SAN RAFAEL, CALIF.
– THX has placed plans for one home-audio initiative on hold and is considering an unrelated audio initiative.
On hold is the company’s proposed THX Big Room certification program, which the company demonstrated at last year’s CEDIA Expo for installation in large, 8,000-cubic-foot multi-row media rooms and home theaters. The concept generated “a lot of interest,” a spokesman said, but THX put it on hold in part because of the economy and the downturn in the custom-install market, for which the certified audio products were tailored.
Separately, the company is “cautiously” considering plans to create new home audio technologies and market them individually outside the company’s THX Select 2, Select 2 Plus, Ultra 2 and Ultra 2 Plus certification programs, the spokesman said. Such an initiative could expand THX’s supplier base, but the company must fully consider the impact on its current programs and customers because “THX stands for quality,” he said.
“We’ve talked to suppliers about it to get their feedback,” he noted.
As for the Big Room certification standard, that was designed to bridge the gap between the company’s THX Approved certification program and THX Ultra 2 and Ultra 2 Plus programs, he explained.
The Approved program certifies equipment going into THX-certified professional-studio screening rooms and in certified theaters in hotels and corporate venues with 50 to 100 seats and multiple seating rows, the spokesman said.
The Ultra2 programs for home theaters are designed for residential rooms up to 3,000-cubicfeet in size with viewing distance up to 12 feet.
The Big Room concept would come in between, designed for rooms with a cubic volume up to 8,000 cubic feet, with a viewing distance up to 20 feet, and with multiple but fewer seating rows compared to the Appoved standard.