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THX Ultimate Demo Disc

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I just got the THX Ultimate Demo Disc. It also contains the phantom menace podrace in DTS!?!?!?! It really is nice a demo disc in DTS, but why does one show the podrace in DTS when you can't buy the movie in DTS!!! It's a bit weird having a demo and not having the real product in the same quality. Or am I missing something and can I get the Star Wars movies with DTS sound?
Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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I wish. I am huge DTS (especially the ES 6.1 if you've got the equimpent) fan. It is a DD EX soundtrack, which is the best Dolby Digital has to offer, but I think the much higher bit rate and the fact that in the US there isn't as many DTS supporters as abroad left DTS out. I got the Donnie Darko Director's Cut and the R2 version has DTS, while we get DD. In Asia they are fanatical about DTS soundtracks and use them much more than here. Maybe when we jump to the next format with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, we'll see more liberal use of higher bitrate audio (especially when mixing an additional channel for the 6.1), but right now you may sacrifice your video quality (movies like Brotherhood of the Wolf had to do some compression with the addition of the DTS). Also think about how much room those animated menus take up on the 2004 Box Set, very significant amount of space. Ultimately though I believe THX is tied in tightly to DD and probably will never go DTS. Which is sad. I feel it is superior to the best DD has to offer and many other audiophiles agree. Where did you get the aforementioned disc though I'd love to hear the two tracks played against each other (one with the DD EX and one with DTS).
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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Where do you get a THX disc?

Did you have to pay money for it?

Not that I'm putting it down but I don't think I'd ever want to pay money for something like that when I can buy a kick ass movie for a demo.

I personally use "The Fast and the Furious." I know this movie isn't cool, in fact it sucks ass, but it's DTS track is great. And I didn't have to pay for it. My brother gave it to me.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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No didn't pay money. I downloaded it. I don't think you can buy them (well at ebay you can...). Check www.torrentspy.com and search for "thx" (full name: "THX Surround Demonstration DVD PRO STYLE")
Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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What else does this DVD have?
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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It has a lot of different THX trailers, dolby digital trailers + surround demonstration, the podrace and a so called WOW! clip (this is a clip of about six minutes with fragments of the idiana jones trilogy, the star wars ot and willow). The WOW! clip is fun to watch and nicely edited (well that's my opinion anyway).
Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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Yup, thats basically it. Just clips, though it nice to see in dvd quality some scenes from the original trilogy on it in full 5.1. I am surpised by the fact that ADigitalMan didn't use the Original Anaking Ghost scene from that one then the one from the laserdisc. Anyway, nice little demo disc.
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That sounds like what I saw at AX this weekend. I was amazed to see this THX promo with OOT footage being played. I cheered several times.

Thanks for the heads up.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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I would be suprised if a THX demo disc would have DTS, really, as I mentioned above THX works intimately with Dolby. I have never heard of THX paired with DTS. That would be the best of both worlds. I hope that 6.1 (especially DTS does become the next audio standard on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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It's a fan created DVD as it has both THX and DTS - eBay Auction for the fan created DVD

- And yes you can buy actual real Demo DVD's from dolby.com - thx.com and dts.com HAD them but they no longer have themon their sites

This is a real DTS Demo DVD - I had 1-5 but I traded them for one of my Star Wars LD sets

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Originally posted by: Obi-wonton
I hope that 6.1 (especially DTS does become the next audio standard on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.


Obi-wonton, 6.1 is so 20th century man, It's gonna all be about Dolby Pro Logic IIx & the possibility of the coming 7.1-channel surround! - I've not heard any runmors about 7.1 for a LONG time so it may be dead but who knows - I mean there are recievers and amps that are already set for 7.1 output...

I still say it'll be BLU-RAY!

