This Minute at Runco
At InfoComm 2014, Planar announced it is expanding its 4K product offerings with new displays ranging in size from 28" to 98". The new displays, which will be showcased at the InfoComm 2014 tradeshow, include additions to two popular Planar product families—the Planar® UltraRes™ Series and Planar® EP-Series™. Planar also unveiled its new Planar® IX-Series™ 4K desktop monitor.
“Planar’s early and ongoing commitment to commercial 4K is reflected in this wide range of new models,” said Steve Seminario, senior director of product marketing at Planar Systems. “From desktop monitors to ultra-large format displays, our goal is to accelerate the adoption of ultra HD technology by making it accessible, affordable and well-tailored to commercial applications.”
With four times the resolution of full HD, Planar ultra HD displays deliver life-like picture quality and an immersive experience. Compatible with existing full HD and 4K sources, as well as the growing number of 4K devices coming to market, Planar 4K displays offer broad connectivity for both current and future use. All models also come with an energy-efficient architecture featuring a whisper-quiet, fan-less design made possible through LED backlighting and advanced power management.
Planar UltraRes 98"
With the Planar UltraRes 98" the company is expanding its award-winning Planar UltraRes Series line to include a large format 4K display in a size that supports large rooms by providing a seamless, single-display solution to applications previously requiring a tiled video wall. Designed for resolution-rich commercial applications, the Planar UltraRes 98" combines 4K clarity with state-of-the-art design and performance. From conference rooms to training centers to public display applications, the immersive 98" display captures the attention of audiences from a wide range of viewing distances.
Like the best-in-class Planar UltraRes 84", which Planar introduced in 2013, the Planar UltraRes 98" offers extensive connectivity options, including support for up to eight connected sources. The Planar UltraRes 98” includes built-in UltraRes MediaPlex™ software, which allows multiple sources to be viewed simultaneously with the ability to upscale and downscale content to full screen or quadrants of the screen. With an installation depth less than four inches, the Planar Profile™ Mounting System makes the Planar UltraRes 98” compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and ensures easy installation in any environment.
The Planar UltraRes Series now supports true 4K at up to 60Hz via HDMI 2.0, enabling smoother fast-motion video and mouse tracking, as well as compatibility with new and emerging 4K playback devices. “We choose Planar for many of our display needs,” said Jeff Hastings CEO of at BrightSign, the market leader in digital signage media players. “Planar has built a reputation as a premier commercial 4K display manufacturer in the industry, and is also proving to be a leader in the effort to support true 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, an important requirement for smooth video playback.”
Planar EP-Series 58" and 65"
Planar is also bringing 4K resolution to its popular Planar EP-Series line with the introduction of 58" and 65" models. The displays, built for mission-critical and extended use applications, are ideal for demanding 24x7 commercial operations such as airports and control rooms and as digital signage in a variety of settings including retail stores, hospitality settings and corporate lobbies.
The new 4K displays join the Planar EP-Series full HD 46" and 55" models, known for high durability, stunning image performance and advanced commercial functionality. The ultra HD Planar EP-Series 58" and 65" displays come standard with an expansion slot that supports Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) for digital signage, making them compatible with OPS devices such as media players and PCs. The new 4K displays support both landscape and portrait modes and include an ultra-slim, logo-free bezel to direct viewers’ attention to the display’s content. Planar EP-Series 4K displays are also available with integrated multi-touch technology for interactive 4K experiences.
Planar IX-Series 28"
Introducing 4K for desktop users, the Planar IX-Series features a 28" LCD monitor that offers an immersive 4K desktop experience for control room operators, architects, video editors, graphic designers, photographers and corporate desktop users. The new ultra HD desktop monitor line is available with dual and quad stand options and features Planar’s FlexFour™ software, allowing up to four distinct video sources to be viewed concurrently on the same monitor.
The Planar UltraRes 98”, Planar EP-Series 58” and 65” and Planar IX-Series 28” will be available through Planar’s global network of authorized resellers and will begin shipping in the third calendar quarter of 2014. Learn more about Planar’s new 4K products at www.planar.com/4K.
