THX-Optimizer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matthew-K, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Matthew-K

    Matthew-K Stunt Coordinator

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    Something that just came to me. Many DVD's come with the THX-Optimizer. Does the viewer need to calibrate the t.v. using the THX-Optimizer for each disc, or is it the same for all DVD's? For example, if i calibrate using the THX-Optimizer on the Monster's Inc. disc, do i need to recalibrate when I watch the Attack of the Clones DVD using its optimizer? thanks
     
  2. Joseph_mx

    Joseph_mx Stunt Coordinator

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    The answer is no. You do not need to use the THX-Optimizer for each disc. Only once.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The THX website says the exact opposite:
     
  4. Joseph_mx

    Joseph_mx Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I was wrong, but let me tell you that I can not find any difference with the test patterns. It seems to be the same. Am I Wrong again ? [​IMG]
     
  5. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    I've read that note on THX's site in the past, and it just doesn't make sense to me. 'Reference' levels are supposed to be just that: reference levels. They shouldn't vary from disc to disc; if they do then by definition they aren't reference levels.

    AVIA and VE are both 'set and forget' which makes me very suspicious of THX's Optimizer. Both the playback system and the software are supposed to be calibrated to the same reference levels. The playback system shouldn't require constant adjustment to some variable, inconsistent level that changes for each disc. Viewers having to adjust their playback system to each disc defeats the entire purpose of THX certification which is calibration to reference levels.

    If there are variances being introduced between the mastering and production stages (as THX seem to be suggesting) then THX should be compensating for them, not asking us to do it for them.

    And people wonder why some are so dubious of THX certification.

    Adam
     
  6. Jeff_P

    Jeff_P Stunt Coordinator

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    I am glad someone brought this up becuase I was never sure either. I would think that "Reference Levels" are just that and should stay the same. If anything shouldn't the THX certification changed the levels(audio or video) to the settings they should so once your "THX optimized" every movie would look at the director intended without changing any settings on your TV.
     
  7. Lannie Lorence

    Lannie Lorence Stunt Coordinator

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    I've said it before and here it goes again. Those THX test signals are different for each title. I have a sensitive video projector which I'm always trying to get the most contrast out of to make it as bright as possible. For Phantom Menace I had the contrast set between 0 and 20 (it's been a while, I don't remember the exact number). I watched Anchor Bay's Near Dark recently that was THX. I had the contrast set over 100--close to maximum. If I tried to watch Phantom Menace on this setting, the highlights would be way blown out: missing a lot of detail. For Near Dark, it was great.

    I would suggest setting up with VE or Avia. This is the standard reference and should look good for most everything. If a DVD has A THX optimode and you have the energy to use it, by all means do so. It will tailor your system to the exact levels that are on the disc, which can vary somewhat. A direct view set will show that diffence a lot less than a pj, but it can't hurt. And if you have a pj, I would strongly recommend using it. There are a lot of different types of transfer and encoding equipment, and believing that they work all exactly the same is living with your head in the sand.

     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Even a projectionsit shouldn't have to adjust the projector for every showing of a movie. As long as the projector bulb is in good shape, then most of the QC should have taken place at the lab that makes the prints. I'm not saying that theaters shoulnd't do maintenance on their systems, but only every few weeks, not every showing as THX optimode would have you do for your home.
     
  9. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not trying to fan the flames of which one is right and which one is wrong, but I certainly have noticed a difference in the black level adjustment screen between VE and the T2 Ultimate Edition THX Optimizer on my setup.

    Originally, I calibrated using the Optimizer, and found that while T2 looked really good everything else seemed a bit off. Then I got VE and calibrated using it. While the shadow detail of T2 is now lost a bit from what it was, everything else seems to be right on. When I pull up the THX screen the portion that is supposed to just barely be visible has merged into the blacker than black portion. Since I don't watch T2 exclusively, I've left the settings that I got when doing the VE calibration and haven't touched them since with no complaints.

    As a side note, whenever you pay to have your set ISF calibrated the calibrator is going to use either Avia or VE, not THX Optimizer.

    Hope this might help,

    Dan
     
  10. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

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    I never messed with the THX optimizer on discs, so I'm really surprised to hear that it varies from title to title. This truly does negate a lot of the logic behind THX certification in the first place.

    For a disc to be THX certified it should have to be mastered to a consistent (i.e. "reference") standard.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb. Now I care even less if a disc is certified .. it's become nothing more than a "Good Housekeeping" seal ... a bare minimum of quality.
     
  11. Jedrek

    Jedrek Stunt Coordinator

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    Well if the AOTC DVD has perfect picture, shouldn't the THX optimizer on that disc be the same for all the others then?[​IMG]
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Not all discs are mastered at the same levels, just like CDs and your soundsystem.

    There are guidelines and reference points, but there are also natural variations between equipment, no different than calibrating scientific equipment (which must be done on a regular basis if you wish to meet ISO complaince).

    I don't always go through the rigor of such fine tuning, but it's not wrong to do it if you have the time and demand that sort of perfection.

    Just like it is good to check a rear projection set's alignment from time to time as it can drift with vibration, etc.

    All software SHOULD come with at least color bars so that you can maximize your system for the current software being played. I'm not saying you are wrong to skip this, but at least the option should be made available to you (like Criterion does, as well as THX).
     
  13. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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  14. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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