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THX Looks At New Initiatives

10/18/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SAN RAFAEL, CALIF. – THX has placed
plans for one home-audio initiative on hold and
is considering an unrelated audio initiative.

On hold is the company’s proposed THX Big
Room certification program, which the company
demonstrated at last year’s CEDIA Expo for
installation in large, 8,000-cubic-foot multi-row
media rooms and home theaters. The concept
generated “a lot of interest,” a spokesman said,
but THX put it on hold in part because of the
economy and the downturn in the custom-install
market, for which the certified audio products
were tailored.

Separately, the company is “cautiously” considering
plans to create new home audio technologies
and market them individually outside
the company’s THX Select 2, Select 2 Plus,
Ultra 2 and Ultra 2 Plus certification programs,
the spokesman said. Such an initiative could
expand THX’s supplier base, but the company
must fully consider the impact on its current
programs and customers because “THX stands
for quality,” he said.

“We’ve talked to suppliers about it to get
their feedback,” he noted.

As for the Big Room certification standard,
that was designed to bridge the gap between
the company’s THX Approved certification
program and THX Ultra 2 and Ultra 2 Plus programs,
he explained.

The Approved program certifies equipment
going into THX-certified professional-studio
screening rooms and in certified theaters in hotels
and corporate venues with 50 to 100 seats
and multiple seating rows, the spokesman said.

The Ultra2 programs for home theaters are designed
for residential rooms up to 3,000-cubicfeet
in size with viewing distance up to 12 feet.

The Big Room concept would come in between,
designed for rooms with a cubic volume
up to 8,000 cubic feet, with a viewing distance
up to 20 feet, and with multiple but fewer seating
rows compared to the Appoved standard.