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Those of you who are following this blog or Runco’s Facebook page, know that we have asked for recommendations of what I should watch on the new QuantumColor Q-750d projector going into my new home theater. Our own cinema expert, Jeremy Sternhagen, told me today that his recommendation from my list was definitely Sam Mendes’ latest installment to the James Bond series, SkyFall. “It’s the best looking of the three,” he said and then added jabbingly, “Plus, cartoons don’t count.” Of course, Cars and Avatar are mostly computer generated animation (CGI) without the use of traditional cameras.
I asked Jeremy why he preferred Skyfall, beyond the fact that it was live action, and his response was insightful, as always. “This movie was shot digitally with the Arri Alexa camera. Anything I have seen shot with that camera is stunning on BluRay. In fact, this was the first movie I ever saw that wasn’t shot with 70mm film that I thought could give 70mm a run for its money.”
He went onto explain that Roger Deakins, who was the cinematographer on Skyfall, is a huge and vocal fan about the Alexa camera. In a November 2011 article, he told the American Society of Cinematographers that “the Alexa is a game-changer. This moment has been coming for a long time, really, but with the Alexa I believe digital has finally surpassed film in terms of quality. What is quality? It’s really in the eye of the viewer, but to me, the Alexa’s tonal range, color space and latitude exceed the capabilities of film. This is not to say that I don’t still love film — I do. I love its texture and grain, but in terms of speed, resolution and clarity of image, there is no question in my mind that the Alexa produces a better image. There is a beautiful roll-off between highlights and shadows [on the Alexa] that I haven’t seen before. There’s a subtlety in color rendition that is fantastic. I tested it in candlelight, and it was beautiful how the camera picked up variations in skin tones and texture. If you shot that same scene with film, you’d get a very monochromatic feel — just a color wash — but the Alexa can read subtleties that film cannot.”
Deakens has 10 Academy Award nominations, including this past year, but not a single win. “A cinematic crime in my opinion,” Jeremy asserted. This year’s winner was the Life of PI which was beautiful, but heavily used digital effects, which are difficult to accurately compared with live action.
So, I asked Jeremy what other movies, shot on an Alexa, are worthy of screening in a Runco theater? “There are too many to list, but The Avengers and Hugo are a few that are demo worthy.” We’ll definitely add these our list, especially since some of these are among my children’s favorites. To see other movies shot with the Arri Alexa, see the filmography.
What other movies would you recommend us watching on opening night (or shortly there after)? Leave your comments and ideas on Runco’s Facebook page.
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Photo by Getty Images
The funeral was attended by family, friends, and fans. The blogosphere and Twitterscape is still aglow with fond remembrances as we all say good-bye to the ultimate lover of movies and friend of Runco, Robert Ebert.
No one can argue that he was the nation’s most influential film critic, who worked across media, from newspaper to television to book publishing to social media, to define a profession. He aptly showed how early adoption of technology can keep a public figure relevant across the decades. He’s the only film critic with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At his funeral, the mayor of Chicago joked that “Roger spent a lot of time sitting through bad movies, so we didn’t have to.” He inspired his fans by bravely and publicly facing down cancer, eventually losing his ability to speak, though not his ability to communicate. In the end, the villain won, but like the fallen heroes in epic films, the legacy continues.
On April 2, just days before his death, he posted an open letter on his blog claiming for himself a much deserved “leave of presence.” To slow down from his prolific writing production (resulting in 306 movie reviews last year alone across 200 newspapers) to do what he could have only fantasized about in his lifetime as a film critic: “seeing only the movies I want to review.”
So, in homage to a gifted and generous movie lover, here is a link to what Roger Ebert called the “Great Movies.” These 300 films shaped public opinion, pushed the boundaries of cinema technology and art, and, Roger believed, were worthy stories, well told. Perhaps some of these will spark your interest. Perhaps you’ll add your own thumbs up to that of Roger Ebert.
And Roger, we’ll see you at the movies.
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News & Events
26-Jun-2014 - Planar UltraRes Series and Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System Recognized by Systems Contractor News and Digital Signage Magazine At InfoComm 2014, two of Planar's k..... more ▶
24-Jun-2014 - The leader in 4K displays for commercial applications showcased new ultra HD displays ranging in size from 28” to 98”at InfoComm 2014 At InfoComm 2014, Pl..... more ▶