Runco in the 2000s
2000 and Beyond
2000: Runco introduces the VHD™ - Virtual High Definition series scalers, aspect ratio controllers, and the Reflection DLP™ projectors: VX-1c, VC101c, and VX-3c, along with the PL-42c and PL-50c flat screen plasma displays.
2002: Acquired Vidikron and Project-A-Vision brands, laying the foundation for massive expansion of company and revenue stream through far broader distribution and greatly expanded product line and product categories.
2002: Established first-in-industry “Cinema Standards Measurement System”, creating new industry benchmark for the way product specifications are characterized.
2002: Relocated to larger 50,000 square foot facility, doubling production capacity and administrative office space. Expansion room is available to add another 50,000 square feet when needed.
2002: Secured first OEM relationship with key supplier, providing for total offshore manufacturing, QC, and packaging of finished Runco product.
2003: Hired top-level management to realign our senior executive staff to be seasoned executive talent for the institution, restructuring, and positioning of the company for substantial growth and expansion.
2003: Broadened product line with lower priced entry-level products resulting in wider distribution, expanded market share, and revenue increases.
2003: Taking Video to the Xtreme
Runco introduces the VideoXtreme VX-4c & VX-6c 3-chip projection systems. Each is available in three resolutions, as well as with an option that finally makes full native resolution available when displaying the ultra-wide CinemaScope 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Each projector is packaged with the award-winning VHD Ultra Video Controller.
Runco upgrades GEN3 Technology, and introduces the CL-710/CL-710LT, VX-1000ci, VX-4000ci, and VX-5000ci- each of which use enhanced GEN3 technology. The improved processing capabilities are implemented along with Runco’s new SuperOnyx™ 16:9 light engine, and include the Imaging Science Foundation’s “ISF ccc” setup and calibration standards.
Vivix processing is implemented for the first time on a modular control card in the CW-43MC and CW-50MC plasma monitors. The card’s compact design puts Vivix’s full processing capabilities within the plasma’s chassis, and its modular design allows for future upgrades.
Succeeding the CW-42, the CinemaWall CW-42i is first sold, and its high-altitude compliancy allows installers to create plasma-based theaters even at heights up to 9,000 feet. The flat-panel outputs 20% greater brightness, and its integrated processing includes 3D scan conversion with motion compensation. It also uses an anti-glare filter that ensures a rich picture within high ambient light.
2004: Runco Debuts DHD Controller and LiveLink DVI System
A complement of six premium lenses marks the debut of the VX-4000ci, Runco’s fifth single-chip DLP projector. Its wide lens shift, high brightness, Enhanced GEN3 Technology, and RVR™ (Reflectance Volume Regulation) makes the projector perfect for less flexible installations.
The DHD Controller debuts. The DHD Controller, which is an advanced video processor in addition to a control center for the display it is paired with, greatly expanded on the capabilities of the former PFP controllers. The DHD included many more inputs and features than the PFP had, including DVI and HD inputs, and also featured three programmable 12v triggers. It also included an ISF mode and expanded calibration controls which allowed the device to be calibrated far more accurately than ever before.
The LiveLink DVI Cable System is unveiled. DVI, as a rule of thumb, was really only reliable up to 25 feet, and even then it may have been questionable depending on the environment. The LiveLink system is essentially and in-line amplifier which allows DVI to travel longer distances, in this case up to 75 feet.
The VideoXtreme VX-2c is released. The VX-2c is one of the first three-chip DLP projectors that was affordable to many more people than previous three-chip models, and as a result became an overnight hit. The lack of color wheel gave the image a more life-like feel, and is also brighter than a single-chip DLP. It is the first projector to feature integrated LiveLink technology, so the distance between the VX-2c Controller and projector could be as far as 75 feet.
In 2004, Runco made its way to the winner’s circle, as several products receive awards for excellence in performance and design.
2005: The Year of Cinewide and Cinewide with Autoscope
Runco began experimenting with anamorphic lenses in 2000, but then it was to create a 16:9 image from a 4:3 display. Now that most displays are native 16:9, it would seem that the need for anamorphic lenses would no longer be necessary. However, most DVD movies are in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio meaning that you’d still have ‘black bars’ above and below the image- precisely what Runco was trying to eliminate in 1992 with the ARC-IV. The anamorphic lenses that were used to stretch a 4:3 image to a 16:9 could also be used to stretch a 16:9 image into a 2.35:1 image. After much experimentation with not only optics but video scaling as well, Runco found the right combination to be able to produce 2.35:1 images on a 2.35:1 screen with maximum resolution and also without ‘black bars’. The Autoscope system expanded on that by allowing maximum resolution on both 16:9 and 2.35:1 aspect ratios while still maintaining the same height.
