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Runco Unveils LCD "WindowWall"

3/24/2010 11:31:00 AM Eastern

West Hollywood, Calif. - Runco is unveiling at the international
design trade event Westweek 2010 here this week a modular flat-panel LCD-based video
wall display called WindowWall, which will target residential applications.

Runco WindowWall

The technology will enable designers and authorized Runco dealers
to integrate tiled LCD displays to fill an entire wall for a range of visual solutions
that complement modern home-design projects.

Runco said the WindowWall can be used to provide a range of
applications from creating digital ambience, presenting home entertainment
content and engaging in home-office applications, including video conferencing.

Typically, the WindowWall is expected to be used to show digital
still images or motion video clips to create a "virtual window" in a room. This
can be used to change the mood, using a sequence of showing snow falling on the
mountains or a view of the Manhattan
skyline from a penthouse window.

Sports enthusiasts could use the enormous screen sizes to watch a
game or multiple games at once.

The options expand further when the WindowWall is pared with a
home-automation system and architectural speakers, enabling Runco installers to
expand their services beyond traditional home-theater installations.

Jennifer Davis, Runco marketing VP, told TWICE that the
WindowWall is not expected to be used as the primary screen for most home-theater
systems, because the panels do not offer the level of resolution that Runco
requires of its other home-theater projectors and plasma displays. But the
system will certainly be a conversation piece for well-heeled technology
enthusiasts.

Because the systems are intended to be customizable and range in
size, pricing was not disclosed. But Davis
said WindowWall systems are available through Runco installers beginning today.

"You'll run out of walls before you reach a limit of how many
panels you can put together," Davis
said. "We have designed this as a display tile system, so that each individual
tile mounts on what we call our Tile Align Mounting system, which is basically
a grid that attaches to wall to enable you to mount the tiles next to each
other. The electronics needed to drive the wall are housed in an off-board
rack-mounted system."

Each LCD "tile" or panel is the equivalent to a 46-inch
diagonally measured LCD screen that measures 4.5 inches deep. When pieced
together, the gap between tiles measures just more than 0.25 inch.

The technology used in the system was developed by Runco parent
Planar, which has long offered video display walls for commercial applications,
she said. The Runco team will lend its expertise in video processing to deliver
top-quality images for home applications.

Runco will provide professionally designed reference
configurations for selection or enable custom configurations. The technology
will enable a large digital surface that can follow the curve of a wall, span
an entire portico or be stacked to create a digital column, Runco said.

Davis
said the technology was specifically designed around the skills of the Runco
dealer base, and Runco personnel will consult with dealers on early
installations where necessary to ensure top-quality projects.

For maintenance and repair, the modules incorporate a single
interface board designed to distribute off-board power, video and control
signals to the LCD panel, limiting depth, weight, heat and points of potential
failure, Runco said.

The design allows panels to be individually accessed or removed.
Within each panel, the interface board can be disconnected and replaced using
thumbscrews with access from either the front or the back of the wall.

Rack-mounted video-processing and power-supply units each support
four LCD modules; incorporate their own cooling; and simplify configuration,
maintenance and upgrades, Runco said.

"Born from growing demand for something unique in residential
settings, the Runco WindowWall offers fresh design options that integrate
technology, innovation and finesse to complement any home," noted Davis. "The Runco
WindowWall is a product that can be customized in both size and configuration
for each client's home, enabling Runco dealers to exceed the expectations of
their discriminating clients without compromising the home's design. The result
creates dynamic ambience and introduces new applications in visual technology."

Runco said it has created key tools, including reference designs,
product CAD files, design parameters, customization options and links to
Runco's authorized dealers for support in executing the vision of their
projects.

In other news, Runco said it is now offering 13 custom-color options
on its full line of home-theater projectors, and LCD and plasma flat-panel
displays.

Called ColourPalette, custom color options were present in the
company's ongoing effort to support Runco's design and architecture initiative
that allows homeowners or their designers to custom match virtually any color
sample, including fabric, wallpaper, paint and upholstery.

Runco is supporting the component through a new online visualization tool that lets consumers preview
a panel or projector in any of Runco's custom ColourPalette colors, which are
all available in satin finishes with gloss options on some models.

"It is easy to see why designers may view display technology as a
necessary evil that detracts from their vision for the space, instead of
enhancing it," stated Jennifer Davis, Runco marketing VP. "Runco is affording
designers new ways to embrace and integrate technology into their designs, and
even use it to complement a room's aesthetic. Our Design by Runco initiative to
support the architecture and design community through innovative customization
options, like ColourPalette, illustrates Runco's commitment to the successful
synthesis of design and technology in the home."