Part One: THX Video Systems Calibration Program

The THX Video Professional status is something that is only granted to people and not to businesses and corporate entities.  This method ensures that a client knows that the person doing the calibration is the person that actually was properly trained by THX.  It is harder for companies to send someone else to do the calibration work and pass that off as a real calibration as a result of this.  I have often joked that this would prevent an unscrupulous company from sending out a delivery boy or their janitor to calibrate the display for a client.  The bad news for the company is that when their THX calibrator decides to leave the company, he takes his certification with him and the company must send another person to take the class to continue to offer THX calibration services.  The person that leaves would have to obtain his own test equipment to continue offering the service himself.

Another aspect of the THX program is that the class slide set is described as being a living document.  It is not uncommon to see the instructors changing and updating the slide set within the actual class when they think of something new or when they learn something new from one of the attendees.  Fortunately for the students, the instructors are the ones that created the slide set and know exactly what is in there.  The students are not left behind in this area as they always have access to the latest slide set and simply have to ask the instructors for it.  Repeat attendance in the class is not required just to get the new slides.  But repeat attendance will be required if the student does not stay in touch with the instructors and is not actively submitting calibration reports over a two year period.  All those that took only the Level 1 class would be losing their status after two years.

So what is wrong with the THX program?  Well if one could put a finger on it, it has to do with the class size.  The material taught in the class is widely considered to be industry leading given that there are only really two programs that compete against each other head to head.  No surprise here, THX has a significant lead at the present time, but that may change over time.  The better class has struggled mightily these four years to fill the class.  The class can handle a maximum of 20 students and yet this number has never been met domestically.  Classes range in size from as few as two people to a high of 16 or so, but most of the classes were ten people or less and more than a few were at the very low end of things.  The program needs about 8 to 10 students to break even given all the fixed costs involved in running each class.

The biggest challenge faced by the program is in the marketing area of trying to get the word out to the audiences that matter.  The only way people can find that the THX video program exists is by word of mouth or hunting through the THX web site.  Call this growing pains … and it will be sorted out.  The target audience may actually be a subset of whom the ISF would normally target since the program is about doing real work and quality work for clients and not about just waving a THX placard on a store front or business cards.

When the class has gone overseas to London and Beijing, the program was profitable for the first time in a long time.  Classes were filled to capacity and beyond in both countries.

As long as the overseas classes are successful, the program can and will continue, but for North America, the challenges continue.

No classes to speak of in 18 months.  I won’t say it, but you can put a fork in it.  It’s done.  It’s what happens to a program when the parent company does not see fit to market the program to the public.  No marketing means no awareness and no one enrolls.  This is supposed to be a surprise to whom?  The ISF has already seen the writing on the wall and returned to their old habits of a 2 day class.  If you want letters, they are the only real game in town.

Now January 2014.  Back from an extended hibernation period or back from the dead nearly two years later, the THX program resurfaces.  Sadly, I am no longer part of this program so where the program goes from here is uncertain.  The heart, soul and most importantly conscience of the program is now gone.  Will the future of the program aim to maintain the high moral compass as before or will the program follow the trail of the ISF program by making promises to students to lure them in; only to break them after you are tricked into buying hardware and software.  Only time will tell.

If you want real honest to goodness education, then look no further than the educational offerings on this site.  From half day classes to one day to two day.  Classes to fit any business schedule and a new kind of certification that no intelligent client out there would turn away.  And no conflict of interest being a hardware and software vendor too.

Onto Part Two

Part Three

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

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