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Runco Announces A Host of Technology Advancements In the Gen 3 Projector Line Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2004
Runco International has just announced a host of new innovations now featured in many of its current products, including the CL-710/710LT, VX-1000ci, VX-4000ci and VX-5000ci. Runco’s Enhanced Gen 3 technology results in greater contrast, lower black levels and improvements to color purity. These advances are in addition to the performance refinements achieved with the advent of Gen 3 technology in 2003.

These new Enhanced Gen 3 improvements are implemented through our new SuperOnyx, 16:9 Advanced Light Engine, incorporating TI’s latest DMD chip technology with Dark Metal Process, 12 degree mirror tilt and redesigned hinge components. Complimenting the SuperOnyx chip refinements is an elevated chroma reproduction system for outstanding colorimetry and greater color purity.

In addition, the new Enhanced Gen 3 products include the Imaging Science Foundation’s “ISF 3c” (Certified Calibration Configuration) setup and calibration standards. Gen 3 technology consists of DLP light engine design. This is achieved by implementing proprietary methods to achieve images. According to Runco, Products using Gen 3 technology deliver improved black levels, better contrast ratios, more uniform gray scale tracking, better color temperature control and improved color saturation and fidelity.

Runco’s Gen 3 products all have DVI inputs, which include HDCP copy protection decryption. While this new chip technology definitely contributes to improved image quality, it is only one part of the story. Overall picture quality depends upon the optimization of the total projector design, including the lens system/optics, the careful design of the entire optical light path, color-wheel filtration dynamics, precise color balancing capability, and superior digital video signal processing. Runco’s Gen 3 products collectively optimize all these factors to provide today’s best possible picture quality.

Runco’s Gen 3 products utilize a seven-segment color wheel. This type of color wheel was chosen for use in our Gen 3 products because it provides a true color imaging model that creates balance of color accuracy, light output and black level. Many other projectors on the market opt to use a 4-segment color wheel to achieve greater light output. One tradeoff to this approach is that it raises black levels, resulting in degradation of picture quality and the introduction of undesirable moiré patterns resulting in what is known as a “rainbow effect”. Other methods of achieving greater light output utilize less saturated colors in their color-wheel components, resulting in less faithful and vivid color reproduction.

Runco has developed a proprietary nine-point color balancing control system that is used in all of its single chip DLP projectors. This Runco innovation provides grayscale tracking. There are three parameters that can be calibrated for gain, bias, and gamma, delivering uniform color temperature and gray scale tracking.

The optical light determines overall projector brightness, contrast ratio and most importantly, black levels. Runco has developed and incorporates another technological innovation called Reflectance Volume Regulation, into many of its Gen 3 projectors. This variable aperture control allows the installer to calibrate the projector for a combination of black level and light output, to obtain the image for any specific room environment where the projector is being installed. The aperture opening can be reduced to obtain black levels in a controlled lighting environment or increased to provide light output in environments with higher levels of ambient light. This feature is controlled mechanically on the VX-1000ci and is controlled electro-mechanically on Runco’s higher end single chip DLP projectors like the VX-5000ci.

The lens system optics used with any projection technology is critical because it is this component array that controls the ability to fully resolve and optimize video signals and the resulting images, by creating a sharp pixel presentation. The dimple in the center of DMD pixels should be clearly defined; this is essential in projecting a clear, well-defined image without soft edges. According to Runco, the Home Theater and Cinema Grade lenses that Runco uses also do not produce color fringing. Most projectors built with standard lenses, usually plastic, exhibit chromatic aberrations and color fringing on image edges that result in the projector appearing to be slightly misconverged.

Runco’s Gen 3 projection display devices feature a range of all-glass lenses of the same type. Runco states that the primary advantage of all-glass lenses is the ability to produce a highly detailed image without any chromatic aberrations or other optical distortions and that this is very challenging in a single lens display device because the lens must focus the entire spectrum of RGB primary colors, which have different wavelengths, increasing the likelihood of chromatic aberrations. While the projector is limited by the resolution of the DMD, how well it can focus that resolution on the screen plays a large part in the final image quality.

All of Runco’s Gen-3 projector products use Runco’s ViViX video processing. Runco’s “Pixel for Pixel™” technology matches the output resolution, sync types and output format, to drive the display unit. This prevents ‘double scaling’, which can cause a loss of resolution, or other unwanted artifacts often associated with other processors.

In addition, ViViX boasts other features that no other processor has, providing chrominance and luminance enhancement controls that increase sharpness without inducing ringing, as well as image shift and blanking capabilities that allow an image to fit perfectly on the screen. This remarkable image shift feature is designed for projectors that do not have lens shift capability, adding extended projector installation flexibility for the custom installer without the need to introduce keystone correction side effects to the image. Runco’s ten-bit video processing also makes the picture look brighter because of increased perceived contrast ratio.

In addition to using the newest DLP technology available from Texas Instruments, Runco’s Gen 3 and Enhanced Gen 3 products have been designed from their inception utilizing proprietary Runco features and engineering to address all of the areas that contribute to image quality.

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