This Minute at Runco
By guest blogger John Sciacca of John Sciacca Writes
June 9, 2010
In most things, I have a pretty strong opinion, and those opinions are often only slightly more flexible than the rock face of Half Dome. And if we talk long enough, at some point, you’re likely to experience a stream of consciousness so honest (OK, so brutally honest) that it might feel refreshing – like a backhanded pimp slap. This is probably why I have a small – but fairly loyal – band of friends, and that my dropout rate of making new friends would likely shame the SEAL teams.
I’ve already mentioned that I’m kind of weird about where I eat. Well, I’m even weirder about where I watch movies.
You see, I love watching movies. I waited and saved and plotted and finally got a home theater of my own that is so awesome, I still can’t believe it’s mine. When I’m not watching my 60-inch Plasma, it’s because I’m watching my 115-inch widescreen! My SuperCube Trinity subwoofer plays so low and so loud, that I’m secretly hoping that one day I’ll stumble across the Brown note. So, when it comes to watching a new movie, I don’t want to sully the experience by viewing it in a crappy environment. This unequivocally makes me a theater snob, and it’s a title I wear with no shame whatsoever.
Now, it’s not that I don’t like to get together with friends. I do! And if you want to hang out and watch some TV (assuming it’s a show I’m not interested in) or an old movie (that hasn’t been or isn’t scheduled to be re-released on Blu-ray any time soon) then, sure, I’d love to come and hang out! Now, I know I’m not alone here. So, if you’ve ever said (or just thought or wanted to say) any of these things before agreeing to see a movie at someone else’s house, then rest assured; you’re a home theater snob too! Welcome…friend! (There, see how quick I can make new ones!)
You are a home theater snob if: You worry about the shape of your host's TV.
If their TV is square, then I don’t care. Doesn’t really matter what else you think you have going on with your system; if your TV isn’t even widescreen, then you’ve already lost me. Also, if you don’t know whether your set is or isn’t HD, I’m gonna error on the side of caution and just let it be.
You are a home theater snob if: You worry about the size of the TV.
I don’t care what Cosmo said, size DOES matter. You might have the greatest 37-inch TV in the world, but when you said “thirty” and “seven” I started ooking over your shoulder to see what other people were talking about. Seriously, unless your mouth starts forming the Ssss of “sixty” or “seventy,” I’m probably washing my hair that night.
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By Andrew Morgen
In East Germany under the Communist regime, half of the populace was spying on the other half. This was carried out by a network of informers and bureaucrats called the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit, which in typical German fashion, was commonly shortened to "Stasi."
The Stasi were experts at interrogation, intimidation, and covert surveillance. The Lives of Others is the fictional story of Gerd Wiesler, one of the Stasi's best operatives, as he investigates Georg Dreyman, a prominent playwright and author. In the course of this investigation, both men are changed in profound ways.
Too often in films and books, people who live under oppressive regimes are classified in one of two ways: someone is either a downtrodden member of the population who rises against the oppressor, or a member of the bureaucracy who does the oppressing - but who doesn't really believe, and is usually just in it for personal gain. This ignores the fact that in many cases, people were true believers. In this film, Wiesler is a true believer.
He spends his days in an attic above Dreyman's apartment, listening to another man's life and reporting on his activities. Dreyman's life is full of love, friends and art. Wiesler spends his nights in a stark socialist apartment, a place with no personal touches, where even the couch looks hard and unwelcoming.
One day, Wiesler hears Dreyman play a piano piece in memory of his dead friend, "Sonata for a Good Man" (which was composed especially for this film), and something changes inside him. He comes to the realization that these people, whom he has been taught to regard as enemies or "others," have lives of worth and meaning and deserve to be protected from oppression.
Shot in muted grays and pale greens, the film highlights the beauty of the spirit in spite of bleak surroundings and would look spectacular on a Runco LightStyle LS-5 1080p DLP projector. There is no shouting in this film. All communication is in normal conversational tones, whether one is discussing Berthold Brecht or the best way to break a prisoner.
This film ultimately shows that all humans, no matter their circumstances, have free will and the opportunity to affect the lives of others.
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June 7, 2010 - Robb Report
Oregon-based video-product manufacturer Runco opened new doors in home entertainment with the March debut of its groundbreaking WindowWall display. This versatile video unit comprises 46-inch LCD panels that can be arranged in virtually any quantity or configuration, with image-to-image gaps that are just over a quarter-inch thick. Each panel can display a distinct video image, a portion of an image to generate a single larger picture throughout the entire array, or any desired combination in between.
“The WindowWall opens up a whole new world,” says Eric Eidelman, president of Audio/Video Interiors, an authorized Runco dealer and installation firm in Los Angeles. “We get our entertainment from so many different places now that people are really rethinking what they use their rooms for. When it’s not being used for total entertainment purposes, the WindowWall can really be a window into whatever experience you want.”
Eidelman and his company, along with Runco’s roughly 1,200 other North American dealers, are understandably excited about the possibilities the WindowWall presents. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the system’s ability to stream different video signals to each panel and, thus, display numerous televised sporting events simultaneously. Multitaskers conducting business from home will find the WindowWall useful as a computer monitor that can be viewed concurrently with stock tickers and news reports. Socialite hosts and art enthusiasts will enjoy the WindowWall’s ability to display a slide show of images, a single static work of art, or an idyllic landscape—or all three at the same time.
“It gives designers the opportunity to do creative things,” says Eidelman, who recently discussed with an interior designer the prospect of disguising a WindowWall array by installing it flush with the wall and placing a digital sample of the wall’s finish on the screens. “Then at the press of a button,” says Eidelman, “the WindowWall would completely transform the feel and the look of the room.”
The WindowWall system, which starts at about $20,000 for a two-panel setup and rises to about $300,000 for a 20-panel array, should also integrate seamlessly with most homes’ existing audio/video gear. This simplicity of installation and use will ensure that the WindowWall remains unobtrusive—and that homeowners can focus on the visual entertainment it provides.
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