the source is 2-ch stereo, the dialog will be presented to the center speaker if decoded by something like Pro Logic II Movie, or Neo:6 Cinema, but it still includes the L/R signals with it. Source extraction technologies do exist but not for high fidelity sound processing.


The easiest and most effective way to "isolate" the dialog from stereo programs is simply to force it to mono. The coherent signals will increase by 6 dB, the other signals will increase by 0-3 dB, the net result being some emphasis of dialog.


If you are watching movies as on a DVD player, and that player has an internal 5.1 decoder, then just take only the center channel output, split it into the L/R input of the stereo TV or audio system. Then also access the player's internal audio setup menu and activate DRC (dynamic range control) so that dynamic contrasts are minimized. If a cable/satellite TV box is also in use, there may be a similar DRC option, too.


If all the above falls short, there are further options to explore, such as devices with SRS VIP (Voice Intelligibility Processing) or the similar Dialog Clarity sometimes found in TV sets. The link has a demonstration of VIP, scroll down the page. Not sure which products have it--they ofte bundle several things under the TruSurround banner. But rather than listening to TV speakers, it might also help to have better satellite speakers, maybe placed closer to the listening position to minimize room effects.
 

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If your parents have a surround system, which you didn't specify, another strategy would be to turn the center channel up significantly, and turn down the L/R speakers a great deal.


Additionally, many TVs, audio receivers, DVD players, and Cable/satellite boxes have dynamic range reduction features which will raise the volume of softer sounds like dialogue, and decrease loud action effects, allowing your parents to turn the volume up more to hear the dialogue without being blown out of their seats.


Another possibility for hearing impaired people would be wireless headphones, so they can simply turn up the volume as needed without disturbing other people, neighbors etc.
 
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