Celebrating 40 Years of THX Ltd.: From Revolutionizing Audio and Visual Experiences To Making Immersive Audio Ubiquitous  

By Jason Fiber, THX Ltd. CEO

One name in cinema and home entertainment is synonymous with exceptional audio and visual quality: THX. As we embark on our 40th anniversary, we remain committed to revolutionizing how movies, music, and immersive sound are experienced.  

THX Ltd. was founded in 1983 by the legendary filmmaker George Lucas. Frustrated with movie theaters’ inconsistent sound and picture quality, Lucas envisioned a standardized system to ensure audiences could enjoy films as the directors intended. Never one to rest on his laurels, THX was founded as a subsidiary of Lucasfilm dedicated to developing high-quality audio and visual standards and technologies. In its early years, THX set out to establish rigorous technical standards for audio-video reproduction in movie theaters. The goal was to create a consistent and immersive sound experience across different theaters around the globe. To earn the mark of a THX® Certified theater, the cinema had to meet stringent criteria for acoustic design, speaker placement, audio performance, projection luminescence, and screen quality, guaranteeing audiences could enjoy films as close as possible to how the creator intended. 

Expanding into Home Entertainment 

As THX gained recognition for its groundbreaking work in cinema, the company ventured into the realm of home entertainment. In the 1990s, THX partnered with key brands and introduced THX Certified audio and video equipment for home theater systems, ensuring consumers could recreate the cinematic experience in their living rooms. These certified products adhered to the same exceptional standards as THX Certified theaters, delivering high-fidelity audio and video. 

Innovating in Immersive Audio 

THX has long been renowned for advancing high fidelity. In collaboration with Dolby Laboratories, THX developed the Surround EX surround sound format, which launched with Star Wars Episode I and introduced a sixth channel of audio to the rear of the theater. This innovation enabled filmmakers to create even more realistic and immersive soundscapes, captivating audiences like never before in the cinema and at home. THX then began partnering with consumer electronics manufacturers to ensure consumers could access products delivering uncompromising audio and visual performance. THX then established certification programs for a broader range of consumer electronics, such as televisions, gaming consoles, and car audio systems. THX also remains at the forefront of innovative technologies and continues to embark on providing immersive audio and high-fidelity tuning advancements. This includes THX® Spatial Audio which is now implemented into gaming devices, laptops, speakers, and headphones, and extending new offerings in leading-edge 3D audio and audio-video tuning to the Pay-TV device market, soundbars, and a myriad of next-generation mobile devices. One can also look to THX Spatial Audio tools to empower music creators of games, streaming, and audio mixes. And don’t forget, THX is providing the THX® Certified Live! Experience for the Aerosmith 40-city U.S. “Peace Out” concert tour this year. 

THX Ltd. has left an indelible mark on the audio-visual industry, shaping how we experience movies, music, and entertainment no matter where or how it is enjoyed. From its inception as a response to George Lucas’ vision for standardized audio and visual quality, THX has set the bar high for immersive sound and picture experiences.  

As technology continues to evolve, THX remains committed to ensuring that audiences can enjoy movies, music, and multimedia content in the most compelling and true-to-life manner possible. We welcome you to stay on this journey with us as we bring entertainment to life! 

To learn about THX offerings in 2023 please download the digital brochure here and find THX news here