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Yeah 7.1 is cool and soundlbaster cards support it and there is the creative speakers (same company) that have the 7 satelites and the sub, but configuration for the 6.1 makes more sense to the audiophile. Having a rear center, front center and four surrounds (front left,right and rear left right) is what most audiophiles set up. While you can have infinite speakers at some point there is diminishing returns, you have to differentiate data to the separates and that more wire, more power to each speaker at some point it gets crazy (unless your doing wireless and clear no audiophile does that). Mostly 7.1 is just upmixing a 6.1 or 5.1 soundtrack which you are really relying on a program to interpate the data in a certain way and the positioning of the speakers is not the same as a 6.1. To some degree more is better, but with most I talk to in the high-end audio field they really don't care for 7.1...that said they all love the 6.1 DTS soundtracks to show off a system. I heard a system last week in Tweeter for a 6.1 setup... sick. Anyway there are no 7.1 DVD's I know of (few 6.1)and same goes for dvd-audio and SACD. Anyway this is a lengthy answer, but I think the key for future of audio is better sourcing, higher bit-rates and software, decoding along with the multipositional speakers to give a true enveloping sound and less of a dilineated positional sound that is not reflective of real life of real audio (e.g. a concert experience). All that said, who knows.

Of course, Rikter, is a resident expert on audio/video systems, all things techie, and I agree Rikter Blu-Ray is the future. And even you may end up getting the PS3
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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Obi-wonton/Rikter and other audiophiles/audio experts.

I know this is a bit off topic, but ive seen this one receiver that had 10.2, it was an onkyo dont remember the model number could prob find it if i googled...think it was 989 or something like that. Is something like that worth it, it was expensive as hell (like 2.5 grand) but it also had every type of input/output you could want. Down the line when i can afford to get my own home theater setup i plan on getting a nice receiver so is it not worth it to get something like this? Is something with 6.1 enough? I realize that this can be dated and by the time I buy the stuff it may change...but what would the answer be now? If you were gonna go out and buy a receiver what would you get?

-Darth Simon
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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Obi-wonton - Yep, I see a PS3 in my future

Darth Simon - As Obi-wonton pointed out 7.1 at this time is really "upsampling" and there are no 7.1 DVD's or films YET (But I bet that the first 7.1 DVD's will be THX Ultra2) BUT it sure does sound BETTER then your standard Pro-Logic II as it just widens the rear sound field a bit and IMHO the result is a softer and more natural sound field. - SO in the long run if your going to invest in a high-end reciever make sure it's a THX Ultra2 for now as I really think that 7.1 will be the next format and I have a feeling that 7.1 may come in with Blu-Ray but if cash is an issues get something that can decode DTS ES and DD 6.1ex BUT be sure it has DTS!

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Darth Simon, a 10.2 setup is simply 2 x 5.1 and not 10 channels and the sub. It's putting each discrete data for a channel to 2 speakers each, including 2 subs. This is not necessary, a huge waste of power and the effect is probably disasterous if your an audiophile, cool if your a techie maybe. If you want that room filling sound get those omnipositional speakers that are high-end and not just twice as many speakers...again, twice the wiring, twice the wattage and God knows the result of how you are positioning these things. What's the point of discrete channels. Anyway, yes, the key to a system first is the receiver. As Rikter and I have mentioned things progress, evolve and there is different options (DD, DTS, 2.0 stereo, pro logic, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1). Rikter mentioned THX which is pretty good to get a THX certified receiver...it passes criteria namely low THD (total harmonic distortion) and measures of power, clarity and separation. THX Ultra 2, as Rik mentioned is whole other level and is the audiophile's goal for a home theater setup. This costs $$$. thousands. Depending on what you can afford I would give you different advice. Onkyo has really incredible receivers and this is a huge step, swapable cards in the back for software, connections, etc. Basically its future-proof. That's big. Think about Component was the big thing 4-5 years ago, DVI and optical 2 years ago, and now HDMI (which PS3 will sport 2 of to do side by side 16:9 for 32:9 aspect...sick) is all the rage as it does digital picture and sound in one clean connection. Guess what most recievers that have HDMI at the moment are typically 2000+ dollar (and thats the low end). A cheaper system (in terms of price) can still sound great, but it needs to be wired right, set up right (programming) and the speakers need to be positioned right, oh and wiring is huge and often overlooked. This is where a guy like Rik, can tell you some funny stories of incredible systems that sounded and looked like crap because those things weren't done right. As far as DVD players the rage right now is something again with HDMI and is upconverting (to 1080i). HD-DVD is coming this Christmas with nearly 100 titles, X-Box360 is still guessing of whether to go with it or not as they are coming out late fall and its a huge gamble at this point in the game. Blu-ray is the other format (and in my mind as well as Rik's the better one) that sony has and is coming in spring along with the PS3. No one knows who'll wins, early adopters will pay big bucks for dual format players. Personally I will get the ps3 and have one (with HDMI, DVI, bluetooth, etc). As far as resolution 1080 is king for HD, but 1080P (progressive) is hitting and a number of screens Aquos, Apple's Cinema Display are supporting 2k or 3k resolutions. Many of the company's filming now are doing 2k or 4k stuff that's giving them room for the future. Many hollywood types are pushing for 4k in the coming years. Even more disgusting than that they have digital projectors that support 8k resolution that I can not even fathom. Sony showed a version of spiderman 2 in hollywood this way with many terabyte files...again can't even imagine what it looks like. So if you want cheap, do that I can give some advice. If you want expensive futureproof as best as you can.

