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THX developing automated audio-video adjustment tech

Erik Hanson

Little known fact: THX was founded by Star Wars director George Lucas in 1983 to help theater owners adjust their auditoriums for maximum impact -- and in doing so became an iconic brand for AV technology, even if no one really knew what THX is or does. Well, the company is now using that expertise to take on a new home theater challenge: automatically balancing audio and video levels. While THX-certified receivers, screens, and speakers are nothing new, what THX has under development could help ensure even the least technology-savvy users get the most from their gear. While details are slim at this point, think about how HDMI connectors can send technical details between source units and televisions to set optimal resolutions or audio formats. The project, code-named Blackbird, will supposedly work with the equipment directly on a movie-by-movie basis to adjust levels and tweak all those many options and levels you set and forget. Now, if we can just get this tech to do something about people connecting their high-def sets up correctly in the first place.

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