THX riding high on robust film market

Updated: 2015-12-10 07:42

By Sophie He in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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THX Ltd - a San Francisco-based company that certifies and manufactures audio and video products for cinemas - aims to expand quickly in China, thanks to its robustly growing film market, according to its chief executive Ty Ahmad-Taylor.

"We see nothing but a world of opportunity in both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong markets," he told China Daily on Wednesday.

In 2014, 5,397 screens opened on the mainland. But their quality is very different, some of which are poor and some are great, Ahmad-Taylor said. THX is the stamp of quality, and cinema operator that deployed the THX brand not only to charge the top dollar, but to enable consumers to know that they will get the best cinema experience, according to Ahmad-Taylor. And, that is the benefit of working with THX, he said.

Currently, the Chinese film market is the world's second largest after the US and, in a couple of years, the executive predicts, it will surpass the US, and Chinese consumers will want the best cinema experience. That is the company's opportunity to shine and work with Chinese cinema operators to differentiate them from their peers, Ahmad-Taylor said.

THX's primary product, at present, is certification, so it wants to certify more giant screens and traditional cinemas across the nation.

THX riding high on robust film market

"When certifying cinemas, THX takes into account the dimensions of the room, the size and the depth of the screen from the back of the room. We need to be sure that both the video and audio quality are the best possible," Ahmad-Taylor explained.

"It's like if you bought a very expensive race car, it's not going to perform unless you got a driver. THX is the driver as we make sure that your audio, video systems in cinema rooms are optimized to generate the best picture and the best sound, so we tune and optimize for all our partners and that is how they get certified," he said.

THX has certified several cinemas on the mainland and in Hong Kong, but he declined to name them.

The company also has a set of technologies that engage in audio clarity, allowing theater operators to make their sound system 20 to 50 percent better, and it is expected to make the cinema experience with Hong Kong and the mainland market much better, according to Ahmad-Taylor.

Chen Jingmin, general manager of China Film Digital Giant Screen (Beijing) Co Ltd, told a forum in Hong Kong on Wednesday the Chinese version of IMAX technology, called Digital Max (DMAX), has already opened 100 screens in mainland cinemas, with two having obtained THX certification. He forecast that, by yearend, there will be 120 DMAX screens on the mainland and they will continue to work with THX to get more screens certified.

(HK Edition 12/10/2015 page9)