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Subject: Netflix and AI languages

Date: Sat Mar 30 18:08:37 2024
User: MrFixit

Netflix has a bunch of shows which have 8 or more audio languages and 20 or more languages for subtitles. They are apparently using a company called Wavel AI to auto-gen both the audio and the text.  The generated audio has distinct voices for characters in the show and plus the gen'd audio ostensibly rises in intensity during exciting parts.

I can understand the Spanish stuff but I'm not adept enough to make a call as to how authentic it sounds.  Some of you are non-English speakers, right, and could comment on the quality of the AI-gen'd experience?

For example, right now I'm watching a show called The Lørenskog Disappearance. Here is part of the language menu. 

I'm assuming the languages beneath horizontal line are the AI-gen'd stuff but I'm not sure. In any case this is a great language-learning tool.

MrFixit aka Denny

Date: Sun Mar 31 00:09:58 2024
User: GoAdoptADog!

I always use subtitles with shows (I speak English but still use English subtitles), which bugs some ppl bc they find it distracting. I can’t remember if I ever did because I’ve been doing it a while now, but I love doing it bc I catch SO much more with the dialogue. 

For instance, Arrested Development, prob my fave comedy show of the last two decades, maybe of all time. I’ve seen it several, several times, but watching with captions I caught tons more funny stuff. 

On the flip side, when I watch a show in another language I use English captions but I don’t use the generated English voice option because it usually bugs me and sounds fake.

“Dark” on Netflix is one of my fave sci fi shows ever, and is in German. When I once tried to watch it with generated English voice over, I couldn’t handle it and wasn’t able to make it through 10 mins when I tried it for a friend to watch. It was poorly delivered in that instance, at least I thought, and made the whole episode sound like a bad B movie. 

But I’ve had roommates from other countries who liked to watch only in English and then caption with their first language subtitles to help them learn better. I also want to try this more bc I agree it’s prob a great way to learn. 

Date: Sun Mar 31 10:26:23 2024
User: Lindyhopper_Agame

More about subtitles & hearing dialogue: we always used to watch shows with subtitles on (even ones in English, esp. British), but recently got a soundbar (Roku, but I don't think it matters, I think most of them have them) that have AI to enhance the dialog, and it is actually easier to understand than it was without the soundbar.
I thought the soundbar was just going to be a dumb speaker, but it actually takes over as part of the OS.

Denny - sorry if I hijacked your thread.  

Date: Sun Mar 31 15:28:50 2024
User: MrFixit

Lindy -- what brand of soundbar? Yes, we usually run with subtitles because it does enhance our comprehension.  We don't need the descriptive text tho: "[haunting calm but exciting melodic orchestra music builds]".

GoAdopt -- but that English is actually dubbed by human voice actors, right? I might be wrong but I assumed that everything above the horizontal lines was human.  Feel free to educate me.

Date: Mon Apr 1 20:38:26 2024
User: Lindyhopper_Agame

roku pro soundbar with a roku (tcl) tv.  But it looked like a lot of soundbars have dialogue enhancement.  Roku wasn't especially highly rated, but it also wasn't very expensive and we already liked Roku.

Date: Wed Apr 3 10:39:26 2024
User: MrFixit

Amazon is showing me this: https://www.amazon.com/Roku-Streambar-Streaming-Cinematic-Headphone/dp/B08ZJ384PP

That look right?

What's your opinion on the sub? I find it entertaining that they say these soundbars can perform "subwoofer" functions when they're clearly not big enough to produce bone-jelly-ifing bass.

Date: Wed Apr 3 12:30:51 2024
User: Lindyhopper_Agame

Yes, that is what I bought.  It is better than our TV was by itself.  From what I read, if you didn't own a Roku TV and/or you were more of an audiophile, you would buy a higher rated model.  I went for "better is better" and ease.
There is a separate sub-woofer available, but it costs a lot and I didn't do that.  The soundbar is better than our TV, and does enhance the dialogue, but no, it doesn't compare to our Dolby surround sound with a subwoofer that we sued for FIOS.  However, it is my understanding, and I don't keep up on these things, that streaming sound doesn't match FIOS sound.

Date: Thu Apr 4 15:09:44 2024
User: MrFixit

I'm solidly a 80% percent of the perf for 20% of the price kinda guy. Trying to close that last 20% gets really expensive. And my theory is after paying close attention I go back to normal "watch the show" mode and that last increment of nuance don't matter. Now I do have a "have one good beer" philosophy but after that first one, just about anything works.

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