This was a long explanation, but hope it helps. Rik can give lots of advice on the installation and execution, he's an expert/professional.
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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thanks guys...like i said im a little ways off on getting a receiver, but when i do the 1 thousand area is probably the most i would be able to afford/spend but that may also change. Id def like to ask for some more specific advise when I the time does come if you're willing.

-Darth Simon
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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I'm going to come right out and say this but I fell it is necessary at this point in time.

I think THX is a useless system now.

Ok I said it. Now let me explain that a little bit. Back in the day when I was buying my first home Receiver (in Dolby Surround) I couldn't afford the top of the line THX receivers (also in Dolby Surround). They were a pipe dream that us budget audiophiles could only dream of back then. As time went by I got older and made a lot more money. I could finally afford this certified piece of audio goodness. Then a few years back THX decided that it wasn't going to stand for the best stuff anymore. It was now going to have degrees of THX. Suddenly in my mind THX meant a whole heck of a lot less. It was like they came out and said "this receiver is good but not as good as this one. Then with that one it's not as good as this ultra one over here."

It just seemed like a way to slap a brand name on a bunch of stuff that wasn't up to spec. If it is up to the THX standard say so. If it isn't don't. I mean why have a "THX select?" Just because it meets a few standards for good audio. I want something that meets all of them. Of course this is one of those audio things that can be debated till the cows come home. So I digress.

As for receiver advice, or home audio advice for that matter. Buy some good equipment and then stop looking at other audio stuff. You will only end up finding something else that is better and more expensive to spend your money on.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Originally posted by: Mackey256
I'm going to come right out and say this but I fell it is necessary at this point in time.

I think THX is a useless system now.





First - THX is NOT a sound format - that's a VERY common misconception about what THX is.

Second, THX is really a Quality Assurance System - It is designed to assure accurate playback of the films soundtrack - So this way the film will sound THE VERY same as it did when it was mixed and finalized at the sound studio - The THX certification is a process in which a Theater or Home Theater must comply/meet with the standards that have been set by THX; If I remember from the seminar I had taken about 5 years ago these are.

1. acoustic suppression i.e. no background noise from HVAC (A/C, projectors and such) or carry-over sound from another source/screen

2. speaker placement - THX actually will use the theater plans and acoustical test it for each screen and design the speaker location based on mathematical calculations to figure out things like the reverberation and reflection characteristics of the walls, floor and ceiling in order to present and stereo imaging and the ideal sound stage!!

3. lastly, it also requires the use of THX certified equipment; NOT stuff made by THX but equipment that has meet or exceeded the THX standard for performance i.e. signal to noise ratio, total harmonic distortion, power supply and handling, component/connection construction and such.

