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THX Question


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38 replies to this topic

#1 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert.CB

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Posted December 22 2003 - 01:16 PM

If you buy a THX certified receiver, dvd player, and/or amp, but do not buy THX certified speakers. Would there be a significant difference, because you didn't buy THX certified speakers? If so, what would the difference be?

#2 of 39 OFFLINE   Lev-S

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Posted December 22 2003 - 04:00 PM

No. It's just a badge.
My DVDs

Homer: So, Mr. Malloy, it seems that the cat has been caught by the very person who was trying to catch him.
Skinner: How ironic.

#3 of 39 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 23 2003 - 03:05 AM

The certification is not what is important.

It is the ability to achieve the performance that certification entails.

Get great speakers, they will rock, and possibly rock better than THX certified products.

#4 of 39 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted December 23 2003 - 03:11 AM

Quote:
No. It's just a badge.

That was real informative. Posted Image
Read the THX FAQs. It'll tell you everything you need to know about the THX program and what problems it addresses. In a nutshell, if you don't believe the problem exists for you, don't buy it.

#5 of 39 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:17 AM

There is currently NO outside testing/certification for your home theater equipment. You can find "High Power Digital Home Theater" equipment selling on eBay that make claims similar to equipment with Yamaha/Dennon/Paradigm/B&W names on them.

How do you tell the truth from the lies?

One way is to have an outside organization set some standards then test products to make sure they comply.

This is what THX certification is: promising that the equipment meets some standards.

So if you dont know what you are looking for in HT equipment, looking for a certification sticker like THX is a good thing to do.

However, there are lots of good HT products that meet or surpass the THX specification.

For speakers - spend some time in the "Speakers and Subwoofer" fourm and you will find about 20 or so brands that crop up as being well-respected.

But remember - speakers have 'flavor'. It's important that you try and audition speakers to determine if they meet your taste. Just because some else raves about butter-brickle ice cream does not mean this flavor is superior to chocolate to my taste buds.

THX certification does not really gurantee how a speaker sounds. They cover a lot of technical issues like efficiency, throw patterns, etc., but this does not really tell you how it sounds.

Beware: manufacturers tend to only get their higher-end speakers certified by THX. Because of this, stores often take better care to setup the rooms & speakers for the higher-end demonstrations. This naturally makes the THX certified speakers sound better than the 'shoved against the wall' speakers that are lower priced.


Hope this helps.

#6 of 39 OFFLINE   Jeff W.

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:39 AM

THX = This Here is more eXpensive.

#7 of 39 OFFLINE   Jeff W.

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:42 AM

But seriously. The THX badge does mean it had to pass some sort of quality test, but that doesn't mean that those without the THX badge are of lesser quality.

Unfortunately getting the THX badge does cost money and they pass this cost on to you. Is it worth it? Not really, but it can't hurt (other than your wallet).

#8 of 39 OFFLINE   JamesGL

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:46 AM

is this why Harman Kardon no longer get their receiver THX certified?

#9 of 39 OFFLINE   Jack Shappa

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:49 AM

THX certified DVDs often SUCK, THX certified theatres often SUCK, and there are tons of equipment that sounds awesome without the certification. The manufacturers PAY for the badge. Yes they have to meet some "standards", but you're better off knowing what you're doing and buying speakers based on what really sounds good and performs well in your room, not some badge whose importance is debatable.

- Jack

#10 of 39 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted December 23 2003 - 06:23 AM

Quote:
The manufacturers PAY for the badge
Heh, the consumer pays for the badge. Any costs associated with the final product is factored in to the retail price. Nothing is free. Posted Image

Quote:
you're better off knowing what you're doing
That's pretty much true for anything in life. Posted Image

But for the joey six-pack who doesn't want to know/care about the technical issues involved, nothing wrong with buying THX equipment.

#11 of 39 OFFLINE   Dave Nibeck

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Posted December 23 2003 - 06:41 AM

Don't forget the THX certified speaker wire. I absolutely guarantee that they will transmit electricity from your receiver to your speakers.

I think I read that you can even buy THX certified power cords. If true, these will transmit electricity from your outlet to your receiver.

#12 of 39 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 23 2003 - 06:41 AM

Gordon L.
Good last point there.


It does make it so the truly uninformed, know nothing about HT and audio type person, can put together an awesome system.



I mean if every component was THX certified, I'm banking you would have a real nice setup.

#13 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert.CB

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Posted December 23 2003 - 10:14 AM

Thanks for all your responses. So basically, a certification gives you the comfort of knowing what you buy will work the way it should. But, even though it is certified does not mean it will perform the way I would want it too or at least to my listening preferences.

I was leaning towards THX equipment, because I thought that that was the only way you could hear the THX encoded audio was to do it through THX certified equipment (receiver, dvd, etc.). Is this correct?

