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THX and Blu Ray (1 Viewer)

Brian Husar

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I did a post like this a few years ago, does anyone know what ever happened to THX. I know they are still around, no longer owned by Lucasfilm, a gaming company bought them. I heard they are certifying concerts now, they did Beyonce's last tour, and I also heard they certify the Cinemark Xtreme HD theaters. Why do they no longer certify Blu Ray or 4k UHD blu ray? They use to do DVDs and it was questionable on what it meant to be certified, the blu rays of The Star Wars Saga, The Indiana Jones movies, Alien and Aliens, Titanic, Avatar, and Red Tails all have THX logos but that's it. I guess I am a bit nostalgic for seeing the trailers before a movies starts, and back in the Laserdisc days they had a way of certifying laserdiscs. Does anyone know why they are basically invisible nowadays
 

JohnRice

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THX was a decent idea, but in the end it was just 90% marketing. It had a certain way of standardizing things, the volume of soundtracks in particular, but those guidelines are easy to follow without paying a royalty. Before THX, I found DVD soundtrack volume levels did tend to vary quite a bit, but later that mostly went away. The only (annoying) exception I find these days is some horribly loud intros, on some discs. The short DTS, Atmos, etc teasers when you insert a disc. As far as hardware, people didn't care all that much to begin with, and learned to care even less.
 

English Invader

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Before THX, I found DVD soundtrack volume levels did tend to vary quite a bit, but later that mostly went away.

I think THX goes back to VHS. I remember my copy of Titanic having the big THX demo just before the film started; same deal with my Aliens box set.

One thing I will say for 20th Century Fox is that they made the best quality video tapes (and I collected a ton of VHS about ten years ago). If they used THX, it meant something. Fox tapes weren't gimmicks, they were the real deal.
 

Brian Husar

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I think THX goes back to VHS. I remember my copy of Titanic having the big THX demo just before the film started; same deal with my Aliens box set.

One thing I will say for 20th Century Fox is that they made the best quality video tapes (and I collected a ton of VHS about ten years ago). If they used THX, it meant something.
They did have THX certified VHS tapes. Fox had a number, around 1996 studios started to issued Letterboxed VHS tapes and I remember getting The Abyss Special Edition and True Lies, all THX certified on VHS. Now THX Pan and scan VHS ???? Didn't understand that. All Disney films in the mid 90s became THX certified on VHS.
 

Brian Husar

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THX was a decent idea, but in the end it was just 90% marketing. It had a certain way of standardizing things, the volume of soundtracks in particular, but those guidelines are easy to follow without paying a royalty. Before THX, I found DVD soundtrack volume levels did tend to vary quite a bit, but later that mostly went away. The only (annoying) exception I find these days is some horribly loud intros, on some discs. The short DTS, Atmos, etc teasers when you insert a disc. As far as hardware, people didn't care all that much to begin with, and learned to care even less.
I think only Lionsgate does the teasers for DTS and Atmos on the Blu Rays only. The UHD 4K discs they do not have them on it. Now I never had a Laserdisc player, always wanted one. I now own a few LD titles because they were used and affordable at a place I buy music and movies from. They have a huge selection of used Laserdiscs, but back in the day I was able to watch laserdiscs at a friends house who had a player, and they had THX and Dolby teasers on most of them, and it felt like you were in a little club. I felt that way when I finally got a DVD player in 2000, with Blu ray and UHD 4K, they can give a little of that "club" feeling if you know what I mean and that's the one thing I am not getting from Blu ray and UHD 4K, so it would be nice to get linear notes on discs and Atmos and DTS teasers on all the discs.
 

Scott Merryfield

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My previous two receivers were both THX-certified Pioneer Elite models, although I didn't purchase them because of the certification. I did not care for the THX processing modes on either receiver, as it made the audio sound dull and lifeless. So I did not use those modes.
 

Mike Frezon

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I just popped-in a Disney film for the grandkids a couple days ago and the THX logo (and stinger) came up at the head of the programming. And, I had the thought, "what ever happened to THAT?" :D Put me to mind of the little robot guy at the head of some of the PIXAR discs.

I LOVE those little demo pieces at the front end of disc material. The new ATMOS logo/sfx pieces are also stunning little moments as I get ready to sit down to a film. Even though I'm not Atmos-enabled yet, they still fill my room and travel from speaker-to-speaker in a fun and exciting way. Love 'em!

 

DaveF

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I loved THX in th ‘90s. The THX-certified theater auditorium in my area was the best one around. A THX movie meant it was going to be a great experience.

And then THX DVD later on gave a sense of a well done home experience.

But time goes on. Theater quality increased across the board. Dolby Digital and DTS started displacing THX as a practical sign of good audio.

And then THX debased its brand value by “certifying” cheap computer speakers and other nonsense.

And now, the real signs of theatrical quality or home quality are “Sony Digital 4K” or “Dolby Atmos”, or theater branding like “RPX” or “Alamo Drafthouse”.
 
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Malcolm R

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I LOVE those little demo pieces at the front end of disc material. The new ATMOS logo/sfx pieces are also stunning little moments as I get ready to sit down to a film. Even though I'm not Atmos-enabled yet, they still fill my room and travel from speaker-to-speaker in a fun and exciting way. Love 'em!
I like them, too. They're a quick way to make sure all your speakers are working properly without having to run a test tone.
 

Lord Dalek

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THX hasn't been relevant since the early 2000s when Lucasfilm sold the brand to Creative Labs for use with their soundcards. This came at the same time of the first wave of mass "decertifications" (IE theaters that had been built to THX specs quietly dropped all advertising indicating as such) under Regal Cinemas.
 

Brian Husar

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I like them, too. They're a quick way to make sure all your speakers are working properly without having to run a test tone.
Totally agree and also alot of fun. As I posted, Lionsgate has the teasers on the blu rays but not on the 4K UHD discs. Why not put these in all 4K discs and blu rays? They did back in laserdisc days. I know it seems small but it is a great way
to make sure your speakers are calibrated.
 

Brian Husar

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THX hasn't been relevant since the early 2000s when Lucasfilm sold the brand to Creative Labs for use with their soundcards. This came at the same time of the first wave of mass "decertifications" (IE theaters that had been built to THX specs quietly dropped all advertising indicating as such) under Regal Cinemas.
What was the cause of the decertification?
 

George_W_K

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Maybe THX needs to make a comeback, or something similar so we don't get disappointing Disney Atmos mixes by holding them to a standard.

I love the intro trailers for Atmos and DTS before the movie. I'm surprised Dolby and DTS don't try to have everyone include them just to get their names beat into consumers heads. We all know about them here, but generally I'm sure most people have no idea what Atmos is.
 

Lord Dalek

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What was the cause of the decertification?
Most of the theaters Regal owned that were THX Certified were actually from various chains they had purchased in the late 90s (most notably the Act III and United Artists theaters). Around 2002-2003ish, they simply let their grandfathered in licenses lapse when it was revealed that THX was never a real soundsystem in the first place.
 

Brian Husar

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Maybe THX needs to make a comeback, or something similar so we don't get disappointing Disney Atmos mixes by holding them to a standard.

I love the intro trailers for Atmos and DTS before the movie. I'm surprised Dolby and DTS don't try to have everyone include them just to get their names beat into consumers heads. We all know about them here, but generally I'm sure most people have no idea what Atmos is.
I thought they were working with Cinemark and their Xtreme HD theaters, but that was about all I heard.
 

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