This Minute at Runco

Upcoming Post-CEDIA Showcase Events

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Runco is excited to announce a series of special events showcasing Runco’s latest products announced at CEDIA Expo 2010. Featured products will include the 3Dimension Series D-73d projector (Awarded the CEPro BEST Award at CEDIA for "Best New Product - 3D Flat Panel & Projector”), the LightStyle LS-10 projector, and the Vistage Series Ultra-Thin flat panel displays.

Upcoming events include:

  • Open House at Stereo Exchange in New York, NY - November 3, 2010
    Featuring a special evening of drinks, food and product demonstrations
    Visit StereoExchange.com for more information

  • Exclusive Dealer Event at Stewart Filmscreen in Los Angeles, CA - November 10-11, 2010

  • 3D Projector Cocktail Party at Gramophone in Bethesda, MD - November 16, 2010
    Visit Gramophone.com for more information

  • Showcase event at WorldWide Stereo in Philadelphia, PA - November 18, 2010 (products on display through November 21)
    Visit WWStereo.com for more information

  • Exclusive Dealer Event in Denver, CO - December 1-2, 2010

  • Exclusive Dealer Event at Advanced Audio Design in Sarasota, FL - December 7, 2010

  • Exclusive Dealer Event in Fort Lauderdale, FL - December 9, 2010

Designing a 3D Theater: A Three-Dimensional Challenge (Part 2)

Friday, October 22, 2010

By Jennifer B. Davis

This is the second part in our three-part series on 3D theater design. In the first post, we featured information regarding overall 3D image quality. Next we’ll tackle the biggest issue affecting physical theater and room set-up: brightness loss.

Brightness Loss -

The problem:

When you implement 3D onto a television or projection system, you can expect over 80% of the original brightness to be lost. This is independent of whether you are choosing an Active 3D approach (with glasses that contain batteries that shutter black frames at your eye to distinguish left from right) or the variety of passive approaches in the marketplace. As theaters around the world have been gearing up to show 3D releases of Avatar® or other films, they have opted for a silver screen featuring a gain between 2-3. This has rendered the theaters nearly unusable for 2D content (as it amplifies the inherently brighter 2D image). High gain screens come with their own challenges, which include hot spotting, limitations on roll-up and the tendency to crease, as well as screen shape and curve recommendations.

The solution:

  1. If you want to do 2D and 3D on the same screen, look for a projection system that maintains as much brightness in 3D as possible. For instance, the dual-imaging D-73d system from Runco RETAINS 80% of the light, instead of losing it. This makes designing one room to do both (with a single screen) much easier.
  2. To preserve brightness, we recommend a gain screen. We have developed a new CSMS-3D standard in which we provide you with specifications for the 3D products on a gain screen so that you can anticipate performance. You will find those on the spec sheets for our 3D products.
  3. There are some fantastic high-gain screens that are upwards of 10 gain that avoid hot-spotting with a spherical shape that produces exceptional results. At the very least, a curved screen will direct more light towards the viewing audience. So, it is more important than ever (especially since you want to create a large screen, immersive experience for 3D) to carefully consider screen type and shape.
  4. Although it is a common set-up in theaters to have a micro-perforated, acoustically-transparent screen so that speakers can be placed and hidden behind the screen surface, the perforations actually reduce effective brightness even further (sometimes by 50%). For a 3D theater in which you are trying to preserve brightness, this may be too much of a compromise. You may want to consider instead alternate speaker placements (above or below the screen being the most common). Some innovative installations may be made possible by new developments in 3D audio processing, which allow more flexibility.

Stay tuned for our next installment in this series.

Open Letter to ESPN 3D

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

By Jennifer B. Davis

On the occasion of the announcement of the first-ever NBA telecast on ESPN 3D, here is an open letter to the executives of the network.

Dear ESPN 3D,

I am writing as a concerned fan and as a fellow-traveler in this crazy world we call “3D in the home.”

First, I have to say that I appreciate your leadership and vision with regards to 3D. In similar fashion, you lead the charge to HD and I only became a fan of sports watching once I saw it in high-definition. I share your belief that 3D will be to sports what HD has been to sports, but only if we solve some of the fundamental problems with the medium. Problems, frankly, that you are proliferating.

Allow me to explain. When I go to http://espn.go.com/3d/, I am told that to experience ESPN 3D I need three things: 1) a 3D TV, 2) Active 3D glasses, and 3) a compatible set-top box. I have no concerns with your #3 (that is your business), but I have a problem with #1 and #2. They just don’t tell the whole story.

I am concerned that your fans will take your advice and rush out to buy a small, 3D TV to serve up their new cable channel. They probably won’t get great service from the big box store in which they will shop. They probably will end up with a compromised, mass-marketed display with mediocre performance on a small screen (when compared to being in the stands, courtside, or on the green at the sporting events you will shoot in 3D). They’ll want to experience the thrills and spills of their favorite sports with the same realism they get at the game (the promise of 3D), but instead they’ll see something that looks like a diorama or dollhouse (more like foos ball than hockey). If they want the realism that is possible, they need the immersion that they get not with a 3D TV, but with a truly big-screen experience of a projector, like the new Runco 3Dimension™ Series D-73d. Projectors and screens are a solution that you don’t even mention on your website.

Along with the 3D TV, you tell them they will need glasses. That technically is true, as autostereo (glasses-free) 3D impacts display resolution and viewing angles too dramatically to make it a viable option for the home any time soon. However, you show a picture of Active 3D glasses (of course, designed to go with the 3D TVs that you recommend). This isn’t the sports fans’ only option. They can watch 3D in their home using glasses that are as stylish as sunglasses they may buy. Prescription glasses wearers can choose clip-on or custom-ordered prescription glasses. Kids can have glasses designed for their smaller faces. All of this is possible with Runco’s PreciseLight™ system used with our projection systems. This innovation results in more comfortable and compelling 3D (with no batteries to wear down or replace), yet it isn’t represented in your description of 3D.

The most discriminating sports fans will want to replicate the view from the 50 yard line or the 9th hole green and their 3D experience will lack that realism, that immersion, and the excitement of being “there.” This kind of involvement in sports watching is possible, but not with the technology you are advocating. If your customers had a Runco D-73d projector in their home, their experience would be incredible, the feedback they would give to their family, friends, and neighbors would help you sell more cable packages for your new 3D channel, and we’d truly embark on a new era for sports watching in the home.

I am a big believer in 3D. I love that you had the vision to be one of the first to announce and deliver 3D content into the home and applaud your efforts to improve the state-of-the-art in camera recording techniques, editing and distribution technologies. I ask that you show that same vision to the display technologies that you recommend.


Jennifer Davis

P.S. I am excited to see the Miami Heat (and its new core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh) versus the New York Knicks on Friday, Dec. 17 in a 3D broadcast from Madison Square Garden and, rest assured, we'll be watching it on a 3Dimension Series D-73d here at Runco. I am hoping by the time that the other eight regular-season NBA games air on the new ESPN 3D (like the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic which are coming up after the first of the year), and certainly in time for the play-offs, you'll acknowledge that consumers have a choice for 3D Done Right.

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