We have a few THX certified installers here in town and I've been VERY lucky to be one of the installers on 2 THX certified Home Theaters ($200,000 medium sized room and $450,000 10 seat screening theater) - Hands down they are the hottest set-ups and I think the THX Certification MAY have had something to do with this

NOW, if I can come up with $2000 before the 9th of August I can get my THX Home Theater Technician Level II Certification this year – I figure SCREW climbing on roofs and doing Mini dish and HDTV installs I’d rather work inside in the A/C

DOH - after all that typing I could have simply put a link to THX.com

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Then a few years back THX decided that it wasn't going to stand for the best stuff anymore. It was now going to have degrees of THX. Suddenly in my mind THX meant a whole heck of a lot less. It was like they came out and said "this receiver is good but not as good as this one. Then with that one it's not as good as this ultra one over here."


- Huh? I think you were not explained the difference in THX - it's NOT degrees of quality but it's that the systems are designed for other uses - small rooms, large rooms and theaters/auditoriums

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It just seemed like a way to slap a brand name on a bunch of stuff that wasn't up to spec. If it is up to the THX standard say so. If it isn't don't.


- Each piece is tested and fully evaluated to ensure Quality before they grant the licence!

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I mean why have a "THX select?" Just because it meets a few standards for good audio.


- - THX Select is designed to play at reference levels in rooms of approximately 2,000 cubic feet (that's CUBIC feet not square so READ as an average living room or Den) and THX Ultra2 is a 7.1-speaker extension of the original Ultra - and that is for up to 3,000 cubic feet - AND they STILL must meet the SAME standards as ALL THX certified equipment - I mean why pay $1500 for a Ultra2 system when a Select for $500 will do the same job for less cash (minus the 7.1 extension - Useless IMHO in a small room or den!)

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I want something that meets all of them.


- MOST systems that have meet the THX certification CAN do them all - DTS es and Dolby Digital ex (es and ex are either 6.1 , 7.1* or 9.1* - *= NOT discreet channels (YET!) but processed channels to increase the sound field in larger areas)


AND yes, it's TRUE you do not need a baaadasss THX system to have a nice system just a GOOD $300-$500 - DTS ES/Neo6/Dolby Digital EX/Pro-Logic IIx reciever and you'll be golden!!!

I've worked with all kinds of HIGH-END stuff but reality demanded that I buy a ONKYO TX-SR501 ($300 - and it has the best darn sound sub $400 I've heard yet) - The Sherwood Newcastle R-765 is another GREAT entry level unit that I would recommend.

BUT Don't listen to them at a chain store go check out some of your local Audio shops listen around ANY good shop will let you listen to your choice of music /movies so bring the CD's or DVD's that YOU consider to be reference materials and after you do find what your ears like - then check the chains (online to save gas and cash) for the same units then buy one.

I hope this helps!

RiK




What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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I'm with Rik here, there are gradations and there have been developments in technology to allow higher and higher standards. A budget audiophile will love THX certifited and and that is assurance that it will sound great and be in your price range. But its not hype to take things to higher standard for big-budget audiophiles and it costs exponentially more money to improve something beyond those points technologically, extreme care in cabling, wiring, connections, heat, etc. It is as Rik said a level of quality assurace. THX Ultra 2 is nothing to be angry at it a professional level standard or a very high-end audiophile. Liking music, movies and having good sound and some clarity and 5.1 with bass is most people, they'll recognize a good system like a Bose (overpriced) for example. A trained ear, using expensive equipment and using source material like SACD or DTS-Audio, or DTS-ES 6.1 DVDs is going to notice the most. For example most people notice the difference between an MP3 encoded at 128 or 196...320 is supposedly the holy grail of CD quality, audiophiles have a service like Rhapsody or Npaster (can't remember the name) where the files are sourced from digital masters at an encoding rate of 7k to 10k. If you don't have the equipment, the wiring, the positioning, the source material, and a trained ear you probably won't notice a difference. It's like wine tasters vs. average wine drinking population, most of which know good wine.

