Did you get the HDTV you’d been wishing for this holiday season? If so, after you take it out of the box and plug it in, the next thing to do is get it properly calibrated – and THX is here to make sure you get the most out of your entertainment experience.

Everything at THX revolves around presenting movies and other content exactly as the creator intended. Speakers should reproduce a soundtrack as close as possible to how the composer want it to sound. Receivers should transparently amplify and switch sources without negatively affecting the signal. Displays and projectors should reproduce an image as close as possible to what the director intended in the studio.

In fact, reproducing a great image on a display is so important to THX, that THX created a THX Movie Mode for certified displays, developed THX Optimizer, and established a custom installer educational program for professional calibrators – all tools to enable the best possible HDTV performance.

Best Picture, Out-of-the-Box

THX Movie Mode, found on THX Certified displays and projectors, is the industry’s best-performing out-of-the-box picture mode. The settings were researched and selected by THX Video Engineers to create the most accurate picture that can be produced using factory presets. If you do nothing else with your display, put it in this mode for optimal image performance.

THX Optimizer

Because there are small variances between different displays, even from the same company, the settings can’t be exactly perfect. To get your display even closer to ideal, there’s THX Optimizer. Available on most THX Certified DVDs and Blu-rays, and built in to THX Certified TiVo DVRs, THX Optimizer is an easy-to-use calibration tool containing a series of test patterns to help you get precise picture settings. And as an added bonus, folks who attend THX Certified Professional Education courses receive a complimentary THX Calibrator Blu-ray Disc, also containing an HD version of the tool, plus more advanced test patterns.

  • Black Level
    Use the Black Level Setup pattern to set the Brightness control, which adjusts how dark the dark parts of the image are. If set too low, detail in dark objects are lost. For example, black jackets and shadows will disappear into blackness.
  • White Level
    Use the White Level Setup pattern to adjust Contrast, which controls the bright parts of the image. If set too high, bright details will be lost. Clouds and snow will disappear into a white mush. Every TV has an exact setting that produces the best image, without crushing bright or dark detail.
  • Color & Tint
    Color (the amount of it) and tint (adding more red or green to the image) should be correct if you’re using HDMI, but if they are slightly off, the Color Setup and Tint/Hue patterns (with the use of the blue glasses) will help perfect these controls. Other patterns, like Aspect Ratio, ensure the right picture size settings on DVD/BD players and displays.
  • After going through the THX Optimizer test patterns, view the select video clips to make sure everything is set correctly.

    THX Certified Professional Calibration

    Even though THX Optimizer is a great do-it-yourself tool, hiring a THX Certified Calibrator is still your best bet. Because viewing environments and personal preference can vary greatly from household to household, a THX Certified Calibrator can fine tune your display’s settings to more exact specifications.

    THX Video Testing

    A THX Certified Calibrator uses specialized equipment to ensure a display is performing to the best of its abilities for each particular environment. Color temperature/grayscale, perhaps even the colors of the display itself, can all be tweaked to perfection.

    THX Certified Professionals go through significant training and testing to become experts at what they do. Multi-day, hands-on courses cover all aspects of TV performance and calibration. It’s the most extensive display calibration training in the world.

    Click here to find a THX Certified Professional Video Calibrator in your area.

    Become a THX Certified Professional

    Intrigued? See for yourself. The THX Video Calibration 1 Professional Workshop is an intensive single-day seminar open to anyone with an interest in becoming a THX Certified Calibrator, or anyone looking to learn how to get the best from their home entertainment equipment.

    THX Certified Professional Video Training in NY
    Attendees learn the basics of how to calibrate a display, get insider tips, and learn all about how displays and projectors work. Passing the course allows entry into the THX Video Calibration 2 Professional Workshop, which has further extensive training using advanced equipment and techniques. At the end of course, students will have the knowledge be able to calibrate nearly any display.

    Click here to sign up now – the next class is coming up soon, right after CES in Las Vegas, January 13, 2012. The Cal 2 class follows, January 14th and 15th.