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THX Adds Blu-ray, ‘Big Room’ Standards

CEDIA Expo 2009 Atlanta – Professional and
home-theater standards developer THX revealed
at CEDIA Expo here that it has added a new set of performance criteria for
Blu-ray Disc players.

The first two Blu-ray Disc players to earn the THX stamp are Lexicon’s
first Blu-ray Disc player, which makes its debut at the show prior to shipping
in November, and an upscale Pioneer player.

Measurement criteria for Blu-ray players are very similar to the
standards THX has set for display technologies, covering nearly 400 data points.

The firm strives to offer manufacturers, installers and consumer
sets of performance levels for displays and devices in home-theater systems to
as closely as possible duplicate the THX-certified performance.

In addition to covering how the player presents HD content from a
Blu-ray Disc, the THX Blu-ray standard covers how a player presents standard-definition
images and SD images up-converted to HD formats, including 1080p.

“What’s on all the various discs the Blu-ray
player plays – Blu-ray and DVD as well – has to come out unblemished and free
from all distractive artifacts – some of which can be quite hard to quantify,”
explained John Dahl, THX senior fellow and education director.

Meanwhile, THX is also showing in its Omni Hotel suite, here, its
Big Room concept, which is described as a new product design and certification program
that brings professional audio quality and performance to prosumer amplifiers,
pre-amplifiers and loudspeakers.

“THX Big Room bridges the gap between the
consumer and professional audio worlds, offering custom installers more
hardware choices for designing large, multi-row media rooms and home theaters,”
the company said.

THX is showing the new concept here using THX Certified concept
products from Snell Acoustics, Parasound, Diodes Zetex Semiconductor and

The THX Big Room certification builds upon the THX Ultra2 Plus
program, ensuring speakers, amplifiers and preamps are designed with the
performance necessary to deliver studio Reference Level volume (85dB) and
headroom in large home theaters where the viewing distance from the screen is
20 feet and beyond – rooms 660 square feet or 8,000 cubic feet in size, THX

THX explained that most consumer-grade speakers and receivers are
designed for average sized residential home theaters and living rooms – 1,000
to 3,000 cubic feet in size. When used in rooms that exceed this size, consumer
components are often overdriven, causing clipping, distortion and physical damage
to loudspeakers.

THX Big Room systems include at least two rows of monopole/bipole
side surround speakers and four individually calibrated and delay-adjustable
subwoofer outputs to ensure enveloping coverage throughout the seating area.

THX Big Room systems require higher power transducers and speaker