BT teams with Dolby for video conferencing

Telecoms business BT is trialling technology from the sound specialist Dolby to improve quality for audio and video conference calls

BT has announced a trial with Dolby intended to improve sound quality on its conference tools.

BT's MeetMe conferencing service offers a voice-over-IP (VoIP) platform as part of the BT One unified communications portfolio. It provides audio and video capabilities.

BT believes it can boost the productivity of its users by introducing improved sound and wants to test out Dolby’s core signal processing, Dolby Voice. BT wants to exploit what it calls Dolby's “human psychoacoustic perception expertise”, technology relating to the science around the way people hear.

“Our objective is for all conference call attendees to become productive participants, engaging more naturally in conversation and generating better outcomes from meetings,” said Dave Hobday, managing director of BT Enterprises.

“We hope the trial of Dolby Voice can provide a unique and improved experience for conference call users.”

The technology will enable users to hear other participants as if they were at different points in the room, as it would sound if the participants sat around the same table. 

BT said this will make it simpler for users to identify who is speaking when and believes the extra level of realism will make conversations flow that little bit smoother.

“Audio conferencing promised a reduction in the need for face-to-face meetings, but when the stakes are high people meet in person to capture important details and express themselves clearly,” said Andrew Border, senior director of the voice business group at Dolby Laboratories.

“With Dolby Voice, there’s no longer any need to travel just to hold an effective business meeting.” 

BT and Dolby said they will run a proof of concept for the technology until the end of the year. They will then before trial the technology in early 2013. However, the spokesman said the length of those tests had not been set.  

Read more on Voice networking and VoIP