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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

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

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.