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Thread: THX overrated?

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    THX overrated?

    From my understanding, companies pay big bucks for Lucas to certifiy their equipment THX. I do understand the equipment goes through tweaks and such to meet these stands. Is it worth the extra bucks to get a THX receiver, then not to have one?

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    i would say its not worth it to pay extra to get it. its just a bonus if it does have it.

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    I personally don't really like THX. It, at least to me, seems to cut some of the highs. Or, it seems a little flat compared to DTS. Some people like it. Knowing that now, I probably would not make that a requirement in choosing a receiver. Mine does have THX but I bet I have use it only once or twice.

    JSE

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    Is THX actually a "feature" that can be used in a receiver, or is it more a certification stamp? Does it avertly affect DTS playback somehow, as JSE suggests?

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    It should be a non issue, unless you are receiving royalties

    Then, it would be an issue.

    If it has it, so what, if it doesn't, so what. That is the extent of THXs value to me.
    BTW, Lucas sold it off a couple of years ago to Creative Labs.
    Space

    The preceding comments have not been subjected to double blind testing, and so must just be taken as casual observations and not given the weight of actual scientific data to be used to prove a case in a court of law or scientific journal. The comments represent my humble opinion which will range in the readers perspective to vary from Gospel to heresy. So let it be.

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    THX is nothing but a certification. I would be willing to bet, many of the components that do not carry the THX certification could. Slap a THX logo on the product = charge the customer more money.

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    JSE
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH
    THX is nothing but a certification. I would be willing to bet, many of the components that do not carry the THX certification could. Slap a THX logo on the product = charge the customer more money.

    Actually, THX is more than just a ceritfication. It's actual sound mode on some receivers just like DTS, PLII, etc.

    JSE

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSE
    Actually, THX is more than just a ceritfication. It's actual sound mode on some receivers just like DTS, PLII, etc.

    JSE
    I realize that some pre amps / receivers do have a THX mode. I agree with your experience with THX modes, all it does is roll off the highs. But from what I have seen, a majority just carry the logo with no THX mode. I believe I have even seen speakers with THX certification

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSE
    Actually, THX is more than just a ceritfication. It's actual sound mode on some receivers just like DTS, PLII, etc.

    JSE
    No - sorry JSE, THX is not a surround sound "mode" at all ... it is as SteveH suggested nothing more than a certification that a product meets certain performance qualifications as required by LucasSound - nothing more (or less). If some mfg. has the audacity to proclaim it as a surround mode, either they don't know as much about their business as they should, OR they are totally unscrupulous and seriously lacking in business ethics (such as Bose).

    What receiver that you know of makes such a claim? I'd sure like to know.
    woodman

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    Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what a "THX Certified" interconnect/cable is.

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    JSE
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    No - sorry JSE, THX is not a surround sound "mode" at all ... it is as SteveH suggested nothing more than a certification that a product meets certain performance qualifications as required by LucasSound - nothing more (or less). If some mfg. has the audacity to proclaim it as a surround mode, either they don't know as much about their business as they should, OR they are totally unscrupulous and seriously lacking in business ethics (such as Bose).

    What receiver that you know of makes such a claim? I'd sure like to know.
    Well, My Yamaha RX-V1400 is THX certified and has a THX mode. The remote hs a THX button. This defintely a different sound field from DTS or PLII . Actually I think it's just a variant of EX called "THX surround EX". Here's a link that discusses it. Look about halfway down the page.

    http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/SurroundSound.shtml

    If I am confused on this, let me know.

    JSE

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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what a "THX Certified" interconnect/cable is.

    That's funny. It's weird, the Monster "THX Cert." cables are the cheaper than their normal lines. You would think they would charge more for them. Go figure.

    JSE

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSE
    I personally don't really like THX. It, at least to me, seems to cut some of the highs. Or, it seems a little flat compared to DTS. Some people like it. Knowing that now, I probably would not make that a requirement in choosing a receiver. Mine does have THX but I bet I have use it only once or twice.

