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THX - What is it all about?


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Alex-F-V

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Posted July 28 2003 - 10:35 AM

What is THX exactly and what does the certification mean?
Is it really great because I only seem to see it on really high end systems and components?

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 28 2003 - 10:40 AM

Please consult the HTF Beginner's Primer and FAQ. There's a link in my signature as well as at the top of this forum.

Additional information can be found at the THX website:

http://www.thx.com/m...hLib/index.html

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted July 28 2003 - 10:51 AM

I already had the shortcut HERE

Look to the link for the Beginner's Primer atop the Basics Forum.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted July 28 2003 - 02:10 PM

the benefits and non-benefits of THX have been argued out a lot. Do a search, and you'll likely find all the information you'd ever need. The short of it is lots of great products are THX certified, and some crappy ones are also THX certified. Lots of great products are also NOT THX certified. THX certification does not *really* guarantee a stellar product, nor will a unit without THX certification be automatically "outclassed" for any reason by those who are certified. THX can provide some benefits, and some drawbacks, and some useless features.

But just be clear, THX is NOT a sound system like Dolby Digital or DTS are.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 30 2003 - 12:02 PM

Dolby and DTS are surround sound formats, while THX is an enhancement to those formats. A format decodes multi-channel sound, while THX loads enhancements like re-eq, or timbre correlation etc. THX is a sound standard and a certification. T stands for Thomas, H stands for Holmes X stands for experiment. For more about how Holmes grouped up with Lucas to market this idea and loads more technical info on THX, visit the link Mr. Reuben listed. Chris is right, just because a certain product does not have the THX label attached to it doesn't mean it could exceed THX standards. I like the THX sound.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted July 30 2003 - 12:55 PM

Actually, my understanding is that the Tom Holman eXperiment thing is incorrect. It's named after Lucas's first movie, THX 1138. Not to start a flame war either, but IMO, his only movie worth my time Posted Image .

But then, THX doesn't say what the heck it actually stands for, so who knows? I've not seen an official interview or anything that would make me 100% sure, but it's just a little quibble. Posted Image I'd be interested in someone saying for sure one way or the other with a knowledgeable source. Lots of sites out there say both, or one or the other.

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 30 2003 - 01:29 PM

Some say that "THX" was named after George Lucas' first movie, "THX 1138" (1971). Others say that it was an acronym for Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment. Tomlinson Holman was the premiere audio engineer that George Lucas hired to develop the THX standard.
(Doug Osborne, Directer of Marketing, M&K) This is all I could find on the net. From The official THX site, from every search engine. I have heard it be stated both ways since 1983, it could just be peoples opinions of the acronym.:b

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted July 30 2003 - 01:56 PM

hehe hey, it could just be a typo. Posted Image

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 30 2003 - 01:57 PM

Posted Image

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   NicholasL

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Posted July 30 2003 - 06:48 PM

It actually stands for "Thomlinson Holman's Crossover" as was told to me and 400 other cinema students in our mandatory sound lecture class at USC by our professor Tom Holman.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 31 2003 - 02:30 AM

Thanks Nicholas. So Mr. Holman teaches sound theory at USC. That would be interesting attending his class.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   NicholasL

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Posted July 31 2003 - 08:12 AM

Well, half of the students were on the edge of their seats with enthusiasm while he discussed the doppler effect or different pick-up patters of microphones (shotgun, cardiod, etc.) The other half were asleep.

He loves his field, that's for damn sure...only he doesn't realize few of us love it as much as he does. He once did quite an interesting demo where he and his head TA went into the men's room and made weird sounds over a mic that was linked into the theater speakers in our theater auditorium classroom - in an attempt to demonstrate "pick up" patterns. Very interesting indeed...

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 31 2003 - 08:21 AM

That is so funny, the others were asleep. What is his title? He is a Sound Engineer and has a Doctorate? What was the class? Acoustics? Do you know if he teaches at Skywalker Ranch for the THX training? Not many schools offer acoustic specific programs. High level maths, physics and maybe recording classes is the best you can get. I am glad CEDIA and PARA have been formed.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   NicholasL

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Posted July 31 2003 - 08:59 AM

Not sure what his professional degrees or training have been, but I do know he has won atleast 1 academy award for his work (altho never seen on tv, as only the "glory" awards are televised).

His class was CTCS 464 (cinema-television critical studies) or something like that, which was required for all us production students (which comprised of 50 a year) and critical studies students (which were several hundred a year). Needless to say, since the class was so ridiculously technical, nobody who didn't need to take the class took it.

I even remember when he was still working on 10.2 - which is now advertised on the front page of this website. His pitch was "who needs 5.1 when you have 10.2? It's TWICE as good."

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   scott>sau

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Posted July 31 2003 - 09:05 AM

10.2, the possibilities. Thanks for the knowledge.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   GeorgeAB

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Posted August 03 2003 - 07:54 AM

THX certifications are primarily for movie sound. Most who disparage and belittle what THX accomplishes are only parroting what they heard somewhere else from someone who lacks understanding of the facts or it is they themselves who are just ignorant. Many who do not like what THX does have tried to apply it to music reproduction. That is not THX's longsuit and there are real-world reasons why movie sound and music reproduction require conflicting design elements, chiefly dispersion patterns and room reverberation characteristics.

At the heart of THX issues is the fact that there are literally thousands of music recording studios around the world and they are all designed differently. There are around 20 professional movie dubbing stages for engineering the soundracks for the vast majority of movies and they are all alike. In other words, there are NO STANDARDS for music recording and reproduction.

Movie sound is engineered in a LARGE rectangular box with three front speakers behind the screen and one or more LFE subwoofers. The surround channels are fed to an array of smaller speakers on the side and back walls that produce a diffuse soundfield. Where have you seen this setup before? How about in the typical MOVIE THEATER!!!!????

Are music recording studios built like move theaters? Of course not. Are they built like concert halls? NO! Like music recording studios, concert halls have NO STANDARDS.

Home THX provides methods and standards that attempt to replicate the LARGE movie theater soundscape in a SMALL residential private cinema. Sound behaves in large spaces significantly different than in small spaces.

It was George Lucas and Tom Holman who lead the way to fix the sad state of affairs in movie theater sound by developing the THX program for dubbing stages and commercial theaters. Dolby Labs helped a great deal as well. Before that there were NO STANDARDS.

Without a reference standard there can be little agreement and consistent outcomes an extreme rarity. We are then left with individual opinions. While we all have a right to an opinion, four billion of them in the world can tend toward confusion.

Home THX certification says a great deal about how a product will perform in a HOME THEATER. It does not say everything. That is an impossibility. If you want the best music listening room, don't expect to get it from your home theater. It requires its own room and equipment. Most of us can't afford that so we must compromise. What is the primary purpose for your home theater? If it is for watching movies, then music will be compromised. THX Ultra2 is an attempt to minimize those compromises.

Much more can be said about these issues but I'm out of time.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest,Inc.
Home THX-Certified Dealer/Installer

Insist on HDTV!Posted Image