This Minute at Runco

The Runco Difference

Monday, March 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Cullen

Shopping for a new television is a lot like purchasing a new vehicle. It involves countless hours of research and frequent visits to your local dealers. If you’ve ever been looking for a luxury vehicle from the likes of BMW or Mercedes-Benz, then you’d know how well the dealers treat you and the special experience one receives when purchasing such fine automobiles. Runco is the BMW of home theatre and the experience you’ll receive is very rewarding as I know first hand.

A few months ago I was in search of a new flat panel for our media room. I have previously owned Pioneer Elite products and at the time I had Pioneer’s last generation 60” Elite KURO monitor. I sold it and began my quest for the perfect product. I am not an audiophile, but, like audiophiles whose search for perfection involves the perfect reproduction of music; my search involved the perfect reproduction of film. I am huge movie buff.

My Pioneer had state-of-the-art black level performance at the time and no one could match its deep, inky blacks on Blu-ray movies. However, the Pioneer’s performance on standard-def material and even on several Blu-rays was less than optimal. Although the panel produced deep blacks it lacked shadow detail (crushing blacks) and the picture processing was not cinema-like. I wanted a flat panel that not only would produce deep blacks, but also reveal the smallest of details within those inky blacks and also process a true cinema-like experience in the home. What I craved was something I would later learn is called OPAL technology.

LED LCD’s, plasma, 3-D ready… which way should I go? After some pretty heavy researching I entered the Runco domain. Through their newly re-designed website I was able to browse all of their products, read reviews, manuals and spec sheets on everything Runco had to offer.

I decided to call Runco and inquire about some of the products I was interested in. To my surprise, this wasn’t a call center located outside of North America, this was their actual office. Within a minute or so I was connected with someone in their sales department. Duane Castillo, a Runco inside sales rep who answered all of my questions regarding the various flat panels and the ideal viewing conditions for each. Duane recommended Runco’s new OPAL technology and a dealer in my area who could meet my needs.

I contacted Clinton Howell of H2 Systems in Burlington, Ontario. Clinton was very helpful and answered all of my questions. I have controlled lighting in my viewing environment and Clinton suggested a Runco XP-OPAL 50 DHD as the successor to my Pioneer Elite. I wanted a smaller screen this time around as the 60” was too big for the room.

I realized through speaking with Clinton that Runco offers flat panel solutions to meet every client’s viewing environments in pretty much every budget. To my surprise, Runco panels are very competitively priced with similar products from the industry’s other high-end top performers.

Runco trains their authorized dealers well. H2 Systems installs Runco products ensuring the product performs at its absolute finest. They calibrate the panel to match the client’s preference in a variety of different viewing environments. This is not your typical big box store approach where you carry the TV out and bring it home. This approach ensures you get exactly what you paid for, an excellent television that truly brings the cinema into your living room. I was very impressed.

This whole process of selecting and purchasing my new Runco was nothing short of the best customer service I have ever received. I know of a very few select manufacturers that you can talk with one-on-one regarding their products and Runco is one of them. The Runco staff is very friendly and because of Duane going the extra mile through the entire process, my wife and I are now Runco customers for life. H2 systems were an absolute pleasure to work with. Clinton’s top notch customer service, helpful advice and knowledge of the home theatre industry is priceless.

That is the Runco difference. It’s a wonderful experience and in the end it’s worth every penny.

Dave Cullen has a diploma in Journalism and is currently in school for work in the health care industry. He is an avid videophile and a huge fan of Runco products.

Dream Big

Monday, March 15, 2010

Posted by Duane Castillo

Saturday Academy was founded in 1983 with the goal of engaging motivated young people with in-depth learning and problem solving, by connecting them with community instructors and mentors. Since then, more than 145,000 students throughout Oregon and SW Washington have had the opportunity to participate in the program. Originally the focus was on technology based interests, but since its founding the organization has grown to include programs that cater to the creativity of youth with classes in theater/acting, history, film/photography, and writing. The group also sponsors internships with various local technology partners such as OHSU for high school age students through their ASE, (Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering programs).

