Color is Light

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

By James Wood

Hearken back to the days of yore when you were learning anatomy and physiology (there will be a test). Remember what you learned about how the eye works (or just brush up). Essentially your eye perceives light and color separately. Rods are cells that detect light, especially low light. Cones are cells that detect color and detail. Light enters the lens of your eye and some of it hits the rods while other light hits the cones. The combined details of light and color are interpreted by your brain as what you see.

Your eye has about 15 times more rods than cones which means your eyes are a lot better at sensing light than they are at sensing color and detail. Try a little experiment the next time you’re sitting out at night and watching the stars appear. Use your peripheral vision instead of looking straight at the stars and you’ll be able to see more of them. The concentration of light-sensing rods is greater on the side of your eyes so you can see more subtle variations in light with your peripheral vision.

Very interesting, I know, but wait, there’s more. Did you know that most 3D technology is produced by alternating images for the left eye and right eye on the screen. Using polarized glasses (like you get in a movie theater) or shuttered glasses, the alternate images for each eye are produced dozens of times a second. What that means is that each eye is getting less light and losing a huge chunk of the information that it needs to process a full image in your brain.

The next time you’re in a movie theater or watching a low-end 3D TV try this experiment (but make sure you are seated): look at the screen through your peripheral vision. You’ll probably see a flicker or stutter. This is because the rod-heavy peripheral vision perceives the flickering light input, just like with the stars at night. One of the many reasons the 3D movies and TV can be fatiguing is that your brain is working harder to make sense of less information.

At Runco it’s not just about 3D, but 3D done right. So instead of alternating the left and right images Runco 3D created Constant Stereoscopic Vision so that both of your eyes get a constant stream of information, just like in the real world. So, instead of a dim image with flickering at the edges you see a bright, clear 3D projection. The reason why the D-73d 3D projector award after award is that Runco understands more than just home theater design. Runco understands how your eyes are designed.

Image Credit: Qin Liu, MD, PhD and Eric A. Pierce, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health

Runco's D-73d Projector Receives Rave Detailed Review from UltimateAVmag.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

Runco D-73dScott Wilkinson's 4-part review the Runco D-73d 3D projector for UltimateAVmag.com covers a detailed analysis of the specs, technology, and features of the projector in addition it's overall performance during his hands-on test at Runco's training facility in Beaverton, OR.

Highlights include Wilkinson's evaluation of the lampless LED Infinilight™ Technology that powers the light source of the D-73d, the unique two projection engine system, the color features of the projector (including the Personal Color Equalizer), the brightness, black levels and contrast, as well as a review of general performance while the D-73d was put to the test with a showing of Avatar, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters vs. Aliens, Grand Canyon Adventure and a number of other quality 3D movies.

The results? Wilkinson had great things to say about the overall quality and performance of Runco's D-73d projector:

"...the 3D experience provided by this projector is unsurpassed by anything I've seen for the home and even in most commercial cinemas..."

Check out Scott Wilkinson's full, four-part review of the D-73d on UltimateAVmag.com:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Don’t Judge a Cover by its Book

Thursday, June 02, 2011

By James Wood

Runco CSVRoger Ebert doesn’t like 3D movies, in fact he would go so far as to say that he “hates 3D” and he thinks you should too. Most of his critiques center on a technology that is often not executed well. Using projectors that are too dim and screens that don’t reflect enough light the produces a dark, detail poor movie or alternating the left and right-eye images on the screen, which causes eye fatigue and even head-aches. The good news is that Runco has addressed the technical issues associated with 3D projection. The D-73d 3D projector is so good that it was able to convince at least one vocal skeptic that 3D projection can be done right.

AvatarThe problem isn’t always with the technology though. James Cameron’s Avatar broke the mold for 3D movies. Heck, he invented whole new technologies just to make the movie right. Every frame is fully immersive in three dimensions. He made a big deal about breaking the plane of the screen and drawing viewers into the world of the Na’vi. But then there’s a movie like Clash of the Titans that was never filmed in 3D, but had the effect added later through computer animation. The result is an altogether fake-looking product that is more of a distraction than enhancement to the story telling process. When 2D movies are up-converted to 3D it can look like a bunch of cardboard cut-outs suspended in front of the screen rather than full-bodied characters.

With any new technology it will take time for the artists to learn how to use it well. Some directors like Cameron will take the time to learn this new technology and master the craft of telling a story in three dimensions. Other times the studio will decide after a director is already done filming that a summer blockbuster should be done in 3D.

When you sit down with a bowl of freshly popped popcorn and fire up your D-73d 3D projector to show you a bright, fatigue free, eye-popping 3D movie, make sure you’re doing your projector justice with the movies you feed it. The top notch DHD video processor that accompanies the projector will show a beautiful representation of what the movie ought to look like, but if the best it gets is second rate, after-thought 3D imaging slapped on by the producers in post-production then it will give you the best looking version of a not-so-good looking movie.

Here are some quality 3D releases that we would suggest:

Alice in Wonderland
Grand Canyon Adventure, River at Risk
Monsters vs. Aliens
Bob’s Big Break
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Step Up

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Electronic House Product of the Year Award

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Runco’s 3Dimension™ D-73d Series

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