    JSE
    That THX re-eq feature DOES cut off the highs because the original soundtracks for a lot of earlier movies were mixed with a house curve that boosted the highs. This sounded fine with low bandwidth optical soundtracks, but if those soundtracks got transferred to digital without compensating for those boosted highs, then they will sound overly bright when played back in DD. These instances are where the THX re-eq mode is useful. But, for more recent soundtracks and DVDs where the soundtrack was remixed with the corrected EQ, then it's not really needed. Otherwise, THX is basically a certification program.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSE
    Well, My Yamaha RX-V1400 is THX certified and has a THX mode. The remote hs a THX button. This defintely a different sound field from DTS or PLII . Actually I think it's just a variant of EX called "THX surround EX". Here's a link that discusses it. Look about halfway down the page.

    http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/SurroundSound.shtml

    If I am confused on this, let me know.

    JSE
    When DD EX was first made available to home consumers, the "official" version of it was only available on THX-certified receivers/processors. However, non-THX receivers could still do the back surround decoding with DD EX soundtracks, they just couldn't call it "EX" without the THX label included as well. I think it was two years ago that the "EX" label could be extended to non-THX receivers. It's really all basically the same thing.

    The THX button is basically the re-eq function, and I'm pretty sure that the EX decoding can be done without the THX mode active.
    Last edited by Woochifer; 03-12-2004 at 12:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Nikon
    From my understanding, companies pay big bucks for Lucas to certifiy their equipment THX. I do understand the equipment goes through tweaks and such to meet these stands. Is it worth the extra bucks to get a THX receiver, then not to have one?
    Get a receiver because it's a good one that meets your needs within your budget. The THX certification is just that, a certification. With receivers, it sets minimum output standards and inserts a re-eq mode into the DSP menu, and that's really the extent of the value that it adds to the receiver. The value of THX may be more marketing related for the manufacturer, than anything having to do with performance for the consumer. Plenty of quality receivers out there without THX certification, so IMO it should not be a factor at all in your final decision making. In some cases, such as the speaker certification, THX in the past has been detrimental with its dipolar surround speaker requirement for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    That THX re-eq feature DOES cut off the highs because the original soundtracks for a lot of earlier movies were mixed with a house curve that boosted the highs. This sounded fine with low bandwidth optical soundtracks, but if those soundtracks got transferred to digital without compensating for those boosted highs, then they will sound overly bright when played back in DD. These instances are where the THX re-eq mode is useful. But, for more recent soundtracks and DVDs where the soundtrack was remixed with the corrected EQ, then it's not really needed. Otherwise, THX is basically a certification program.
    Good info. I guess my original point was that the THX mode found on some receivers would not be a factor in choosing a receiver. Mainly, because I do not like the mode. I understand THX is mainly a certification, but the fact that some receiver's have a THX mode, makes if appropriate to the poster's original question.

    JSE

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSE
    Well, My Yamaha RX-V1400 is THX certified and has a THX mode. The remote hs a THX button. This defintely a different sound field from DTS or PLII . Actually I think it's just a variant of EX called "THX surround EX". Here's a link that discusses it. Look about halfway down the page.

    http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/SurroundSound.shtml

    If I am confused on this, let me know.

    JSE
    OK ... now I understand the confusion. Yamaha is simply making use of the THX certification (which they've always met, but refused to pay for) as a way to differntiate DD-Surround-EX (so called 6.1 mode) from the more prolific DD-5.1 surround mode that is the standard surround mode in use for HDTV television broadcasting and DVDs.

    But in the final analysis, I stand by my previous comment that THX is not a surround sound format at all, but merely a performance certification. Yamaha has always qualified for such certification, but refused to pay LucasFilm their "pound-of-flesh" for the right to put the logo on their equipment. Now, with competition in the A/V receiver marketplace heating up and getting hotter than ever, they've caved in and paid for the right to use the THX logo. As long as they've done that, they're making use of the THX name to try and put forth the idea that it's worth more than it actually is.
    woodman

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    OK ... now I understand the confusion. Yamaha is simply making use of the THX certification (which they've always met, but refused to pay for) as a way to differntiate DD-Surround-EX (so called 6.1 mode) from the more prolific DD-5.1 surround mode that is the standard surround mode in use for HDTV television broadcasting and DVDs.

    But in the final analysis, I stand by my previous comment that THX is not a surround sound format at all, but merely a performance certification. Yamaha has always qualified for such certification, but refused to pay LucasFilm their "pound-of-flesh" for the right to put the logo on their equipment. Now, with competition in the A/V receiver marketplace heating up and getting hotter than ever, they've caved in and paid for the right to use the THX logo. As long as they've done that, they're making use of the THX name to try and put forth the idea that it's worth more than it actually is.