Runco was given the opportunity to support Saturday Academy at a recent fundraiser at the Oregon Zoo by donating the use of two Runco CX-OPAL47 LCD displays for a slideshow on Saturday Academy’s impact in the lives of youth. Several attendees were impressed by the clarity and quality of the Runco CX-OPAL47 LCDs, and there were numerous windows in the facility which created the perfect environment for Runco’s Optical Path Alignment™ (OPAL) technology. Several members of Saturday Academy were delighted to see their story presented beautifully as attendees signed in for the event. Saturday Academy teaches and inspires children and teens that they are only limited by themselves. This reminds me of Runco’s long-standing core dedication to technology innovation in the custom home theater market. As a Runco employee I was proud to be a part of this event and as a parent I look forward to giving my son the opportunity to participate in Saturday Academy. To steal a phrase from the Saturday Academy,”…teach them to dream BIG!”

Duane is a mainland transplant from Oahu, dedicated Florida Gator and self admitted food addict who enjoys spending time with his family when he isn’t helping dealers and reps on the phones at Runco or keeping the “food addict” weight off by working out at FedEx Ground for 3-4 hours, 5 nights a week.

Runco Client Experience: CRT to LED

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Posted by Bob Brown

I had a long talk with my Runco CRT DTV-933 projector and I concluded retirement party was near. I purchased my first Runco projector new in May 1999. I've been eye-balling several replacement models and absolutely love Runco products because quality is their first priority. The Samsung SP-A900B projector was on the top of my short list of DLP projectors. After careful consideration of my DLP™ options, Runco's LED QuantumColor Q-750i was the winner. No moving parts, pure colors, black and whites much better than a CRT, off the scale contrast, very bright (light dedicated room recommended), thousands of hours without a lamp, quiet and awesome specs across the board.

I bought the Q-750i from my favorite local home theater and lighting control center, Advanced Audio Design in Naples, Florida. The gentleman who assisted with this project was Jon Guenther of Advanced Audio Design. Jon is my go-to man for all of my tougher technical questions. Jon's extremely familiar with Runco, along with most home theater, lighting and home automation related products. He's been in the business forever - give or take a week.

I needed Jon’s assistance to mount the projector on the bracket. He also helped me configure the Runco Q-750i to the screen. He also helped with the setup of the internal menus for my application and preference (Personal Color Equalizer™ allows color adjustment that includes those exactly defined by the cinematographer and the color preferences of each individual viewer for each source). I did go through the manual later on because I enjoy knowing everything about my home theater equipment. Jon saved me a lot of time so I didn’t have to read through the setup manual myself. From the moment I started the projector, and saw the out-of-box projected image, I knew I had something special. The image was astounding and the projector was very quiet. My old CRT was directly above my seating area and sounded like a harrier jet hovering overhead. I mounted the Q-750i about 6 feet behind. The Q-750i makes little sound.

Without hesitation, my first film on the Q-750i was the new Star Trek movie. Besides being a huge fan of Star Trek, I knew the picture was going to be stellar – and I wasn't disappointed. The colors were dead-on, the image was sharp as a thumbtack, and there were no motion artifacts— not even during explosions and intense light bursts. No rain-bowing (no color wheel in the Q-750i), the contrast and black levels were astounding. The white areas (high frequencies) were not blown-out like you can see with an LCD and it maintained fine detail. Simply put, it's the best projector I've seen to date. And by the way, I have seen a lot of projectors.

I also own a PlayStation 3 (PS3). I often play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 online (warning: If you want to stay married, try to play when your wife isn't home). I connected the PS3 in my theater via HDMI and modem (modem to the router, router to a switcher, switcher to the PS3) Wow! The streaming image was indescribable - color, sharpness and detail were beyond my wildest dreams. Proprietary Runco Smart Color (RSC™) provides a hue compensation curve and gamut mapping that allows for lifelike, accurate flesh tones. Speaking of, you'll have to excuse me I need to return to my theater for another game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Runco client Bob Brown has been a Traffic Homicide Investigator for the state of Florida for the past 21 years. Bob studied photography at Florida International University, film and script writing at the University of Miami. Bob created his website http://www.amateurhometheater.com/ in 1999.

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