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More Viewing, Less Attention

TV watchers multitask with mobile devices

1 min read
More Viewing, Less Attention

Despite the influx of new media technologies such as smartphones and streaming video services, live television as watched on a big set still dominates the viewing landscape, according to a recent report from the United Kingdom’s regulator of the communications industry, Ofcom. But viewers are splitting their attention more often, simultaneously chatting remotely with friends about the show they’re watching or doing unrelated activities like checking e-mail. Currently about 16 percent of all U.K. viewers multitask daily while watching TV, and 25 percent do so at least once a week.

average daily hours spent watching tv per capitaAverage daily hours spent watching television per capita.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
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Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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