THX certification is appearing on new video products here at CEDIA Expo, where Stewart Filmscreen is unrolling the first THX-certified gray projection screen and Panasonic and LG are showing the first THX-certified plasma displays to be available outside installer channels.
TiVo's second THX-certified HD DVR is also on display (see story above).
The projection screen, the GrayHawk RS G3, uses gray-color material to improve black levels in home theater environments, THX said. Conventional matte-white screens often reduce contrast levels by scattering light from a front projector to the ceiling and walls. The G3 material is available in sizes up to 40f feet by 90 feet.
For gray screens, THX added a contrast-enhancing test to its THX Certified Projection Screen program.
"Most modern movie theaters have dark-colored walls to reduce light reflections directly onto the screen," said Michael Rudd, THX's chief A/V architect. "The Stewart GrayHawk RS G3 will provide professional installers, dealers and homeowners with an option to improve black level performance in home theaters and media rooms with a brighter decor."
Stewart's original GrayHawk was the industry's first gray reference screen. The new GrayHawk G3 uses material with an ultra-fine optical coating optimized specifically for 1080p source material. The coating also improves uniformity for consistent brightness across the entire screen. The coating, combined with the neutral density gray base, dramatically increases black levels, shadow detailing and overall color saturation, THX said.
THX-certified projection screens are promoted as ensuring that the screen's optical properties do not affect the chrominance, luminance or uniformity of the projected image, THX said. For the testing, THX also analyzes a screen's micro perforations to ensure they're not visible from the viewer's seating position. The micro-perforations improve acoustic transparency and allow for behind-screen speaker placement without degrading sound quality.
Certified white screens are available from Stewart, Screen Research and Eastone.
Also at the show, Panasonic and LG are each showing a new series of plasma TVs that are the first THX-certified displays available outside custom channels, THX said. Panasonic's series is the Viera PZ800 series, and LG's is the LG PG60 series. They will be available through conventional retail and online outlets and began shipping in the summer, THX said.
The Panasonic series includes the 42-inch TH-42PZ800, 46-inch TH-46PZ800, 50-inch TH-50PZ800, and 58-inch TH-58PZ800. The LG series includes the 60-inch 60PG60 and 50-inch 50PG60.
THX display certification sets performance standards for black level, resolution, contrast, color gamut and other factors. Certified TVs also feature THX Movie Mode, a pre-calibrated playback feature intended to recreate the movie-theater experience by setting the display's gamma, luminance, color temperature and other settings to the settings used by filmmakers.