THX specifications, where??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RichardMA, May 14, 2002.

  1. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    I don't like THX. I used to love them. What they, Dolby, Sony and DTS accomplised with certified theatres in the early 1990s was astonishing. Finally, sound that would not only lift you out of your seat, but because of proper auditorium acoustic specs and low distortion, you could listen at high levels without having your ears burn.

    Now, IMO,they are essentially running a con game with their THX and THX ultra programs, as well as their theatrical program. However, It would HELP greatly if somewhere there were concrete specs posted

    for their so-called systems instead of the sales pitches

    they use on their site to promote them.

    A THX badge and claim of "Low noise" in a power amp means nothing without knowing a number or a measurement.

    At this point, THX has convinced store owners and various

    members of the public their programs produce positive

    results so you see expensive processors, etc, sporting

    that "THX" logo on them. I have no doubt THX does produce

    "results" but exactly what kind is a mystery, except for

    vague sales pitches. In fact, the only product I "think"

    ever failed to get a THX badge when asked for was a

    poorly designed Kenwood top line receiver from a few years

    back, but it had severe problems.

    somewhere
     
  2. Luke M

    Luke M Extra

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    The THX specifications are secret, of course. If they were public then the THX label would have much less value, since an unlicensed product could (truthfully) claim to meet THX specs. Less money for George Lucas, in other words.
     
  3. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with you Richard
    Some companies like Yamaha chose not to go
    with the THX certification. They have their
    own standards which sometimes outperform THX.
    Robert[​IMG]
     
  4. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    I find it amazing they keep their specs secret when they

    openly use the THX badge to sell and charge more for

    products. It's like saying, "Don't asked specific questions,trust me, I'm George Lucas."

    What a con.

    -Rich
     
  5. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a conundrum.

    You can sorta glean details from specs sheets of existing equipment.

    ie. all the THX surround modes of preamps/receivers ('adaptive decorrelation' et.al.)

    the input voltages of amps and the power capabilities ie. THX Select vs. Ultra and the minimums power and amp characteristics.

    T.
     
  6. Dave_Olds

    Dave_Olds Stunt Coordinator

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    I dont think its a big deal.....The Manufacturers have access to it, thats all that matters, if they didnt, it'd be a problem.....
    For the most part, the average HT buff wouldnt understand the specs and why they would be advantageous. It would just open things up for mindless arguing....The positive is that Lucas provided a service that has increased the quality for the CONSUMER....In a sense, protecting them....If it wasnt a big deal, manufacturers would NOT adhere to the certification and ignore it. The fact that the manufacturers use this as a selling tool tells you they KNOW its a good thing....
    And if THX is NOT a good thing, then its not just Lucas. Its collusion with the manufacturers as accomplices. Someone, somewhere would have spoke out about this if it wasnt a good thing....So you can look at it two ways:
    1. Its a good thing accept it - the manufacturers believe in it - it helps the consumer and provides them quality stuff at a decent price...
    2. Its a collusive effort with manufacturers to gain inflated pricing on their products...
    I will go with #1 myself....The great thing is we have a choice. If you dont like then buy something that is not THX certified. It would be a major problem if there wasnt a choice, but there is.
    So, any complaining is really misguided since there are choices.....But maybe we could get Oliver Stone to look into this some more [​IMG]
     
  7. Phill O

    Phill O Stunt Coordinator

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    Not to mention that THX certification is
    trying to be an industry standard. There
    is now THX recording studio equipment.
    Just what we need, music to be recorded wrong
    so that we need THX to "fix" the errors.
    Whats next the THX toaster? I think THX has done
    a great job early on it fixing theater sound in the
    "old" days. But I feel that Tomlinson Holman has
    more learn still about home audio. 10.2 audio! come
    on now, that is just getting silly. I bet allot of
    speaker manufacturers would love 10.2 audio.[​IMG]
    P.S. If the movie sound track was recorded properly
    (for the home) there would be no need for any ReEQ.
     