What you all are also saying is that I could build a system (comprised possibly of THX certified equipment and non-THX certified equipment) that would sound as good as a THX certified system and sound good to me without the label with lot more knowledge on how to do it and of the products that I could use.

Sorry, for all the questions, etc. I am still within my first few months of infancy in the home theater world.

#14 of 39 OFFLINE   Jeff W.

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Posted December 23 2003 - 11:29 AM

No there's no such thing as "THX encoding". You don't need a "THX" stamp on anything to play any DVD (etc) in existance. If a DVD says "THX" on it, it just means THX engineers supervised the transfer and mixing during the DVD authoring process. Nothing more.

#15 of 39 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 23 2003 - 11:36 AM

Quote:
because I thought that that was the only way you could hear the THX encoded audio

No. THX on a DVD is not a 'format' or 'encoding'. It's like the "Good Housekeeping" seal. It's a certification that all the equipment used to produce & master the DVD conform to THX standards.

This can include things like:

- All the cables in the production studio have some type of screw-lock mechanism to insure they are not just friction-fit.

- Oversized lugs and connectors are used on all cables and equipment. (means extra-massive connection points).

- The 'Reference Quality' speakers used in the production studio meet THX standards for throw patterns.

I think it also means that the production studio is inspected annually to make sure various parameters conform to THX standards that could include sound-levels from all the speakers, sound isolation from other rooms, etc.

Quote:
THX = This Here is more eXpensive.
Quote:
is this why Harman Kardon no longer get their receiver THX certified?

There are some BUSINESS concerns here.

It cost money & time to get your equipment certified. I've heard that it can be around 80-100 thousand dollars (including all the time, paperwork, fees, re-working to meet the standards) to certify a component. So most companies only do this for their high-end units, not the entire line.

I also think that when you get THX certification - you cannot change more than a few components in the manufacturing process or you have to re-certify.

Since companies often tweek/change things or use second-source parts, or even introduce new models every 2 years - this restriction is a bit of a handicap.



You can tell that there is a Love/Hate feeling about THX. I am grateful that Lucas set standards for movie theaters and I credit him with creating the competition among theater chains to give us the great sounds we have today.

But there has been enough competition in electronics & speaker builders that we dont need a THX label to help us find quality products.

Quote:
I am still within my first few months of infancy in the home theater world

We all were at one time. Questions are always welcome.

This section from our Primer/FAQ: What is THX might help.

#16 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert.CB

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Posted December 23 2003 - 03:01 PM

Hey Guys,

We all were at one time. Questions are always welcome.


Thanks for being patient and understanding.

Sorry. I had read over several receivers and that had THX Surround EX decoding (in which the dvd's would be encoded). What I was aiming torwards was asking if you do not have a receiver that can decode THX Surround EX then would you not receive the realism that the THX Surround EX encoded dvd could provide?

And does not having THX Surround EX decoding on your receiver, depending on your receiver, still allow the capability to have a 7.1 system that provides realism with dvds that can take advantage of a 7.1 system.

Thanks.

#17 of 39 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:00 PM

Ahhhh.. I get it.

You are looking for the receivers that support the rear-center speaker. This is called "Dolby Digital EX" or "DTS Ex", not "THX Ex".

I dont know how many disks actually support the rear-center speaker. Even if you dont have a DDEx receiver, you will get all the sounds out of the 2 back speakers with a 5.1 system and a "EX" encoded DVD.

I dont have a 7.1 system, but people who do say it works great for some disks. You should look for a receiver that supports 7.1 if you are in the market.

#18 of 39 OFFLINE   JohnMW

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Posted December 24 2003 - 03:34 AM

Quote:
First thing you must learn? THX is not a digital sound format like Dolby Digital and DTS.


I was under the impression that Lucas (THX) and Dolby co-developed Surround EX, then eventually Dolby licensed it under it's own name. Correct me if I am wrong.....

** edited a small grammatical error.

#19 of 39 OFFLINE   Jack Shappa

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Posted December 24 2003 - 04:02 AM

Quote:
Heh, the consumer pays for the badge. Any costs associated with the final product is factored in to the retail price. Nothing is free.


Exactly.


Quote:
You're better off knowing what you're doing

Quote:
That's pretty much true for anything in life.

But for the joey six-pack who doesn't want to know/care about the technical issues involved, nothing wrong with buying THX equipment.


Sure there is. The fact that he just paid more than he had to because he wanted a badge. Nothing is free, remember? And the fact that he might have gotten something better, or more appropriate to his setup, for less money.

- Jack

#20 of 39 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 24 2003 - 05:08 AM

Robert.CB....

6.1 and above is somewhat important, in my opinion.

This gives you Dobly EX, and THX EX flagged DVD will trigger the Dolby EX. And Visa-Versa. A Dolby EX flagged DVd will trigger THX EX.

It works well, very well in my opnion.


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