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This Minute at Runco

SuperBowl Tailgate, Billionaire Style

Friday, February 19, 2010

By Pippa Edelen

This past weekend I attended the best tailgate ever. As a die-hard football fan who likes to be close to the action, I was thrilled when Runco dealer extraordinaire Andrew Guenther from Advanced Audio Design in Naples, FL proposed that Runco support his sponsorship of the Bombardier Touchdown Lounge in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

This uber-fancy tailgate consists of private aircraft owners to fly in and be a part of the most incredible SuperBowl party outside of Bourbon Street. What made this tailgate so special? Well, to risk sounding gauche, the massive bank accounts of the attendees. You see, the “tail” in question is referring to the stern of a G5, Global Express or Learjet 60.

To help paint a picture, three Rolls Royce Motor Carriages greeted each guest at the entrance (specifically two Phantom Coupes – each in two-tone and one was a Drophead, natch - and the new Ghost. And, as only the elite know, all three models open in the back to allow for “seating” on the tailgate.) Behind the half-million-dollar automobiles was a glowing bar that had three Runco LCD’s hung from the scaffolding while three more, along with a Runco XP-OPAL65 DHD, decorated the rest of the hangar. Just beyond the bar, the granddaddy display stopped the attendees in their tracks. The impressive 16-foot-wide Stewart Filmscreen was illuminated by two double-stacked Runco VX-33d’s. Despite having enormous hangar doors open to allow in tons of Florida sunshine, the VX-33’s rocked. They are so bright that even daylight couldn’t degrade the gorgeous HD images. The Lounge was open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and by the time the game rolled around Sunday evening, every chair, stool, leather couch and settee was angled at the impressive, monster display. But no one needed to crane their neck or sit up close to see the action because the set-up was so enormous, it impressed no matter where you were in the hangar. Coupled with more than a quarter-million dollars worth of CAT audio, this party was simply superb. From the food, to the sponsors, to the double-stacked VX-33d’s, I’d argue that nothing beats tailgating, billionaire style.

Pippa has a degree in Journalism from U of O and spends most of her time writing fancy words, orchestrating events, shining up websites and generating press for Runco.

My Favorite Demo Clips

Thursday, February 18, 2010

By Jeremy Sternhagen

Whenever I finish the process of setting up any Runco display, I always have my favorite demo clips with me to test out my work. Some people like to grab a disc that is full of bright shiny imagery to guarantee an eye popping demo. I prefer something a little more challenging.

Some of the best Blu-Ray discs available are made with such meticulous care, that preserving every aspect of the original film quality is the number-one thing a film nut, like me, looks for.

Seeing things like film grain are all just part of the experience and make the video authentic. Poor video equipment masks some of these finer details, creating a very un-film-like experience.

In chapter 4 (28:09) of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, the scene opens in outer space and a Romulan ship passes in front of the audience. If the projector is not set up correctly, the ship appears as a dark mess of nothing, silhouetted against some space clouds, with little or no detail. If the projector has been properly calibrated, you can see every detail in the dark shadows of the ship. The scene continues with many other dark scenes that demonstrate proper black levels.

Later, in chapter 7 (52:21) there is an action sequence with Kirk and Sulu dropping through the atmosphere in space suits, then engaging in hand-to-hand combat. It is a great demo from both an audio and video perspective. The scene starts off dark, so you can point out black level details, but then it transitions to the bright outdoor fight sequence. There is a slow build to the sound, so audiophiles will appreciate the dynamic presentation much more technical than simply loud explosions with no breaks.

I love to point out the cinematography in this film, as JJ Abrams specifically uses lens flare in almost every shot. He is basically using an optical artifact to enhance his film. Star Trek is trying to look like a movie, not reality.

Another favorite demo is Baraka. This movie was filmed almost 20 years ago, and was shot in 70mm, so the detail is amazing. Beginning at chapter 4 (12:00) There is a sequence that shows some colorful outdoor gardens and locals, all enjoying their surroundings. The shots are all slowly and smoothly executed, allowing you to soak in every detail. Following the shots of local ceremony, the movie pans to images of volcanoes and clouds, all shot using amazing fly-overs and time lapse. The imagery is accompanied by an ominous drum beat. The result forces the viewer to appreciate the amazing views. If the projector is set correctly, every large and small detail in the clouds will be visible. The next sequence features some large lizards basking in the sun while waves break on rocks around them. The shots are close up, and highly detailed. If you want to see more of the same types of images and detail, skip to chapter 21.

Baraka is great because there is no artificial imagery here. No boosted colors or special effects. A lot of popular demos used today are bright and colorful, such as Transformers or an animated movie, such as UP, look great on just about any display, because the colors are all bright and oversaturated. I prefer these demos, because I feel like it’s not cheating. And if your projector is properly calibrated and can display these challenging scenes well, then any subsequent image will look spectacular.

Jeremy has background in film and tv, and works as a field product specialist for Runco, training dealers how to setup, demo and sell Runco products.

Occupational Hazard

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

By Jennifer B. Davis

Running products for Runco, I have the privilege of working with product teams to develop leading technology, interacting with leading technology integrators around the world and creating experiences for the highest echelon of home owners.  My own home, and the lifestyle I enjoy there with my family and friends, has benefited from access to Runco technology.  But it doesn’t come without its challenges.

For instance, I believe my children are absolutely spoiled by excellent video quality. We have had to get on to them for criticizing neighbors for their “small and sad” televisions. My son just told me last night that he believed that Runco was the only company that made displays. Love it!

A story is in order. I found my kids (ages 7 and 3 ½) building a castle with Duplo blocks. It was an impressive property complete with a tower, a dungeon, guard dragons, and bunk beds. And, because they are Runco kids, they had added a satellite dish and a theater with “the girl watching a Runco.” It won’t be too long before they are joining the ranks in Runco Academy and learning calibrate and design theaters…not made of Duplo blocks.

Jennifer B. Davis is all about technology innovation and is a customer advocate, business executive, mom, and loves her job as Runco’s VP of marketing.

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