Personally I think its great to have this certification, it gives a standard that doesn't allow a good system to go bad for movie theaters. That Camelot theater that has the Christie Digital Projector I saw ROTS and War of the Worlds on looked great and sounded incredible as it was THX certified sound. The sound blew away the other times I saw these movies in regular theatres and quite frankly blew away batman begins even at IMAX.
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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Man - I should be asleep but This thread is COOL!!!

Obi-wonton - We don't even have a THX Certified "PUBLIC" theater in Albuquerque nor do we have DLP - NOT even IMAX

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Exactly the can of worms I wanted to open

Obi-wonton and Rikter both make good points. I think I actually fell a little short of what I wanted to say originally and I thank both of you for pointing that out. Let me try to be a little less monosyllabic.

First and foremost I understand that THX is not a sound format. I just wanted to get that out there.

What I was trying to say with the varying degrees of THX was that to the average consumer they will not know the difference between a “Select” setup and an “Ultra” setup. With that in mind I think that THX really messed up by introducing these nomenclatures. Of course to the audiophiles the THX naming system is very simple. But to an uneducated Best Buy shopper it’s just another bell or whistle that they can say they have. When in all actuality it isn’t a bell or a whistle at all. They just have a certified piece of equipment.

I guess what would have made me happy is instead of having THX on everything and then having a “Select” or “whatever” after it I would have been happier if they had come out with another name altogether. Now, I know, I know I’m just being nit picky but I have talked to way to many people who go to show me their set up and then tell me, “Oh it has THX sound too.” NO IT DOESN’T! If THX hadn’t added the different levels of THX I wouldn’t have to hear that again. When it was just THX, people who wanted to get into home theatre couldn’t afford a THX certified piece of equipment.

In the end I’m just mad I guess. It’s good because now people who couldn’t afford THX equipment in the past can. To me it’s bad because I have to hear stupid uneducated things about THX every time I’m in Best Buy picking up a DVD.

Does this make my last post make sense? Who cares it’s 8 in the morning…

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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I am pretty sure Best Buy has no Ultra2 receiver, you're talking several thousands...more in line with Crutchfield, Tweeter, HH Gregg. Nope, I actually just looked it up there most expensive receiver around $800 yamaha/pioneer both THX select. Ultra2 you're talking Denon, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, Onkyo (which for reasons stated earlier is without a doubt the best way to go), etc. Cheapest I could find an Ultra 2 receiver is $2400 and it has no HDMI inputs or outputs. If you want the highest rated, best reviewed receiver that is upgradeable go with this : Onkyo TX-NR1000 But it will cost you about $5000. Supposedly later this year Onkyo will come out with a cheaper version, only 2500-3000 dollars , that will have 7.1, HDMI switching and the hot swappable input/output cards on back of the receiver...truly future proof.
16 years I wait and this is what I get???
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THX reputation as the gold standard of classification died back in like, 97-98, when they certified the "Highlander" DVD from Republic Pictures. That DVD was GOD AWFUL, even by early DVD standards.

I honestly think THX's only real usefulness on the home front, at this point, is that they make really cool sounding trailers. THX certified equipment really isn't, and hasn't been for awhile, any better than stuff that ISN'T THX Certified. That's not to say THX is slacking, but that manufacturers have improved their product so much that a VERY large percentage of the mid-to-high end equipment is way better than even the high end stuff was just a few short years ago.

but the THX Theater Alignment Program IS still top notch, and I wish there were more programs similar to it. maybe we'd get a better chance at a good theatrical presentation if it was like that. As it stands now, TAP is spread too thin, and theater owners are settling for the most MEDIOCRE showing they can. Which keeps me at home more often than not, anymore.
The Best Show You've Never Heard
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I agree that DVD sucked, I own it and it is shameful, but as you said it was at the beginning of DVD releases and who knows. I think the THX ultra2 certification is a gold standard though. Onkyo, Marantz, Pioneer Elite...those are some the top names in the game. That onkyo was referred to, in 3 different reviews I've read, as the best sounding ever used...and it was ultra2 certified. While many things now are "THX"... having some certification is better than not and knowing there is levels of certification helps as to the quality of the wiring, equipments, etc. you are buying.
16 years I wait and this is what I get???