    OK, I am starting to pick up what your laying down. But, I think (I am at work right now) my receiver has both a DDEX and the THX mode. What's the difference then. They do sound different. I thought after reading the article I linked earlier DDEX and THX surround EX are the same thing. Bare with me, it's starting to sink in.

    JSE

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    If THX is anything like ISO 9000 or 13485, I fully respect the THX level of quality. I work for an ISO certified company. It takes allot of work and effort to keep the ISO Quality certification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dharris
    If THX is anything like ISO 9000 or 13485, I fully respect the THX level of quality. I work for an ISO certified company. It takes allot of work and effort to keep the ISO Quality certification.
    Not exactly, at least for home consumer products. The certification is simply ensuring that the products meet certain minimum standards and some specific performance and/or design parameters. ISO's kind of the flip side in that it does not certify the end products, but rather the management, quality control, and decision making processes. With the THX theater alignment program, there are periodic recertifications involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waxxiemann
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    THX is not just a certification standard nor is it a surround format unto itself. THX stands for "Tomlinson Holman Experiment" and its development came about due to Mr. Holman's realization that movie soundtracks did not sound as they should when played back in small home theater environments as compared to the large movie auditoriums for which they were mixed. He helped develope processing which could be implemented with existing surround formats to correct for these spacial differences. As has already been mentioned, Cinema Re EQ is part of that processing but there is also processing to enhance the timbre match between the front and surround speakers as well as a
    slight "decorrelation" of the mono signal to the surround speakers for Pro Logic processing: This decorrelation of the surround signal imparts more of a stereo feel to the rear speakers along with a greater sense of spaciousness to the rear sound field: Of course this is no longer required with the advent of the discrete formats.

    Personally, I feel that THX processing was a worthwhile improvement for Pro Logic based systems, although to reep any real reward the setup had to be implemented properly. One couldn't just buy a THX receiver to realize all of the benefits that THX had to offer. The right speaker choices had to be made, speaker placement and room conditions were equally important which required an added investment in time and money that few bothered to make. The failure of most to implement such systems properly is largely responsible for the pervassive opinion that the THX mode sounds worse than straight forward processing. This is reasonable given that most who shared this opinion weren't hearing the system operating as it was meant to be heard. If the surround format evolution had ended or stalled with Pro Logic, I think THX might have been embraced by more who had the chance to hear the benefits of a properly setup system. Its importance to current surround processing is highly questionable in my opinion and so for the average consumer, THX has been relegated to being nothing more than a certification standard.

    Q

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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what a "THX Certified" interconnect/cable is.
    A cable that meets their specs, whatever that is. Most likely a flat Fr.
    mtrycrafts

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    Wink

    If I remember correctly it's either DDex or DTSes is the same as THX ex. One or the other. My STR-DA7ES reciever has both of these so I know i'm capable of the same standards. And up until now I was proud that Sony hadn't given in to the THX propaganda. Unfortunately this years models have the certification. But anyway, THX ex is the button that you have on your remote even if it inly says THX. They are correct that THX is only a certification. I want to say it's DTS es thats the same with THX ex. This is what companies call theirs if they haven't bought the THX license.

    ~C.C.~

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    Talking I found it.

    Heres some info.

    THX
    A lot of confusion is surrounding THX. It is not a sound format and it is not a special image format. THX is a Lucasfilm company that is certifying films, software and hardware, and as such making sure the presentation quality meets certain standards. THX certified films or equipment are not necessarily better than parts that do not carry THXs seal of approval, but at least you have some kind of a guarantee that it meets certain quality aspects.


    THX EX
    THX EX is the name of a new Dolby Digital sound format, using 6.1 channels. The format adds an additional surround center channel to the current 5.1 setup to create a more engrossing surround field that is compatible to the front field in terms of spatial integration. Unlike sound formats like DTS,THX EX does not necessarily require additional equipment to listen to the audio track. It is an extension and as such backwards compatible with the current Dolby Digital standard. If you do not have a THX EX decoder in your home theater setup, the playback will be automatically converted for 5.1 playback.

    ~C.C.~
    http://hometheater.about.com/library.../aa061400a.htm

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