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The Surround Sound Principle

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

By James Wood

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced surround sound. I was at my uncle’s house and he had just set up his system. He popped in a VHS tape of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and away we went feeling like the snow speeders were about to clobber us in the back of the head. It was an amazing jump forward in my home-theater experience. From then on I longed for surround sound of my very own.

Fast forward to college where my roommate supplied our tiny apartment with a surround sound set-up. He grabbed a home-theater-in-a-box that had the speakers, tuner and DVD player all bundled together. All we had to supply was the TV. The thing was that every time we switched from watching a movie to sports to sitcoms he would need to fiddle with the remote and change the surround sound settings. He would keep pressing buttons, interrupting the sound and creating a jarring experience. That was the beginning of what we’ve come to call “The Surround Sound Principle” in our house.

It all gelled for me when my other roommate moved out and bought his own surround sound tuner. He’s something of an audiophile, so I knew it would sound good, but what thrilled me was that it automatically adjusted its settings for each input. So he’d turn on his DVD player and the tuner would switch over to DVD mode. He’d fire up the game console and the tuner would recognize those settings and switch. He’d eliminated all the button mashing and moved to enjoying his entertainment.

Now when we talk about The Surround Sound Principle, what we mean is that technology needs to get out of the way and let us enjoy our entertainment. This can apply to quality as well as complexity. I was, shall we say, cheap when buying my first surround sound tuner (I was a broke grad student, in my defense), and it showed. Every time we tried to listen to something the tuner got in the way, with low sound levels, poor balance and just all around crudiness. I skimped on the quality and we suffered every time we wanted to use the tuner. My roommate in college skimped on the usability so we suffered.

Runco makes the kind of technology that will get out of the way of your entertainment. Though we don’t make surround sound tuners (your Runco dealer can recommend several that will suit you well), we do make everything up to the highest quality. You will know how to get the most out of your Runco product, from our outstanding dealers to our customer service to our calibration, and we promise that everything will look its best. Whether you’re getting an LED projector, a DLP projector, a Plasma display or an LCD display, your Runco product will meet The Surround Sound Principle with flying colors.

Knowledge is Power!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Digital media is evolving. Designers and architects are looking beyond traditional uses like way finding and advertising. Using digital media in place of traditional print artwork to create a living space or configuring displays in a free-standing sculpture are just a few of the innovative and remarkable ways to move beyond the big black box. Even with mainstream media wall installations, you can transform a space or achieve business objectives in new and dynamic ways.

Planar (Runco's parent company) can help get you started in digital media design by offering an opportunity to learn the basics of designing media walls through our free online training course: Designing Media Walls: Imagery, video, and information on digital canvases. The one-hour course provides a primer on media wall technology, reviewing key specification items, components, a list of design considerations, case studies and a review of media wall trends. Upon course completion you are eligible to earn AIA (American Institute of Architects) and state credit and qualify for HSW. Register today!

Upcoming Hollywood Hi-Tech Episode Featuring Nancy O'Dell Scheduled for July 27

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be sure to tune in to the upcoming episode of Hollywood Hi-Tech, scheduled for July 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm e/p on the DIY Network.

The episode will feature a complete home theater make-over in the home of Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O'Dell.

Also, tune in on August 10 when Hollywood Hi-Tech features a visit to the home of Oliver Stone and the installation of a Runco 3-chip DLP projector and 65-inch LCD flat-panel display.

News & Events

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Planar, Leyard Expand Award-Winning Clarity Matrix Video Wall Line-up with Extreme Narrow Bezel

21-Jul-2016 - Industry’s smallest seam LCD video wall display features a tiled bezel width of just 1.7mm for virtually seamless installations and Full HD stereo 3D model. Today a..... more ▶

Next-Generation Planar UltraRes Series 4K Displays Deliver the Ultimate Ultra HD Experience

07-Oct-2015 - Best-in-class 75”, 84” and 98” LCD displays offer enhancements in multi-source viewing and 4K video support Planar Systems unveiled the next-generation of it..... more ▶

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