Everyone wants their home theater to perform at its best, but the average set up DVD can only take you so far. To achieve that ultimate level of performance, it’s best to look to a professional calibrator.
THX Certified Professional Video Calibrators are the best in their field at what they do. No, calibrators aren’t shipped to some secret THX lab to get their THD+Noise measured (yet). Instead, they take part in an extensive, hands-on, multi-day course teaching them every aspect of video, audio, and calibration. Graduates are even allowed the use the THX logo, and all the cachet that goes with it.
Now, all participants in THX’s Training get an added bonus: the THX Calibrator Disc. More than just a simple set up disc, the THX Calibrator Disc is a valuable tool loaded with patterns and tests that make A/V set up and calibration faster and more accurate. With this one disc and a few pieces of measurement gear, a trained THX Certified Professional Video Calibrator can quickly get a system performing at its finest.
Let’s take a closer look at the THX Calibrator Disc. This Blu-ray Disc is broken down into three sections; THX Trailers, THX Optimizer HD, and Advanced Tests.
Click through for a sneak peek.
Available for the first time in HD, the THX Calibrator Disc contains four THX trailers to demo a calibrated system. There’s the colorful “Amazing Life” trailer, with its alien plants, the Terminator 2-inspired “Cavalcade,” the Pixar-designed “Tex 2: Moo-Can,” (replete with the infamous “cow chord”) and of course, the “THX Broadway Trailer.” The THX Broadway Trailer is the original THX Trailer that introduced us to the famous THX Deep Note – which is instantly recognizable as THX.
*Finishing a calibration with the THX Broadway Trailer is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and a near-guarantee of repeat business.
Just now releasing in theaters is the THX 3D Trailer. As an “Easter Egg” on the THX Calibrator Disc, this trailer is available in 3D on capable systems by pressing “down” from the THX Broadway Trailer. An update of the Broadway classic, this trailer features the THX logo on a deep cloudy background, emerging from beams of colored light while THX Deep Note sounds.
The THX Optimizer is similar to what’s found on most THX Certified Discs. You can read about these basics patterns by clicking here.
This is where the fun begins. The Advanced Tests section is where you will find the
Gamma Patterns- which will aid you in any calibration. These are low APL (Average Picture Level) patterns with a central square of varying IRE, just like what you’d get from a test pattern generator.
Starting with 0 IRE, each click of the chapter-forward button on the Blu-ray player’s remote will increase the square’s IRE by 10. Unlike many calibration discs with IRE patterns, the THX Calibrator Disc has the IRE/percentage listed on-screen to ease navigation.
Once a display’s color temperature has been calibrated, it’s on to Advanced Patterns. The first three here are red, green, and blue to assist in choosing the display’s most accurate color mode. In the case of more sophisticated displays, these can be used to help calibrate the actual color points.
The other patterns here are useful from a testing standpoint, though aren’t strictly for calibration. For example, Color Bars can help you diagnose color decoder problems. The 4×4 Checkerboard is useful when measuring a display’s ANSI contrast ratio. The 16-235 and 0-254 Stairstep patterns let you eyeball gamma, plus are a final check for contrast and brightness settings. You’ll also be able to see with these patterns if any areas in the grayscale are warmer or cooler than others, indicating either poor grayscale tracking or an incomplete grayscale calibration. The 1-On 1-Off 1080p pattern, a full screen version of the one found in the THX Optimizer, helps you see if the TV is overscanning or is otherwise adversely manipulating the image.
Once the video is sorted, it’s on to the Audio section. These tests are useful on a number of levels. The first, being able to check the entire signal path of a system is invaluable. What’s more, each test is available in different codecs. There’s Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, and PCM. Having each of these in one place easily confirms that each codec is playable.
The other tests here are to make sure each channel is going to the correct speaker (left to left, right to right, etc), plus speaker level and phase. Speaker and subwoofer frequency sweeps are also incorporated into this section to make sure there are no rattles in the room.
THX Certified Professional Video Calibration 2:
The more advanced THX Certified Professional Video Calibration 2 is a two-day, hands-on, advanced course. Discussions include gamma, scaling, de-interlacing, and ending with each student calibrating a TV with advanced measurement tools. Graduates of this course achieve the title of THX Certified Professional Video Calibrator. For more information, click here
Discounts are available for those signing up for both classes. Click here for special pricing and registration information.