THX — the highs and the lows - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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THX the highs and the lows

THX is a certification system set up by George Lucas' company Lucasfilm in 1983. The intention was to create a minimum standard of picture and sound quality in cinemas. Since then, THX has branched out into consumer devices TVs, projectors, and speakers.



But what does the certificate mean about a product?

In the case of TVs, a THX-certified mode will mean you get a picture that roughly corresponds to what the filmmakers intended you to see.
This is a huge improvement on so-called shop floor modes, which manufacturers create simply in order to make their TVs stand out in the showroom the screen is too bright, the colours too gaudy, and the contrast too high.
But THX modes still fall short of guaranteeing a perfect picture. Ambient light, for example, can alter a picture's contrast ratio and colours. And even in optimal conditions such as those in our test cinema, THX doesn't always get it quite right. When we tested the JVC DLA-HD 750, for example, we thought they'd set the gamma a bit too low.

This brings us to one of the biggest disadvantages: THX modes forbid the user to adjust individual settings. So if, like us, you decide there's something wrong with their preset, you'll either have to live with it or start calibrating the screen yourself from scratch without using the THX-mode.

We think there's room for improvement. What's your opinion?

Find out more in THX technology explained on Televisions.com.

Florian Friedrich,
CEO of www.avtop.com, journalist and independent consultant from munich in germany.
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 05:51 AM
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For sure, it means NOTHING.
A dvd player was recently marketed as THX certified, it was not and guess what the result was....... nothing, they are STILL marketed as such.. I can give you the brand if you ask for it.

Jean-Pierre
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 02:06 PM
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My new LG 50PS60 has a "THX Cinema" mode. It's hideous. I'd never use those settings. Most of the people in the LG plasma thread agree, they don't use that setting either. It's useless.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 05:42 PM
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to me, THX is just marketing hype.
Like what the article said, every home viewing environment are different and the THX setting are not changeable. They might calibrated the TV/Projector in a total dark room but if those TV/projectors are place in most common living room or even dedicated theater room with ambient lights that are different from the calibration room, most colors and even audio will be different due to different room size, shape, lights, room treatment etc.
So, installer calibration to each individual room should be a preferred method than standard THX setting available in the TV/projector or players.

To be or NOT to be......YOU are WHO you ARE
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 11:25 AM
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uvodee: > A dvd player was recently marketed as THX certified,
> it was not and guess what the result was....... nothing,
> they are STILL marketed as such..


In case we are thinking of different products, a $3500 "THX"
Blu-Ray player was recently discovered to actually be a
respectable but non-THX $500 BD player dropped into
a larger case. The only apparent changes were to boot-up logos.

THX may be hoping that the THX fraud is overlooked
in the shadow of the re-boxing embarrassment.
______
I'm presently in the market for both an AVR and a TV.
I would not pay a dime for THX branding/features, and
would tend to avoid products that have it, assuming
that the price contains some needless tax to THX Ltd.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 04:54 PM
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A few months ago I would have defended THX Certified AV receivers, but after listening to a brand of receiver with THX Ultra 2 Certification it didn't even come close to the sound quality from my 10 year old THX Ultra receiver! I asked myself how could this be, I came to the conclusion that even a THX Ultra 2 Certified AV receiver doesn't necessarily tell you how that particular product will sound! So I ask what good does it do to have a THX Certified product if it does not perform or compare with much older receivers?

Regards,
Techlord.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 05:24 PM
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THX Certification means the manufacturer paid to put the THX logo on their product, and nothing more, as far as I can tell.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader3 View Post

THX Certification means the manufacturer paid to put the THX logo on their product, and nothing more, as far as I can tell.

