THX has added Logitech to its Media Director partners, joining the likes of LG, JVC, Epson, and Onkyo manufactured devices that will be capable of delivering digital data directly from AV content creators.
The Media Director technology allows film content creators to communicate AV content—such as aspect ratio, color space, cadence, frame rate, and audio reference levels—as metadata to set-top boxes, 3DTVs, and AV receivers.
“Media Director communicates artistic intent and makes it so the playback device can go into a mode where it says ‘I shouldn’t be using that capability here,’” said Chris Armbrust, THX technical program director.
“We plan to support THX Media Director in future-generation HDMI-based audio products,” added Ben Gibson, director of product marketing for Logitech Audio. “Home theater technology today can offer an audio experience that is comparable to being in a modern cinema. Many consumers, however, don't realize that the right audio and video settings are key to achieving this experience. By supporting THX Media Director in our upcoming products, we expect to deliver a far more enthralling, yet hassle-free entertainment experience in our customers’ homes.”
The first round of these products are scheduled for release in early 2012.
Also at NAB in Las Vegas, THX built upon the previous CES announcement that Sonic Solutions content creation tools—now under the Rovi guise—can be used to encode the metadata for Media Director translation. “Those tools are used by up to 80 percent of the authoring and compression houses in Hollywood,” stated Jeremiah Glodoveza, senior director of marketing communications at THX.
The completion of the Sonic/Rovi agreement includes the RoxioNow reference player, including the 10,000 titles in the RoxioNow digital library. The RoxioNow entertainment distribution platforms power a range of digital storefronts—like those offered by Best Buy and Sears—and it is accessible through Blu-ray players and IP-enabled TVs.
The Media Director technology has been in development for several years and is finally ready to begin rolling out to the market, Armbrust said.
This type of result has not yet been possible for Hollywood producers to achieve. “Content creators spend a lot of time getting it just right, and want it to get played back at the right settings,” Armbrust said. “They’ve been one of our biggest champions through the development.”
Not only are content creators able to accurately communicate their films the way they originally intended to, but consumers will no longer need to meddle with their remote settings to optimize their movie-viewing experience, according to THX.
Starting in 2012, Media Director will be part of the THX certification, meaning devices that bear the THX logo will be Media Director capable.
“THX, was founded more than 25 years ago on the notion of making sure artistic intent was preserved from studio to playback,” Glodoveza said. “Media Director is a good example of continuing on that mission.”