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How Do LCD Screens Work?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Liquid Crystal Display technology has been around for decades. Digital watches and calculators use the ability of the crystals to become opaque when receiving electricity to display information in a small format. The crystalline compound is transparent when no electricity is applied. Stepping up to something like an LCD TV uses essentially the same technology, just applied on a larger scale. Each pixel on an LCD display is made up of three individual crystals: a red, a green and a blue one. Then, depending on how much electricity is applied to each crystal it will block some or all of the light passing through it.

Imagine shining a flashlight through colored plastic and layering different colors on top of each other. The different amounts of red, green and blue give all the possible colors you can see on your TV screen. One of the key things about LCD technology is that the crystals don’t produce any light of their own, rather they rely on a backlight to shine through and produce the image. Because of this when a typical LCD has the backlight turned up for high brightness you can lose out on the deep blacks in the color spectrum since each black pixel is actually an LCD electrified to be opaque. In order to compare how black the blacks are on a TV compared to bright whites the industry has started talking about a contrast ratio. The larger the ratio, the bigger the difference between the brightness of white pixels and the darkness of black pixels. In order to make the best LCD screens in the world, Runco has applied a coating technology known as Acute Contrast Enhancement which triples the contrast ratio.

Another issue that plagues typical LCD screens is their visibility in bright light. If you can remember the last time you took your laptop computer outside, you’ll know how easy it can be for an LCD display to get washed out with a lot of ambient light. Since the crystals become opaque they can start reflecting the ambient light which competes with the backlight coming from the display itself. The result is you can’t see what you’re watching. Runco believes that you should be able to see your TV any time of the day or night, so they developed Ambient Light-Rejection which cuts down ambient light reflecting off of the LCD pixels by 20 times. Less light hitting the pixels means a sharper, easier-to-see picture for you.

The way that the liquid crystals work is by being suspended between two layers of glass and then a thin-film transistor supplies the electrical current to the crystals. That’s great for the technology, but glass is fragile and most TVs live in a high traffic area. To protect the precious crystals, Runco created Impact, Shake and Shock Protection which keeps out dust and protects the screen from the bumps and bruises of everyday life.

Together these enhancements to flat panel display technology are known as OPAL and they help make good LCD displays into the world’s finest.

The Surround Sound Principle

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

By James Wood

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced surround sound. I was at my uncle’s house and he had just set up his system. He popped in a VHS tape of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and away we went feeling like the snow speeders were about to clobber us in the back of the head. It was an amazing jump forward in my home-theater experience. From then on I longed for surround sound of my very own.

Fast forward to college where my roommate supplied our tiny apartment with a surround sound set-up. He grabbed a home-theater-in-a-box that had the speakers, tuner and DVD player all bundled together. All we had to supply was the TV. The thing was that every time we switched from watching a movie to sports to sitcoms he would need to fiddle with the remote and change the surround sound settings. He would keep pressing buttons, interrupting the sound and creating a jarring experience. That was the beginning of what we’ve come to call “The Surround Sound Principle” in our house.

It all gelled for me when my other roommate moved out and bought his own surround sound tuner. He’s something of an audiophile, so I knew it would sound good, but what thrilled me was that it automatically adjusted its settings for each input. So he’d turn on his DVD player and the tuner would switch over to DVD mode. He’d fire up the game console and the tuner would recognize those settings and switch. He’d eliminated all the button mashing and moved to enjoying his entertainment.

Now when we talk about The Surround Sound Principle, what we mean is that technology needs to get out of the way and let us enjoy our entertainment. This can apply to quality as well as complexity. I was, shall we say, cheap when buying my first surround sound tuner (I was a broke grad student, in my defense), and it showed. Every time we tried to listen to something the tuner got in the way, with low sound levels, poor balance and just all around crudiness. I skimped on the quality and we suffered every time we wanted to use the tuner. My roommate in college skimped on the usability so we suffered.

Runco makes the kind of technology that will get out of the way of your entertainment. Though we don’t make surround sound tuners (your Runco dealer can recommend several that will suit you well), we do make everything up to the highest quality. You will know how to get the most out of your Runco product, from our outstanding dealers to our customer service to our calibration, and we promise that everything will look its best. Whether you’re getting an LED projector, a DLP projector, a Plasma display or an LCD display, your Runco product will meet The Surround Sound Principle with flying colors.

Design by Runco

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Design by Runco enables a synthesis of design and technology in any room of the luxury home. Starting with Runco ColourPalette™ comprised of 13 colors that enhance every décor for Runco’s home theater projectors, plasma displays and LCD displays. Beyond Runco’s custom palette we can color match any swatch of fabric or paint to ensure your display fits seamlessly with your room’s décor.

Runco FrameGallery™ introduces seven handcrafted custom frame solutions for Runco CrystalSeries CX LCD flat panel displays. Each Runco LCD with the FrameGallery option is also wrapped in Runco’s all-black light absorption Cinema Velvet Finish ™ (CVF) matting. In concert with FrameGallery, Runco also introduces its unique mirrored SilverSheen™ technology allowing FrameGallery customers the option of a mirrored surface on their flat-panel display. FrameGallery and SilverSheen deliver solutions with incomparable elegance and style for the luxury home.

Most recently Runco introduced FinishPalette™, custom finish options for LightStyle projectors including Runco Signature colors in single or duo, NCAA and NFL themes and multiple series designed by artists.

Photo courtesy of http://gapingvoid.com/

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