This Minute at Runco
May 27, 2011
By James Wood
When the Johnny Cash song “In the Jailhouse Now” is sung by the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Where Art Thou? I can’t help but tap my toes in enjoyment. The natural flow and rhythm of the music just brings a smile to my face. It’s easy to get lost in the moment when things transition effortlessly between story and music. Contrast that with an episode of Glee where the story feels like a tagged on afterthought to the musical numbers and the transitions between the two can nearly give me whiplash. Transitioning smoothly from one form to another takes care and artistry to do well, or it can be done with the bluntness of a banging hammer.
One of the hurdles in transitioning to the high definition, wide screen format is the different aspect ratios. The standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio was replaced by wide-screen formats, but not all wide-screens are the same. Most broadcast content today is distributed in a 16:9 (high-definition) format, and movies are typically an even wider 2.35:1 CinemaScope format. If every time I sit down to watch a movie I have to suss out the aspect ratio then punch a half-dozen buttons on a remote control to get the TV to display the right dimensions, that immediately pulls me out of the moment. I’m probably typical in that I try to find one setting and stick with it so I don’t have to mess with the finer bits for every movie. But that makes me feel like I’m in the jailhouse.
I’m constantly faced with watching TV and movies behind bars. Black bars on the top and bottom of the screen or on the sides of the screen (or both) help to preserve the original aspect ratio, but leave me wishing I had more screen space. All those black bars are just wasted space that could be filled with my movies.
Runco has heard our cries of anguish and come to the rescue with the CineWide technology. When projecting a movie shot in the wider 2.35:1 format (known as CinemaScope) it’s too wide for the slightly narrower 16:9 screen. Instead of taking the easy way out and slapping some black bars up on the screen, Runco uses advanced and proprietary signal processing to stretch the image to the full height, then adjust the width to fill the screen with a unique anamorphic lens system to maintain the same appearance as the original.
All the science behind it is fantastic, but what you need to know is that the awkward transitions are over. Instead of living in the jailhouse or constantly playing engineer with your remote control, you get to sit back and enjoy the show.
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By Jennifer Davis
“Don’t be the best in the world at what you do; be the only one in the world who does what you do.”
That quote is me paraphrasing Jerry Garcia who famously played lead guitar for The Grateful Dead. I first heard it from one of my favorite cartoonists, Hugh McLeod. This is a lofty aspiration that we have striven for at Runco.
Our hard work and ingenuity is paying off for our clients. We have been innovating in the home theater and larger home entertainment market for decades and our market-leading position in LED projection (the InfiniLight™ technology in our QuantumColor™ product line), our innovations in 3D (our award-winning CSV 3D approach in the 3Dimension D-73d), our envelope-pushing solutions in flat panel (OPAL™, the WindowWall™ and Vistage™ specifically), and our legendary CineWide® offerings are just examples. Our recent Design by Runco™ initiatives, like the Vistage FinishPalette™ and LightStyle FinishPalette™ are setting another standard for personalization and customization.
Once again, we are the only one in the world doing what we do.
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#1: The Big Screen Experience
Home theater enthusiasts have known for decades how impressive front projection entertainment systems can be. They are the dominant technology in commercial cinemas for good reasons and many of these translate into residential applications.
So, why consider projection for your home?
The first benefit is that you can create a big screen experience at home. While plasma displays top out at around 150” and single LCD TVs over 70” are rare, projection systems are virtually unlimited in size and at a lower cost per square foot of display. You can create screens measured not in inches diagonal, but in feet or meters wide, which translates into more compelling entertainment.
#2: Design Flexibility
The second reason to consider front projection in the home is that it fits your lifestyle and blends seamlessly with your décor. You can hide the electronics away and with a touch of a button bring a home theater to life, without having to leave the room.
There is also no thinner flat panel display than a front projection screen. Projectors are available in a wide range of sizes, industrial design styles, and personalization that allow the product to be customized to the homeowner’s personality and passions.
#3: Unmatched Image Performance
From color performance to black levels, in the right environment, projection dominates.Plus, you are not limited to a fixed aspect ratio of 16:9 high definition (which is a 1.781 aspect ratio). You can watch CinemaScope2.35:1 content without black bars using Runco’s CineWide® and CineGlide™ technology.
#4: 3D Done Right
The market excitement around 3D in the home is palpable and there is no better way to watch 3D than with projection. The big screen experience is more immersive and it enables Runco’s Constant Stereoscopic Video™ (CSV) with battery-free passive glasses for the best-in-class 3D performance.
#5: Energy Efficiency
Using power-consumption-per-square-inch calculations, projectors use a fraction of the energy of large flat panel displays. This is especially true of Runco’s InfiniLight™ lamplessLED illumination (available on the QuantumColor™ series and the 3Dimension™ D-73d).
Why doesn’t everyone have a theater?
First off, projection is seen as relatively complicated (as opposed to a buy-and-hang flat panel display, which is often a do-it-yourself project for the homeowner). This leads to people believing it to be wildly expensive, overly complex, or not even considering it as a possibility at all.
The second reason is people associate projectors with dark, cave-like rooms that can only be used for movie watching. Sometimes space, room size, or ceiling height limitations can make homeowners believe that projection will never work for them.
Once the homeowner considers projection, then the real work begins of making it work for their room.
Projection only works when the light on the screen is brighter than the brightness of the room. In other words, the “blackest” blacks of the scenes you show, will only be as dark as the screen before you turn on the projector and in many bright rooms that is simply not dark enough for acceptable viewing. Make no mistake, projection is not the best solution for every room.
Outsmarting the Sun
While the industry standards for theater brightness call for approximately 14 foot lamberts (fL) of luminance off the screen, the sun delivers a whopping 10,000 fL!
One of the ways to beat the sun and create incredible visual experiences in the home is with a flex-theater. When you can’t dedicate the space or the budget for a dedicated home theater, a flexible design that accommodates multiple uses of a single space can be a perfect compromise. A projection system combined with modular furniture and lighting control can transform a living room into a theater back into an entertainment space with a simple tap on a touchscreen.
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06-Sep-2012 - This exciting new lineup boasts high-performing video performance coupled with installation flexibility and 3D capabilities at an exceptional value. Indianapolis, IN &ndas..... more ▶
06-Sep-2012 - Award-winning portfolio includes two new models with patented performance at never-before-achieved price points. Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo 2012 Booth 3531 –..... more ▶