THX: Media Director Initiative Gains


Las Vegas - THX said its Media Director initiative gained more momentum here at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show with the announcement that video-streaming sites powered by Rovi's RoxioNow platform now incorporate Media Director technology.

The technology, designed to simplify the A/V playback experience for consumers, embeds metadata in video streams and on Blu-ray and DVD discs. Future compatible TVs, Blu-ray players, audio products and set-top boxes will read the metadata and automatically select the audio and video settings that deliver the content provider's artistic intent and the best sound and picture quality, THX said.

All of the more than 10,000 movie and TV titles available through RoxioNow-powered streaming services incorporate the metadata, THX said. The services include those operated by Best Buy, Kmart, Sears and Blockbuster.

The services will be joined later this year by a handful of Blu-ray and DVD discs that feature Media Director metadata, said Chris Armbrust, THX's technical program director. A handful of compatible CE devices will also be available this year, he said. In 2012,  the selection of compatible discs and CE devices will expand, he promised.

The selection of compatible CE devices next year will grow in part because THX certification standards for CE products delivered in 2012 have been expanded to include Media Director technology.

THX also cited other Media Director advances at the show, including  Logitech's plans to incorporate Media Director in future products, joining products planned by LG, JVC, Epson and Onkyo; and the addition of Media Director-encoding capability in Rovi's disc-authoring tools, which are used to create most Blu-ray and DVD titles for the U.S. market, Armbrust said.

The inclusion of Media Director encoding in Rovi's tools simplifies the disc-encoding and -authoring process compared to using a separate Media Director tool, he explained.

To deliver the best possible picture quality, Media Director metadata will incorporate commands to adjust such settings as aspect ratio, 2D or 3D playback, 3D format, contrast and brightness, settings optimized for sports programs and games, and THX Cinema mode.

Audio-equipment settings would automatically change to optimize playback for games, sports, music, or movie content, and the products will select various THX post-processing modes.

THX has also promoted its Media Director technology to cable operators.


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