I started watching IPL today, and I noticed that Hotstar feed is introducing an ambient background “fan noise”. The idea seems to be that it gives viewers a real match experience.
For some context, matches are happening in UAE, and it’s just the players at the stadium. Fans are not allowed for COVID-19 reasons.
However, the background noise was doing more damage than goodness. Especially as a hard of hearing person, I couldn’t hear any commentary. I found similar comments from other Hotstar users:
I searched a bit more, and I found that it’s not actually a feature from Hotstar, but is coming from their upstream provider.
Krisp to the rescue
Some of my colleagues use Krisp at work. It’s a noise-cancelling app that’s commonly used with Zoom, Hangouts and other communication apps. I was curious to see if it might work with streaming services, and it does!
Krisp’s available as a desktop app, as well as in the form of a browser extension.
I tried the browser extension, but it didn’t work, as it appears Krisp needs the tab to introduce a “microphone stream” to enable noise-cancellation. Hotstar doesn’t require microphone access, which in turn means that noise cancellation cannot work.
Basically, the extension works with any web page that is using a microphone stream. All you need to do is to turn on the “Mute Noise” toggle and Krisp will start working on all the tabs that are currently using a microphone.Source – Krisp help page.
And, the desktop app (Windows in my case) works well! I use Windows 10, and I ran into some issues in marking it as the primary output device on
Sound settings. Marking it as the primary output device didn’t save properly.
Turns out this is intentionally done. I spoke to their support and they pointed me at a workaround, which involves setting app-level output on Windows settings. In my case, I marked Krisp for Brave browser, under Windows sound settings:
It works well!