By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
SAN RAFAEL, CALIF. — THX began offering its first mobile app – called THX Tune-up – that lets iOS, and eventually Android device, users adjust their TVs, projectors and speakers for top performance.
THX Tune-up is now being offered in the Apple App Store for a $1.99 purchase fee. This is after THX offered the app for free during Super Bowl week under a special limited-time promotion.
“By using the THX Tune-up app, sports fans, movie enthusiasts, gamers and reality- show addicts can confirm their TV and sound system are set up correctly,” stated Sandra Benedetto, THX director of product management. “THX Tune-up guides consumers simply and easily through picture and sound adjustments to get the best possible entertainment experience from their home system.”
THX Tune-up guides users through picture and sound adjustments to get the best possible entertainment experience.
“We also included fun stuff, like links to THX cinema trailers and our signature THX Deep Note sound that are bound to evoke envy on a newly ‘tuned-up’ system,” Benedetto said.
Custom-designed video patterns and audio tests are provided to help users check for optimal video equipment settings based on both equipment capabilities and room-lighting environment. External speakers can also be measured for correct phase and connection.
Color and tint settings are often too complicated to adjust properly without special glasses or other unique equipment.
THX Tune-up uses the iPad or iPhone camera and a special, THX-designed built-in color filter to help consumers easily ensure colors are accurate and skin tones appear natural.
The interactive app provides step-by-step instructions via narration and text, as well as a detailed guide on how to use all of its features.
Tests are offered for the following:
• Aspect ratio – ensures your TV displays shapes and sizes correctly;
• Brightness – makes certain shadow details and night scenes are clearly visible;
• Contrast – ensures that white detail is distinct on your television;
• Color – make sure colors are bright and vibrant but not overly saturated or cartoonish;
• Tint – ensures skin tones appear natural and are not too green or red;
• Speaker assignment – ensures that speakers are connected to the correct audio/video receiver output and intended sound is coming from the correct speaker; and
• Speaker phase – confirms that positive and negative speaker wires are connected correctly and all speakers are in phase.
THX said the Tune-up app is not intended to provide full calibration capabilities, and deferred to professional installers and calibrators for optimal fine-tuning results.
THX also offers a calibrator Blu-ray Disc to graduates from any THX Education class. The disc is also available in limited quantities at industry tradeshows and events in which THX participates.
THX said it has added a number of its classic cinema features to the app, including:
• THX Deep Note – the sound that made THX famous is available at the push of a button in 5.1 surround sound;
• THX Trailers – THX trailers (like the ones in THX Certified Cinemas) are available to demonstrate properly tuned systems;
• Moo Can – users can tilt their iPhone or iPad to hear the classic “moo” sound from a popular THX cinema trailer; and
• Ask Tex – provides answers to any questions for THX about home-theater equipment and setup process.
THX said the Tune-up app is “laying the groundwork for partner involvement with future applications that can provide a competitive differentiator and feature enhancements for mass consumer products.”
THX said it plans to release an Android version of the Tune-up app this spring.
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