THX's Media Director- Will it Fly?
THX is sure not sitting around and living off their existing licenses. Like everyone else they are looking for the next Big Thing. Here at CES, they are touting a new THX technology called Media Director that is meant to simplify home theater set-up and operation. MD turns movies, music and video games into, what THX calls “smart content” that can communicate information about AV settings directly to your home entertainment products. The technology lets consumers tap into and maximize the features and modes of their electronics. More than ever consumers are faced with an overwhelming amount of playback and set up options on their gear and its no wonder they are confused, tending to use the out of the box settings. THX hopes to take a lot of that confusion and frustration out of the process.
THX Media Director self-configures home entertainment products based on metadata descriptors embedded on DVDs, CDs and downloads. This metadata can describe audio and video characteristics of digital content, including the appropriate surround sound formats and post processing modes for playback on AV receivers, and video aspect ratios, color temperature, brightness and sharpness for playback on HDTVs and DVD players. THX Media Director metadata is communicated to playback devices via an HDMI connection, which delivers the content and its descriptors, and enables the device to automatically select the appropriate playback settings on each device.
Of course, this requires licensees and so far THX only has four partners [Lyngdorf Audio, Portrait Displays, Sequoyan Media Technology, and Anchor Bay, makers of DVDO scalers]. With none of them being major manufacturers, they're going to need a lot more support to make this as successful as their core technologies.
Its definitely sounds like a cool idea to let the media dictate the playback parameters of your equipment so it will be interesting to see how this progresses.