THX, LG Bring 3D Certification To CEDIA

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— In recently unveiling its first 3D plasma displays, which are on display at CEDIA Expo this week, LG Electronics became the first TV manufacturer to christen a new certification program for 3D display products from THX.

LG introduced earlier this month two Infinia 1080p 3D plasma TVs, carrying a certification mark signifying the sets measure up to THX’s stringent protocols for performance.

According to Kevin Wines, THX image technology director, the new LG displays, and any others that are to receive the seal in the future, will present images that are free of some of the artifacts and problems for which some rival 3D displays on the market have been criticized.

LG’s new THX plasma models are part of the PX950 series and include the 60-inch and 50-inch screen sizes, carrying suggested retails of $2,999 and $1,999, respectively.

Both models were said to have passed more than 400 laboratory tests evaluating left- and right-eye images for color accuracy, cross-talk, viewing angles and video-processing performance.

In order to pass 3D certification, both sets had to first pass THX’s certification for 2D picture quality.

THX will certify 3D displays of any type, including video projectors and LCDs. Although LG introduced Infinia 3D LCD displays several weeks earlier, those models missed THX 3D certification because they were manufactured prior to completion of the THX 3D certification standards, said Tim Alessi, LG product development director.

“The TV is built to the specification,” explained Graham McKenna, THX public relations director. “So, when a set comes in we work with the manufacturer on the prototype development stage to lock the firmware in before it goes into mass production.”

After passing tests and locking in the firmware, THX sends technicians to the factory to QC products coming off the assembly line, McKenna said.

In both the 2D and 3D certification processes, THX is able to make suggestions to the product development team for tweaks and corrections to bring the sets into compliance with the certification standards, Wines explained.

“What THX did for our sets in 2D is taken to another whole realm in 3D, where people are re-experiencing 3D for the first time,” Alessi said. “This adds a new dimension in what picture quality people should expect, and having the THX certification on there should really help elevate” their feeling of confidence.

Wines said the challenges faced in home-theater displays parallels those being faced in public theaters, as well.

Basic criteria include making brightness of the displays much higher to compensate for the loss of brightness imposed by the shaded glasses.

Engineers analyze left- and righteye images to ensure they retain the sharpness and detail.

THX is also working with content producers to produce 3D programming for maximum quality in the home, he said.

In that effort, the image-standards firm recently announced that it has teamed with Blufocus to offer the industry’s first 3D certification for Bluray movies and broadcast programs.

The THX-Blufocus Certification program will cover all aspects of 3D production, including onscreen characters, graphics and subtitles, as well as audio and authoring quality assurance.

Meanwhile, the THX 3D TV certification is glasses-technology agnostic, meaning THX 3D programs can be adjusted for both active-shutter and passive glasses systems. LG’s new THX 3D plasma sets use an activeshutter glasses system, Alessi said.


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