Keynote speaker

Ben ShirleyPersonalised audio description and immersive media: how next-generation audio formats can improve media access

Next-generation audio formats, such as MPEG-H and Dolby Atmos, are being rolled out by an increasing number of broadcasters world-wide. Although initially sales of these formats were focused on immersive ‘with height’ audio reproduction the potential of object-based audio for personalisation has long been recognised by researchers. Now a new shift in emphasis, from immersive to personalised media creates great potential to deliver an individualized media experience based on user needs and preferences that can improve media access for all. This talk explains the principles behind these new ‘object-based’ audio formats and explores their potential for audio description services.

Ben Shirley

Dr Ben Shirley is a Senior Lecturer in Audio Technology at the Acoustics Research Centre, University of Salford, UK. He received his MSc from Keele University in 2000 and his PhD from the University of Salford in 2013. His doctoral thesis investigated methods for improving TV sound for people with hearing impairments. His research interests include spatial audio and audio related accessibility solutions. Dr Shirley was principal investigator on the ITC and Ofcom funded Clean Audio project  which contributed to international digital video broadcast. He led the VoIPText project developing text interfaces for people with hearing impairments, was Principal Investigator for University of Salford's work in the EU FP7 FascinatE developing an end-to-end interactive future broadcast system and, more recently, the EPSRC funded S3A project investigating future object-based spatial audio systems. Dr Shirley is also co-founder and Director of Salsa Sound Ltd, developing live sports audio broadcast solutions.

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