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This Minute at 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.

No Limit for Better

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Posted January 11, 2010 by Jennifer B. Davis

This weekend’s Parade magazine features an interesting interview with mega-star Harrison Ford, who brought to life beloved characters from Star Wars, the Indiana Jones franchise, and a whole host of Tom Clancy novels set to film. Yet, in his interview he doesn’t emphasize his talents as a gift or even a job really, but rather a craft. Something that must be worked at to achieve mastery.

“When I was a carpenter,”, he explains,” I once worked with this Russian lady architect. I would tell her, ‘Look, I’m terribly sorry, but I want to change that a half inch,’ and she would say, ‘No limit for better.’ I think that is a worthy credo. You keep on going until you get it as close to being right as the time and patience of others will allow.”

“No limit for better” is a great motto for Runco as well. Our products are the result of applied mastery of video for home theater applications and elsewhere in luxury homes. We continue to drive innovation and set the standard in the CEDIA industry, which means new products in flat panel and projection, new categories of solutions, and a constant drive to develop our craft. More importantly, we understand the for our dealers and the clients they serve, there is no limit for better.

by Jennifer B. Davis - 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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