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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."
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