To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never metadata that I didn’t like. And I like the new metadata system that THX has created. Known primarily for their cinema sound certification, THX has also been very active in trying to make sure that the movie experience in the living room is as good as possible. Their latest initiative, THX Media Director, has been to create a metadata system that can be encoded along with a television signal, so that your HDTV can automatically adjust key settings in response to the signal requirements.
What does this mean? One of the simplest examples is that there is a metadata code for 2D versus 3D signals. The embedded code can switch the TV into the appropriate mode. The system can handle much more than this, however. It also can automatically control color space settings, surround sound, and aspect ratio.
Now, the problem is that there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation here. The content producers won’t put the metadata into the signal until there are enough set top boxes and HDTVs installed that can interpret it. And the set top boxes and HDTVs won’t add the ability to interpret the codes until they’re included in the signal.
Still, it would probably be a good thing if the two ends of the chain could get together and implement this system. Having seen so many HDTVs with the wrong settings, a system that could adjust automatically could be a major improvement.