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THX tune-up App Launched for iOS

By Michael Low & Joy Hou - on 27 Feb 2013, 11:01am

THX tune-up App Launched for iOS

THX today announced its first mobile app, the THX tune-up, 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.

Screenshot of the app's interface

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 US$1.99 in select countries.

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:

Video adjustments

  • 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

Audio adjustments

  • 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.

Bonus features
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.

Supported devices

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.