  8. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    There are different certifications for each area (home computer, theater, Home theater, recording studio, etc.). After hearing from manufacturers who have gone through the process (see AVS forum link above) I feel that THX certification is very important for processors (receivers, pre/pros) as well as DVD players. How many THX certified DVD players have had problems playing certain DVD titles? Every complaint I see in the Software forum is about an Apex, Toshiba, or other non-certified player. FWIW, I've never had any problems with my Pioneer DV-05...

    THX amps need to be able to drive a 3.6ohm load at unspecified distortion and power levels.
     
  10. Dave_Olds

    Dave_Olds Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I think this Onkyo 600/700 thing is a classic case of what good can come from THX....

    Isnt it better to have a lab with no bias towards any particular manufacturer check the specs? Otherwise MFGs can just run amok with their own criteria....
     
  11. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Thanks for posting those links. They at least provided a

    small amount of "specs" from which to derive a conclusion.

    Too bad my conclusion is that THX is continually looking

    for greater revenue streams at the cost of their formerly

    excellent program.
     
  12. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  13. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Well, you can belive what you want,however THX never fully disclosed to any manufacturer all the requirements.They provide guide lines though.

    Further more if one would test bench a certified product one would know/see that it isn't that difficult to meet with those requirement.Of course licencees are somewhat a different matter all togheter.
     
  15. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    I don't know that any manufacturer knows all the requirements, but if the manufacturer is not made aware of what causes a product to fail, then the manufacturer can not fix it to make it compliant. So its not as simple as "either pass or fail". Based on what failed, they can infer, with reasonable certainty, what the requirements are. Another component of the THX certification process which you all don't seem to grasp is the usability factor. It's not just does this product meet a measurable requirement, but how easy is it to use and how logical is the design. I suggest you all re-read the thread from AVSForum. Certification is not as trivial as some of you make it out to be.
     
  16. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Does anyone think any competent component won't meet the

    THX (or Ultra) specs? We don't know what those specs

    are, but when one company (Bryston) offers both THX

    and non-THX amplifiers that are identical, it's clear

    at least one company already and easily met the THX specs.

    Look at the dynamic headroom of receivers, it's generally

    poor compared to seperate power amps, but there are a few

    that meet THX's specs. Does anyone really think Outlaw,

    Anthem, Krell, etc, would fail a THX test?

    As I said, the only product that I know that did fail was

    a Kenwood receiver of with known problems (at the time).

    If anyone knows of any "good" equipment that failed to meet

    a THX spec, I'd like to know about it.
     
  17. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  18. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    If you take any equipment and throw it in a room,

    especially the average home listening room, you'll end

    up with a disaster. Everything has to be calibrated.

    I've got the "THX Audio System Home Equalization Manual."

    To use it to calibrate the room/equipment you need some

    sound equipment, maybe including THX's own acoustic analyser.

    The good thing is that the calibration parameters are not rock solid, there is a good deal of latitude in them. It specifically says you try to get a reasonably flat frequency response but not to go overboard with equalization. In addition to going by this guide, reading and understanding the "The Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest (with information derived by the BBC recording studios) will help people deal effectively with less than perfect listening environments and the environment will effect the sound more by far than whether the equipment is THX certified or not. What is important if the room cannot be radically modified for sound is to have comprehensive controls in the processor since they are the only variables you'll have at your disposal to modify the sound and correct any problems.
     
  19. Anthony June

    Anthony June Agent

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    With all do respect I happen to have a lot of experience with THX systems and and their set up and I am just curious if you have, What we know is that THX is designed to take the original sound and reproduce that in the Theater/Home environment as best as possible. It also allows you to use different speaker manufacturers and still achieve the same consistent experience.

    The other thing that THX does is look at things like on screen menu's, how easy is it to set up or do advanced applications, so all of these things as well as the secret standards are designed to give you an enjoyable experience.

    And as for many quality manufacturers that make products that if tested would easily meet THX standards they can choose to pay the licensing fee for a logo that signals to most consumers that additional standards have been adhered to and they can benefit from it, or they can just do some comparative shopping.

    Who else is willing to set a standard in this vast industry? I do know that several manufacturers and even Producers send products to THX for licensing and or mastering and then after receiving the feed back on what needs to be done they bail and and get a few pointers in

    how to enhance there product.

    And as for paying more for it capitalism is what drives the economy as well as the inventions.
     

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