THX Technical Program Director, Chris Armbrust

SXSW is just around the corner and THX’s Technical Program Director, Chris Armbrust is looking forward to being THX’s man on the street in Austin. As discussed in a previous blog, Chris will be attending SXSW to lead a panel on “Tweaking Your Living Room to Director’s Standards” taking place on Monday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center, 4th floor, workshop room 13ab.

Before Chris headed out, we took a moment to find out what he is looking forward to seeing and doing at the conference.

Q: SXSW has grown to be a major event that bridges the gap between art and technology. What made THX interested in participating?

A: The SXSW Conference and Festival brings together technology thought leaders, musical talent and film makers from all ranks—amateur to expert. This mixed audience allows for a casual, yet collaborative environment that offers invaluable learning and networking opportunities. By being a part of the conversation, whether it is through attending panels, parties or networking, I’ll be able to get new insight into today’s as well as the future’s needs and concerns of the creators and innovators in this space. These types of gatherings and experiences enable THX to continue providing leading technology and services that preserve artistic intent and enhance the overall entertainment experience.

Q: You are hosting a panel at the show. What are you going to be discussing and why is it important or interesting to the SXSW audience?

A: These days there is an overwhelming number of home entertainment choices – content formats, devices, device menus, settings, etc. This also means there are a lot of places where artistic intent can be misrepresented or lost completely between post-production of content and when the consumer is enjoying it from the couch. I’ll be talking to SXSW attendees about how recent technology advancements can help preserve their vision and all of the work that went into the creative intent of a particular piece. These same technologies allow consumers to easily experience television, games, movies and more as intended, without having to figure out what the optimal playback settings are, allowing for a seamless, more enjoyable experience – “as the director intended.”

Q: In addition to talking about the importance of artistic preservation, your panel focuses on improving the consumer’s entertainment experience. What are consumers demanding these days from entertainment devices?

A: Consumers are consistently demanding better and better quality picture and sound from home theater devices to personal handheld devices and tablets. With today’s developments in technology, visual resolution and audio clarity have vastly improved, not only offering a better experience for the consumer, but giving artists a richer palette and flexibility to tell their stories. In addition to the demand for quality, consumers want products that are easy-to-use. They don’t want to hassle with settings or remotes and setup menus in order to have the best picture or sound, they just want to sit back and enjoy their entertainment. THX created THX Media Director™ to address these demands, as well as to assure the artists who put their heart and soul into creating a short film, game, documentary or other piece of content, that their vision can be maintained and presented optimally to consumers.

Q: With all of the events and panels available at SXSW, what are you looking forward to the most?

A: I am excited to attend SXSW from both a personal and professional standpoint. On a professional level, I am looking forward to learning more about multiple screen technologies and the monetization of entertainment. In addition, I am also hoping to catch a few sessions on the future of entertainment. A few panels that are currently on my list to attend include:

On a more personal note, I can’t wait to hear Bruce Springsteen’s keynote and hear his perspective on the art and technology of music. I have always enjoyed seeing artists deliver their story firsthand. There is a sort of magic that a live performance offers, where you can feel the artist’s passion flowing from the stage.

Q: As a SXSW film badge holder, you also have access to film screenings. Are there any in particular you are hoping to catch?

A: I definitely plan to use my flight time to further map out my schedule at the show. Throughout the week, I’ll be sharing details about my SXSW adventures on the THX Facebook and Twitter page.

Join THX on THX Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on Chris’ activities at SXSW. Also, feel free to send questions/comments about your own experiences if you’re also at the show, or if you want more detail on any of the subjects we highlight at the event.