CEDIA Expo: THX offers ‘Standard’ for Blu-ray

The first two Blu-ray players to earn the THX “stamp of approval” will be the first Blu-ray player from Lexicon, as well as a high-end player from Pioneer.
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THX, the professional and home theater standards developer, skipped the IBC this year and instead announced at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta (Sept. 9-13) that it has established a set of performance criteria for Blu-ray Disc players — in effect, devising an unofficial performance standard for the 1080p disc technology.

CEDIA is the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association.

Sort of like the longstanding Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval bestowed on a variety of non-technical products used in the home, the first two Blu-ray players to earn the THX “stamp of approval” will be the first Blu-ray player from Lexicon, as well as a high-end player from Pioneer. (The Lexicon unit debuted at CEDIA last weekend and will begin shipping to retailers in November in time for the holiday sales season.)

THX said its detailed measurement criteria for Blu-ray players will be similar to the standards it has established for other display technologies, which typically cover as many as 400 checkpoints.

Along with assessing how Blu-ray players technically present 1080p HD content from a Blu-ray disc, THX’s new Blu-ray standard also takes into account how each player model presents SD images and how it upconverts to HD formats, including 1080p. (All Blu-ray players, THX-certified or not, are backwards-compatible for playing standard DVD content.)

Simply put, for a player to qualify for a THX ranking, it must portray Blu-ray content consistently free of all distractive artifacts, among other criteria.