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Runco lets it all hang out, intros seven new 1080p LCDs / plasmas at CEDIA

Darren Murph

For the most part, Runco stays pretty quiet in the consumer realm... until CEDIA rolls around. Once again, the high-end AV company is firing on all cylinders in Denver, announcing seven new 1080p LCD / plasma displays including its largest LCD to date, the 70-inch Crystal Series CX-70DHD (pictured). Along with the new panels, the outfit is unveiling its exclusive OPAL (Optical Path Alignment) technology on select models which "delivers extreme glare reduction and enhanced contrast for high ambient light environments." The aforesaid 70-incher (shipping mid-October for $34,995) actually comes bundled with an external DHD video controller / processor, which incorporates Runco's Vivix II tech to "enhance all digital and NTSC content to near high-definition quality." We'll admit, that sounds an awful lot like something Toshiba's got going on just a few booths over, but make of it what you will. For details on the other half dozen sets, hop on past the break.


Runco's revolutionary Optical Path Alignment (OPAL) image enhancement technology optimizes flat-panel imagery while enabling a Runco-caliber experience in high ambient light environments.

Denver, CO - CEDIA EXPO 2008 - September 4-7, 2008 - Booth #510 - Runco, the leading brand in luxury video solutions, proudly introduces seven new 1080p LCD and plasma flat panels, including its largest LCD panel to date: the 70-inch Crystal SeriesTM CX-70DHD. In the grand Runco tradition, each new model delivers a masterful blend of image prowess, impeccable design and state-of-the-art craftsmanship that will delight the most discerning of video aficionados. Runco also is unveiling its exclusive new OPALTM (Optical Path AlignmentTM) image enhancement technology, available on select Runco models, which delivers extreme glare reduction and enhanced contrast for high ambient light environments.

"In the world of high-end video, there are flat panels and then, for those who seek the very best, there are Runco flat panels," said Matt Christensen, sr. product manager, Planar Home Theater Business Unit. "Our new flat-panel models feature the attention to detail, incredibly accurate video processing, design, and installer-friendly features that our industry has long expected and consistently receives from Runco. And with the introduction of OPAL, Runco is taking the lead in fighting persistent problems installers and their customers face with flat panels."

Headlining today's announcement is the 70-inch Crystal Series CX-70DHD, Runco's largest LCD flat panel to date. The CX-70DHD is perfect for rooms of distinction where a large screen size is desired, but where ambient light issues make front projection difficult and the glare of a plasma screen unacceptable. For true-to-life image quality, the CX-70DHD delivers an exceptional contrast ratio, superb gray scaling, and the ISFTM (Imaging Science Foundation) ISFcccTM calibration suite, including day and night modes for an optimal picture even in the most challenging lighting conditions.

The CX-70DHD is the first LCD flat panel to feature Runco's proprietary external DHDTM video controller/processor. The DHD incorporates Runco's advanced Vivix IITM digital video processing technology to achieve the highest level of image fidelity, and enhances all digital and NTSC content to near high-definition quality for unparalleled large-screen video reproduction. While lesser displays may show signs of image distortion, especially at larger screen sizes, the CX-70DHD incorporates Runco's exclusive VirtualWideTM mode, which seamlessly converts all 4:3 content to widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and optimizes Anamorphic and Letterbox content with no loss of image integrity.

The CX-70DHD offers exceptional installation flexibility. It measures less than six inches thick for unobtrusive installation on a wall, and its external DHD processor allows for a clean installation, with just a single HDMI with HDCP output to the display required. All source and component inputs (Composite, S-Video, HDMI with HDCP, and RGBH) are handled by the DHD, which, like all of the components, can be hidden from view.

Runco's two other new Crystal Series LCD flat panels introduce new LCD screen sizes to its lineup. The 65-inch CX-65HD and 47-inch CX-47HD offer internal Vivix II processing with Runco's RTRTM (Real-Time Refresh) 120Hz technology, a full connectivity suite including HDMI 1.3a with Deep Color modes, Runco's exclusive WideVisionTM technology with VirtualWide mode, and ISF calibration suite.

Rounding out the new flat-panel lineup are two additions to Runco's CinemaWallTM plasma display portfolio: the 50-inch XP-50 and 65-inch XP-65. These models, like all CinemaWall and PlasmaWallTM products, are capable of high-altitude use up to 9000ft above sea level. They feature integrated Vivix II processing, ISFccc calibration and Dynamic Pixel ProtectionTM technology, which reduces static image retention.

Beyond traditional flat-panel displays, Runco's revolutionary new OPAL image enhancement technology takes Runco's legendary performance even further by addressing the common flat-panel problems, particularly ambient light, which directly competes against and degrades flat-panel images and distracts the viewer.

The breakthrough Runco OPAL technology utilizes proprietary micro-visual surface treatment of the flat panel to provide three key benefits. First, OPAL's Ambient-Light Rejection (ALRTM) technology, a proprietary panel treatment applied within the flat panel, reduces internal and surface reflections by more than 20 times. As such, OPAL enhances picture clarity and legibility in areas with medium-to-high ambient light without having to resort to a boost in the panel's backlight brightness, a traditional workaround that tends to wash out colors and contrast. Second, Runco OPAL's Acute Contrast EnhancementTM (ACE) technology increases contrast by more than three times without losing image clarity within dark scenes, especially in high ambient light. Finally, Runco OPAL's ISSTM (Impact, Shake and Shock) Protection enhances the panel's resistance to dust contamination, condensation and even occasional direct impact, such as a blow from a hand-held game control. The flat panel's surface is less sensitive to daily wear and tear, and the surface can be cleaned with typical household glass cleaner.

For the no-compromise customer who demands the absolute best panel in the market, Runco's OPAL image enhancement option will be available exclusively for Runco LCD and plasma flat panel displays beginning with the Climate PortfolioTM WP-42OPALHD as well as the new CX-OPAL47 LCD.

Runco's Crystal Series CX-70DHD is available mid-October 2008. MSRP is $34,995. The CX-65HD and CX-47HD will be available December 2008 and have MSRPs of $14,995 and $4,495 respectively. Runco's PlasmaWall XP-65 and XP-50 will be available January 2009. MSRP is $12,995 and $6,495, respectively. The WP-42OPALHD is available for immediate shipping at $8,995 MSRP and the CX-OPAL47 LCD will ship in January for $5,995 MSRP.

Runco Home Theater products are built with quality and craftsmanship to ensure an amazing experience. All Runco displays feature a two-year RuncoCare standard warranty. Extended options are also available for one or two additional years. RuncoCare is simple, convenient and offers the best protection in the industry.

In addition to the standard and extended RuncoCare, Runco now offers a suite of RedCarpet premium services, which provide increased value-added support that goes above and beyond the standard warranty. Among the RedCarpet offerings is an Advanced Exchange warranty, under which a replacement unit is sent immediately so customers are never without their video display. Advanced Exchange coverage is available for up to four years. The RedCarpet program is ideal for Runco dealers and their customers because it provides the elevated level of service and support that Runco customers.

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