THX Ltd. is an audio company owned by Singaporean company Razer Inc.. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 1983 by George Lucas. It develops the "THX" high fidelity audio/visual reproduction standards for movie theaters, screening rooms, home theaters, computer speakers, gaming consoles, car audio systems, and video games.
|Industry||Motion picture industry|
|Founded||May 20, 1983|
|Founder||George Lucas |
Levi’s Plaza, San Francisco, California,
The current THX was created on June 12, 2002 when it spun off from Lucasfilm Ltd. THX was developed by Tomlinson Holman at George Lucas's company, Lucasfilm, in 1983 to ensure that the soundtrack for the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, would be accurately reproduced in the best venues. THX was named after Holman, with the "X" standing for "crossover" or "experiment" as well as in homage to Lucas's first film, THX 1138. The distinctive glissando up from a rumbling low pitch used in the THX trailers, created by Holman's coworker James A. Moorer, is known as the "Deep Note".
The THX system is not a recording technology and it does not specify a sound recording format: all sound formats, whether digital (Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS) or analog (Dolby Stereo, Ultra Stereo), can be "shown in THX". THX is a quality assurance system. THX-certified theaters provide a high-quality, predictable playback environment to ensure that any film soundtrack mixed in THX will sound as near as possible to the intentions of the mixing engineer. THX also provides certified theaters with a special crossover circuit whose use is part of the standard. Certification of an auditorium entails specific acoustic and other technical requirements; architectural requirements include a floating floor, baffled and acoustically treated walls, non-parallel walls (to reduce standing waves), a perforated screen (to allow center channel continuity), and NC30 rating for background noise ("ensures noise from air conditioning units and projection equipment does not mask the subtle effects in a movie's soundtrack").
In 2002, THX was owned by sound card manufacturer Creative Technology Limited, which held a 60% share of the company. The company has had a long history with Creative, which was responsible for the creation of the first THX-certified audio card for computers, the Sound Blaster Audigy 2.
In 2016, THX was acquired by videogame hardware company Razer Inc., with Razer owning all of THX and its intellectual property.
THX has created a certification process for additional products including home audio, home theater, video, and automotive sound components and products. THX certification extends to home audio receivers, speakers, desktop systems, soundbars, acoustic materials, microphones, and HDMI cables.
THX's Ultra2 certification is given for home theater components said to be good enough for a large home cinema of 3,000 cubic feet (85 m3) or more.
THX's Select2 certification is given for home theater components said to be good enough for medium-sized rooms, up to 2,000 cubic feet (57 m3) in size, with a 10–12 feet (3.0–3.7 m) viewing distance from the screen.
I/S Plus Systems
THX's I/S Plus systems include an AV Receiver + Speaker Bundle and are certified to fill a small home theater or dorm room where the viewing distance from the screen is 6–8 feet (1.8–2.4 m). These THX certified home theater in a box systems are so far exclusively made by Onkyo.
THX Certified Multimedia Products are designed and engineered for PC gaming and multimedia on the desktop.
The logo and the Deep Note
When the THX Calibrator Blu-ray disc debuted, two new versions of the original Broadway trailer were released. One which is an HD restoration of the trailer, the other which is the 3D version of the trailer.
- "Razer buys audio-visual firm THX to cash in on growing Chinese cinema market". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- "A New Beginning for THX: Why I Sold My Company In My First Year - Medium". Retrieved 2016-10-18.
- Crabtree, Sheigh (2002-06-12). "Lucas' THX stakes out new galaxy". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2002-08-11. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Rinzler, J.W. (2010). The Sounds of Star Wars. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-8118-7546-2.
- "THX Certified Cinemas". THX, Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Hoppel, Adrian (2013-03-20). "Law & Apple: iFone Defeats iPhone, THX Targets Apple". MacLife. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2016-10-25.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Self-guided tour" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "THX Certification Performance Categories". THX Ltd. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Onkyo HT-S9300THX Integrated System review". Sound and Vision. Sound and Vision. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "THX Certified Plasmas, LCD TVs & Projectors". Home Entertainment. thx.com. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- "THX Calibrator Blu-ray Disc Explained". THX Test Bench Blog. thx.com. Retrieved 2012-09-11.