All in all, this system caught on like wildfire, especially for movie aficionados. Now one could watch a movie exactly as the director intended- with maximum resolution and without black bars!
Also in 2005, the Signature Cinema™ SC-1 is unveiled as Runco’s new flagship product. This DLP projector is designed to be custom-built to each order, which includes different lens AND lamp options. It is the brightest projector ever to be included in Runco’s product line, and with a resolution of 2048 x 1080 is the highest resolution DLP on the market.
The CL-410 and CL-420 are introduced as entry-level models. These single-chip DLP projectors are designed to provide good performance at relatively affordable prices. The Crystal Series LCD flat-panels are introduced. These are the first LCD flat-panels to be introduced into the Runco product line, and are also the first Runco products to feature an integrated stereo speaker system. Each utilizes Vivix digital processing and incorporates the Imaging Science Foundation’s calibration standards for video performance purity.
2006: Runco Continues with Innovation
At CEDIA 2006 Runco introduces the industry’s broadest lineup of 1080p DLP projectors, satisfying a wide range of custom applications and price points. Featuring the company’s exclusive CineWide and CineWide with AutoScope technology, Runco’s new 1080p projectors included: Reflection Series RS-1100 and RS-1100, and VideoXtreme VX-2000d and VX-6000d, single-chip 1080p projectors, as well as Runco’s VideoXtreme VX-22d, VX-44d, and VX-55d, 3-chip 1080p projectors.
Runco International also announced it’s partnership with THX to develop the world’s first THX Certified home theater projectors. THX’s Video Display Certification Runco’s VX-2cx family of projectors and the Vidikron Vision models 90t and 100t, all 3-chip Digital Light Processing (DLP™) projectors, are the first HD video display products to achieve THX certification.
2007: Planar Acquires Runco International; Runco Goes Bigger and Broader with Product Offering
Runco announced the company’s first THX Certified 1080p plasma displays in the XP-65DHD and VP-6500VHD, 65-inch models. In addition, the company introduced an array of new 1080 LCD and plasma models in larger screen sizes to meet the demands of discerning homeowners.
On May 23, 2007 Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLNR) announced the acquisition of Runco International. Planar Systems, Inc. is a global leader of video display technologies and its business units specialize in providing hardware and software solutions for a wide range of residential and commercial environments including hospitals, space and military programs, utility and transportation hubs, shopping centers, banks, government agencies, businesses, and home theaters. Runco was assimilated into Planar’s portfolio of specialty video display brands as the leading luxury brand in its Home Theater Business Unit.
The acquisition offered Runco an expanded network of global resources. The combination of Runco’s heritage and industry-leading home theater solutions with Planar’s worldwide infrastructure, supply chain partners, and custom display technology expertise for other industries, would deliver the most advanced home theater solutions to an expanding global marketplace. Runco’s new family of products incorporated the most advanced video technologies, dedicated craftsmanship, and continued to be custom-built to offer the world’s finest video solutions intended for the most discerning customers.
The first Runco product to benefit from the engineering prowess of parent-company Planar - the ClimatePortfolio WP-42HD. Runco’s WP-42HD represented the brand’s first outdoor weather-proof flat panel LCD display. The 42-inch utilized advanced LCD technology, Runco video processing and imagery, and glass with special element-proof bonding to deliver a high-definition widescreen flat-panel monitor ready for the elements. The WP-42HD surpassed International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Ingress Protection IP56 weatherproof standards, ensuring protection from adverse environmental conditions including temperature, exposure to moisture, dust, oils and intermittent direct water spray.
In other flat panel advancements, Runco introduced its largest flat panel to date, the CinemaWall™ XP-103DHD, a sprawling 103-inch, high-definition plasma display. The XP-103DHD is a true statement piece in Runco’s product portfolio, bringing Runco’s video engineering and superb imagery to the ultra-large 1080p full-HD plasma category.
Runco also expanded the availability of its exclusive CineWide and CineWide with AutoScope superwide 2.35:1 technology option making it available on all Runco entry-level projectors; extending the true home theater viewing experience of movies filmed in 2.35:1 to the masses.
2008: Runco Intros OPAL™ Technology and an In-Wall Projection Category
In 2008, Runco’s product design, manufacturing, customer service, marketing and training teams were transitioned from Union City, CA to its new world headquarters in Beaverton, OR. The relocation allowed for a centralized product design and engineering team so that the Runco brand could fully take advantage of Planar’s other world-class video display technologies.
