Audio titan THX has released its very first mobile app, and it's aimed at helping folks fine tune their home theater experience. Dubbed "THX tune-up," the app slings videos, photos and test patterns to televisions and projectors to guide users through gauging and adjusting their kit's aspect ratio, brightness, color, contrast and tint. The solution isn't comprehensive, but it promises to work with hardware of any brand. If you don't have an AirPlay setup or cables to pipe content from your iDevice to a larger screen, the application also lends a hand when it comes to tweaking color and tint by leveraging a device's camera and a baked in color filter. As for audio, the app includes a pair of sound tests to make sure speakers are in phase and pump out the right output. THX tune-up won't be available on Android until this Spring, but it's currently up for download on Cupertino's App Store for free -- until it gets slapped with a $1.99 price tag after February 4th, that is. Hit the bordering source link to give it a spin.
THX LAUNCHES ITS FIRST MOBILE iOS APP TO HELP CONSUMERS PROPERLY ADJUST AND GET THE MOST FROM THEIR TV, PROJECTOR AND SPEAKERS
THX tune-up[TM] is Available Free for One Week Worldwide, then Will be Offered at $1.99 in Select Countries
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - January 29, 2013 - THX Ltd. today announced its first mobile app, THX tune-up[TM], which is now available in the iTunes App Store. THX tune-up is an easy-to-use, interactive app that lets the general consumer use an iOS device to adjust their TVs, projectors and speakers, to get the best performance and enjoyment from their entertainment system - regardless of brand and price.
THX tune-up arrives just in time for this year's Big Game. According to research conducted by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, more than 7.5 million viewers are expected to buy a new television specifically for the game.1 To help all home viewers get on a level playing field and enjoy their new or existing TVs on this big day, THX is offering the app worldwide for free for the first week of its release (January 29 - February 4, 2013). THX tune-up will then be available at its regular price of U.S. $1.99 in select countries.2
"By using the THX tune-up app, sports fans, movie enthusiasts, gamers and even reality show addicts can confirm their TV and sound system are set up correctly. THX tune-up guides consumers simply and easily through picture and sound adjustments to get the best possible entertainment experience from their home system," said Sandra Benedetto, director of product management, THX Ltd. "We also included fun stuff, like links to THX cinema trailers and our signature "THX(R) Deep NoteTM" sound that are bound to evoke envy on a newly 'tuned-up' system."
THX tune-up features
Using specifically custom designed video patterns and audio tests, THX tune-up allows consumers to check that video equipment settings are optimized based on the consumer's equipment capabilities and lighting environment, and external speakers are working in phase and are connected properly. For instance, color and tint settings are often complicated to adjust properly without special glasses or other unique equipment. THX tune-up uses the iPad or iPhone camera and a special, THX-designed built-in color filter to help consumers easily ensure colors are accurate and skin tones appear natural.
The interactive app provides users step-by-step instructions via narration and text, as well as a detailed guide on how to use all of its features, walking consumers through the following tests:
Aspect ratio - ensures your TV displays shapes and sizes correctly
Brightness - makes certain shadow details and night scenes are clearly visible
Contrast - ensures that white detail is distinct on your television
Color - make sure colors are bright and vibrant but not overly saturated or cartoonish
Tint - ensures skin tones appear natural and are not too green or red
Speaker assignment - ensures that speakers are connected to the correct audio video receiver (AVR) output and intended sound is coming from the correct speaker
Speaker phase - confirms that positive and negative speaker wires are connected correctly and all speakers are in phase
The THX tune-up app is not intended to provide full calibration capabilities. For home theater enthusiasts, calibrators or installers that want a higher level of control and ability to fine-tune their system, THX has a THX Calibrator Blu-ray Disc which is given to graduates from any THX Education class, and is also available in limited quantities at industry tradeshows and events in which THX participates.
THX tune-up is not all about settings - THX added a number of its classic cinema features to the app that can be appreciated over and over again:
· "THX Deep Note" - the sound that made THX famous is available at the push of a button in 5.1 surround sound
· "THX Trailers" - extraordinary THX trailers (just like the ones in THX Certified Cinemas) are available in HD for users to show off their newly tuned TV and sound systems to friends and family
· "Moo Can" - users can tilt their iPhone or iPad to hear the classic "moo" sound from a popular THX cinema trailer
· "Ask Tex" - provides consumers with an easy way to get answers to any questions they might have for THX about their home theater equipment and setup process
THX and future apps
With the launch of THX tune-up, THX is laying the groundwork for partner involvement with future applications that can provide a competitive differentiator and feature enhancements for mass consumer products. With a rich history born out of George Lucas' desire to improve cinema video and audio capabilities, THX hopes to help bridge the inherent hardware capability of smart devices, TVs, speakers and overall home theater systems with content creators' creative intent to improve the home entertainment experience.
THX tune-up is available now for Apple iOS devices only, including the iPad 2, 3 and 4 with iOS version 5.1.1 or later; the iPad Mini with version 6.0 or later; the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 with iOS version 5.1.1 or later; and the iPod Touch, generation 4 or later with iOS version 5.1.1 or later. THX plans to release an Android version in Spring 2013.
An Apple Digital AV adapter or Lightning Digital AV adapter and HDMI cable, or Apple TV is needed to connect the iPhone or iPad to your system.
1. More than 179 Million Football Fans Gearing Up for the Big Game, According to Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. National Retail Federation research, January 24, 2013.
2. Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.