Whilst trawling the web again we noticed this article which is a THX tune up app designed to help you get the best picture and sound out of your HDTV.
THX Tune up iOS App adds to PicturePerfect set up tools
Can an App help you set up your TV and audio system cost effectively?
The AVForums PicturePerfect campaign has gained another useful application to help users get the best out of their HDTVs. THX have today launched their THX Tune Up app available for iOS devices (via the Apple App store) which provides test patterns and photos to further help with TV setup. We think it is a great idea and fits perfectly with the various options you can take during the PicturePerfect 3 step guide to getting the best results from your TV.
The application will be free of charge for a very limited time period, so those with iOS devices are advised to download as quickly as possible. There will be an android version released in the Spring.
Using the application is easy enough although you will need to find a way to connect the iOS device with your TV and neither of the connection methods are free. If you have Apple TV you could mirror over airplay, however you won't be able to use the built-in audio tests using this method. Instead THX recommend using the HDMI method which will mean shelling out £40 (for lightening) or £29 (for the standard) AV connector, if you don't already have it. This is an unfortunate downside to using this app, which is not a fault of THX but rather the high cost Apple charges for accessories for iOS devices. Certainly when comparing this cost with that of a dedicated calibration disc, such as Spears and Munsil (£20 online), and then following the free PicturePerfect guide, it might not seem like such a cost effective solution.
If you do have an HDMI connector and follow the guided steps presented in the app you will quickly get to grips with what your TV controls do and how to set them correctly for your room. The guide covers all the major issues surrounding TV set up and as such it works very well with our own PicturePerfect guide. The app even uses the built-in camera on your iOS device to provide a red filter to help with colour control set up. This replaces the old fashioned blue filter glasses step and the THX engineers found that a red filter was more accurate for this step. There are varying opinions regarding the basic set up of the colour control. The advice we give in PicturePerfect is to leave colour and tint alone if you have selected the correct picture mode, but it doesn't hurt to try these steps to see if your particular TV benefits from this approach.
The audio side of the app covers channel identification to make sure your speakers are positioned correctly, plus a phase test to make sure the wiring is correct. Again, these tests in multi-channel set ups will only work when the app is connected by HDMI, otherwise it defaults to stereo. We also found that in the equipment set up part of the application where you list your make and model of AVR, TV and so on, there was only a 5.1 audio selection for multi-channel and not one for 7.1 set ups. We have fed this back to the developers.
Each step of the guide is accompanied by a detailed voice over which does its best to use plain English to cover the tasks at hand and there is also a detailed FAQ section which offers further help. In the extras area you will also find some neat features like THX trailers to play on your newly set up TV, the THX deep note to test your audio system as well as a Moo Can effect when you move your iOS device around.
There is no doubt that a lot of thought has gone into this new Tune Up application and it certainly does what it sets out to do in an easy to follow manner. The only downside is the fact that to use it as intended you will have to buy that HDMI adaptor if you don't already have one and there is no way around that sadly. This is not entirely the fault of THX as they don't set the pricing of iOS accessories.
It should also be noted that this application, as with PicturePerfect, is designed to get everyone up and running with better TV images than those that the TVs ship in. For the best results and to have your TV calibrated correctly you will still need to hire a THX or ISF calibrator. The application certainly works as intended and is a useful companion for those who want to set up their TV to get the best picture quality out of the box.
You can download the THX Tune Up at the Apple App store from today and it is free until the 4th of February
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