In September of 2008, the first of such technologies was introduced as Runco announced its new OPAL (Optical Path ALignment) technology, which was designed to revolutionize what discerning consumers demand from a flat panel display. Runco’s proprietary new technology features a micro-visual surface treatment of the flat panel to provide three key benefits to flat panel video displays. OPAL offers:
Ambient-Light Rejection (ALR™) technology reduces internal and surface reflections by more than 20 times.
Acute Contrast Enhancement™ (ACE) technology increases contrast by more than three times without losing image clarity within dark scenes, especially in high ambient light.
ISS™ (Impact, Shake and Shock) protection enhances the panel’s resistance to dust contamination, condensation and even occasional direct impact, such as a blow from a hand-held game control.
OPAL also provides the flat panel’s screen surface with greater protection as it is less sensitive to daily wear and tear, and the surface can be cleaned with typical household glass cleaner.
At the CEDIA Expo in 2008, Runco also announced the addition of a new product category to the brand’s video display and technology portfolio. Runco’s new In-Wall Projection Systems premiered with the introduction of the VideoWall VW-100HD and the CineWall CW-95HD. Runco’s in-wall projection systems are self-contained solutions ideal for installs where enormous images are desired, but rooms have inadequate throw distance or high ambient light, which prohibits front projection/flat panels. The VW-100 measures at 100 inches diagonal and is native 16x9 format, which is ideal for large-screen sports and TV. The CineWall CW-95 measures 95 inches diagonal in Runco’s native CineWide 2.35:1 and is ideal for movie enthusiasts.
2009: Runco Makes a Quantum Leap
At CEDIA Expo 2009 Runco unveiled the revolutionary QuantumColor™ projectors (Q-750i and Q-750d) LED projectors which paired energy saving LED technology with proprietary Runco engineering for unrivaled color performance. The QuantumColor series is:
- Lampless, solid-state illumination, with no color wheel or mechanical iris
- Never-before-seen color gamut and Runco’s Personal Color Equalizer™ proprietary color management and Runco SmartColor™ hue compensation curve
- Uses 70% less power than lamp-based projection with Runco InstantOn™ eliminating the need to leave projector in power-consuming “standby” mode
Runco added multiple new 1080p plasma monitors to its line of high-end video display solutions. The five new CinemaWall™ and PlasmaWall™ displays were the world’s first to feature Runco’s exclusive OPAL (Optical Path ALignment) technology, as well as the most advanced video processor controller to date; Runco’s DHD 3.
Runco unveiled its LightStyle™ Series projectors in 2009. Comprising of the LS-3, LS-5, and LS-7 projectors, the Runco Lightstyle Series combines flawless HD imagery and integration features with value pricing and sophisticated design elements that custom installers and their customers will revere.
2010: Adding Depth to the Magic
Runco launched the new www.runco.com in 2010 which created an interactive and vivid experience for customers looking for the pinnacle in home video.
The Runco VideoXtreme VX-33i and QuantumColor Q-750i and Q-750d each received THX Display certification.
Runco unveils the future of 3D with 3Dimension™ series projector, the D-73d. Based on Runco’s proprietary CSV™ Constant Stereoscopic Video architecture. Runco CSV is a vastly-superior approach to 3D with seamless decoding delivering HD image to each eye using passive glasses technology. The D-73d has won more industry awards than any other Runco product.
Designed by Runco initiative is introduced including Finish Palette options for the 3Dimension™, QuantumColor™ and Signature Cinema™ series and FrameGallery™ and SilverSheen™.
Runco WindowWall™ LCD based display wall system is introduced with a ultra-thin profile and off-board electronics. The WindowWall allows for one enormous screen or showing multiple games or sources at once.
2011: Coming out of the Cave and into the LightStyle
The award-winning LightStyle series is expanded with the LS-HB (high-bright) model. Ideal for “Flex-Theaters” where big screen entertainment is only a portion of the room’s purpose such as a media room or living room.
The legendary Oliver Stone selected Runco for his home where he installed a 3-chip DLP projector and LCD flat-panel display.
At CEDIA 2011, Runco announced the most affordable projection system in the Runco line-up with the LightStyle LS-1, the QuantumColor Q-650 and the LED, ultra-short throw LS-100 projector which can be mounted above, below or flush with the screen. Runco also introduced the 3Dimension™ D-113d projection system in partnership with Panavision 3D system®. The D-113d is the brightest CSV projection system in the world, producing exceptional 3D and 2D.
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