Well there must be some THX standards for things like correct 80Hz crossovers for speakers that stay at 80Hz, but this doesn't guaranty the speaker will sound good. That's just one example of many, but I seriously doubt THX is defrauding consumers!
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 07:55 PM
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thx is just a minimum standard or specs that have to be met with receivers and speakers. what the company does after meeting those specs is meaningless if not implemented properly.

for the most part, i think thx is just a tax/sticker you pay for on whatever product is certified. even though there were a lot of problems on panasonic tv's, if you didn't have one that was "thx broke" it actually looked really good. i test drove one for a month, and i watched most programming and even played some games in thx mode, and was thoroughly satisfied!

i have an onkyo receiever with thx u2 certification and honestly, i think it just adds confusion to all the other modes/presets on there. i feel i have not benefited from it. for receivers, i think certain crossover frequencies have to be met, and certain wattages in the ampliflier. i think having audyssey in a receiver is 50 times better than any thx bs sticker on a receiver.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 05:20 AM
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Even the THX calibration test on select DVDs is off. THX color is way too saturated.
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 10:14 PM
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i thought that in order for a receiver to be thx certified, it had to meet the listed power and distortion specs at a constant 85db (the standard for theaters). is this not true?

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post #12 of 18 Old 02-02-2010, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techlord View Post

Well there must be some THX standards for things like correct 80Hz crossovers for speakers that stay at 80Hz, but this doesn't guaranty the speaker will sound good. That's just one example of many, but I seriously doubt THX is defrauding consumers!

Dont be fooled. Years ago Home Theater Review slammed THX as being marketing hype.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-03-2010, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

Dont be fooled. Years ago Home Theater Review slammed THX as being marketing hype.

Yes, because we all know that Home Theater Review is a source of journalistic integrity in the Home Theater world, and not a place where the owners talk about their supercars instead of answering legitimate questions for proof in a review. I trust them about as much as I trust Kim Jong-Il, which is to say, not at all.

My personal feelings about HTR aside, I think THX in audio has become misguided and is of no real use anymore. THX has focused on the digital path for audio and all but ignored the analog side, as exhibited by the recent BD-30 debacle. I really wish THX would get back to its mission statement and rigorously grade all submitted equipment in all areas, and not cut any slack or corners. Buckle down the standards even further, make it a prestige again, instead of yet another badge on the product.

As for the television THX modes, I'd love to see them take an isfCCC approach and allow a custom installer to create two modes and lock them. I'd also like to see the THX setting be modifiable, though only after agreeing with a warning screen AND allowing you to reset back to THX defaults if you screw something up. That seems to make the most sense for most of us here at AVS, while still letting CIs have their lockable presets for customers.

I may be young, but I remember when THX carried prestige. Now I use it to do volume checks when starting a movie or game. Sigh.
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-23-2010, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader3 View Post

THX Certification means the manufacturer paid to put the THX logo on their product, and nothing more, as far as I can tell.

nod
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-18-2010, 07:32 PM
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My panasonic hdtv has thx and that setting looks worse on my tv than the other settings,i never use THX. I wish the new tivo premiere XL didnt have THX,because that probably just adds $100.00 or so to the tivos price!(to be honest though i dont own the tivo yet so i havent seen if it makes a difference or not.) regardless i hope to buy one in june.
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-25-2010, 02:34 PM
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The real problem with these certifications is the money. THX has very little incentive to keep the bar high (other than their reputation with people in the know) while their incentive to lower the bar is huge (as in huge stacks of money).
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-02-2010, 08:29 AM
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THX 1138,director George Lucas 1971,starring Robert Duvall - Donald Pleasence,trailer.
BUTTON
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 01:20 PM
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It seems that THX certf. should tighten up their standards. One of my plasmas is a Panasonic TH-50PZ800U. The THX mode is much closer to the Rec. 709 and D6500 color standard, as well as a very good gamma compared to movie modes in many other HDTVs. It looks very similar to my professional calibrated 9G Kuro, except for its black level, which is still better than your average set. I believe that a THX mode on an HDTV is a going to look pretty darn good, but not perfect. There is no subsitute for a professional calibration tho. THX is a good start but I agree that it should take tighter standards to get the THX logo on a product, audio or video.

JBL Pro Cinema
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