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Razer acquires cinematic audio company THX

Razer acquires legendary audio company THX, the company behind the audio technology that debuted in Star Wars

By Anthony Garreffa from Oct 18, 2016 @ 18:29 CDT

Audiophiles have been behind THX since the 70s, with the iconic launch of Star Wars being the debut of THX's audio technology in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi back in 1983, the year THX was founded by George Lucas.


Razer has announced it has acquired THX, with company co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan saying: "Razer has a vision for innovation at every level of entertainment, a vision which THX has championed since its inception more than 30 years ago. This acquisition will allow us to reinforce Razer's leadership in gaming and extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment, while at the same time empowering THX to develop into a global powerhouse, independently".

It might not make sense why a gaming peripheral company would buy a cinematic audio company, but THX has been slowly expanding its certification to live entertainment and concert experiences, but THX also certifies audio electronics, non-Internet-connected speakers, TVs, projectors, automotive audio systems and foresees further adoption in immersive audio and HDR as used by headsets, AR and VR systems, reports Hexus.

THX Ltd CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor said that the company will continue with its certification business, growing its THX Live! and THX Inside operations, while the Razer acquisition will provide THX with "a rock-solid foundation for executing on the three core areas of business". He added that both of the companies have a "shared vision for creating great products that solve customer problems".

A history lesson on THX: Just after The Empire Strikes Back was released, Lucas hired audio scientist Tomlinson Holman to examine the film audio across the entire chain of production. Holman investigated this, discovering that most commercial cinemas weren't ready to fully utilize the production-side audio technology from Dolby Labs, THX and others, so THX took it upon themselves to design a model theater to make the best of the recorded sound and visiting producers, and theater owners were blown away so much the THX certification program was born, and started hitting cinemas across the world.


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