CustomRetailer Interviews Jennifer Davis on the Future of Runco 3D Projection

Friday, December 17, 2010

CustomRetailer’s December 2010 article, “Depth Perception – The first of CR’s two-part series examining the 3D revolution,” by Nancy Klosek featured the following interview of Jennifer Davis on Runco’s 3D projection plans, goals and future roadmap:

Runco D-73d ProjectorJennifer Davis, vice president of marketing, Runco: The 3Dimension series, introduced at CEDIA EXPO, is brand new and the first product in the line is the D-73d. It’s $49,995, which includes six pairs of passive glasses, processing and cabling. It uses a CSV-Constant Stereoscopic Video-approach. There are two light engines in one projector, and that lets us deliver 3D in the same way the human body is built to take it in. The system includes a dual-imaging-system optic that precisely tunes and delivers those images and then our 3D processor that comes with this model acts like a “catcher’s mitt” that handles all the types of 3D content thrown at it and makes sure it can be delivered properly. Our system architecture mirrors the physiology of how 3D is perceived – a primary reason it was so well received at the show. It keeps 3D compelling, but it also keeps it comfortable and makes the most of what the director intended.

There are child-sized glasses available as options as well as clip-ons for people who wear glasses, premium glasses with metal frames, and, soon, we will also offer prescription glasses. Also the projector can be factory-equipped with CineWide, which is a lens and an electronic system that eliminates black bars. It’s a stalwart of the Runco lineup for many years, and can be used on this system.

As far as a future roadmap, we will develop products both above and below the D-73d in price.

There are also several other Runco models that are 3D-upgradable. One that we launched at the show was the Q-1500d, at $39,995, which is an LED-illuminated projector that is factory-upgradable with the 3Dimension processor. It’s for someone who wants to opt for an exceptional LED system today and maybe in the future, upgrade to 3D.

We also have some products with active 3D technology. Our dealers have told us they have clients who want a compelling 2D experience primarily, and who want to periodically watch 3D content; we clearly want everyone to understand that it’s a compromise. It’s not our headline, and it’s not the best 3D we offer. But we strive to provide these kinds of options to our dealers so they can make the right choices for their clients.

CR: What sorts of integrator support or special programs are you offering to help them demonstrate your technology to potential clients?

Davis: We have some aggressive demo programs in place for our dealers, and we’ve also really focused on education. We began our market education focus over the summer, and we published and have continued to evolve an e-book, which contains criteria that our dealers and clients can use to evaluate 3D. We did it before we even had a product out. We wanted to make sure our dealers had the tools to “consult” their clients to the right solutions. Besides the public-facing documents we’ve done, we have conducted dealer webinars and made comparison charts with different approaches to 3D available with the pros and cons listed.

CR: How do you see the 3D market evolving in terms of the pricing of future iterations of projector systems? Will it remain a highly profitable segment for integrators who sell projection systems for a long time to come?

Davis: Because we only sell through custom integrators, we take a lot of pride in offering solutions that are profitable for them and provide something unique for their clients and also grow their businesses.

Regarding the whole 3D market space, I see it as a huge opportunity for the custom retailer. Most people’s experience with consumer electronics-grade 3D for the home is poor relative to what is possible. However, it’s presented as an opening to get people to consider projection for their homes. We hope their curiosity has been piqued and that they call their custom A/V specialists who can guide them to a more immersive experience. It’s a renaissance opportunity.

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