By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Runco International used the International CES to show dealers its recently-expanded lineup of flat-panel TVs including a 65W-inch 1,080p plasma model and a pair of 1,080p LCD TVs, and it introduced its first THX-certified 1,080p projectors.
Similarly, the company's sibling Vidikron also unveiled a 65W-inch 1,080p plasma model, new 40W-inch and 46W-inch 1,080p LCD TVs and a trio of 1,080p DLP front projectors including the new flagship Vision Model 150 that is set to ship in February at a $99,995 suggested retail.
Meanwhile, Bob Hana, Runco International president, said the company is still working on plans to relaunch the NView brand which company chairman Sam Runco purchased prior to last fall's CEDIA show for a new line targeting "do-it-yourself" home theater enthusiasts. He said the company continued to work on the line and now expects a launch at an upcoming CEDIA Show targeting a broader dealer class including online resellers and catalogs.
"Originally, we wanted to show an NView line but we got caught up introducing all of our new 1,080p products and we just couldn't get to it," Hana explained. "Instead, the big news for both [Runco and Vidkron] at the show is that we've gone through the 1,080p transition. We are shipping our projectors in both the standard formats and the Cinewide 2.35:1 formats."
The highlight of the new plasma offerings is the 65W-inch XP-65HD ($19,995 suggested retail) 1,080p high-definition monitor. This unit incorporates 16-bit digital video processing for 4,096 steps of graduation, free from "solarization" and "stair stepping" artifacts that are common in plasma displays. It includes an outboard DHD with HDMI digital video controller/processor. The DHD enables the monitor to display all ATSC HD resolutions, including 1,080p 24 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps.
Other new plasma offerings are six models in the PlasmaWall and CinemaWall lineups. Models include the 42W-inch SP-42 and SP-42DHD, the 50W-inch SP-50 and SP-50DHD, and the 60W-inch SP-60 and SP-60DHD.
The 16:9 (1,024 by 768 and 1,365 by 768) displays incorporate advanced engineering and technology for high-performance video presentations.
The SP-42DHD, SP-50DHD and SP-60DHD join the PlasmaWall line featuring Runco's DHD digital high-definition video controller/processor with advanced Vivix II processing external modular controller. The SP-42, SP-50 and SP-60 CinemaWall models feature advanced integrated Vivix II processing and are Imaging Science Foundation certified for day and night settings.
In LCD TV, Runco showed a pair of Crystal Series HD 1,080p models including the 40W-inch CX-40HD ($3,995 suggested retail) and the 46W-inch CX-46HD ($5,995).
Both models feature Runco's Vivix II video processing for both HD and standard-definition source material. Runco also rolled out the 32W-inch CR-32HDi ($1,995), with 1,366 by 768 native resolution. All three models include integrated ATSC and NTSC tuners and two 10-watt two-way detachable speakers.
The company also began shipping its first THX certified 1,080 DLP projectors in the Video Xtreme series, including the VX-22d, VX-44d and VX-55d 3-chip 1,080p DLP models and the new THX -certified VX-2000d and VX-6000d single-chip 1,080p DLP models.
The models are said to be the first 1,080p HD video display products to achieve THX certification, which assures that HD and standard-definition content will be presented with the correct color, luminance levels and video processing capabilities.
The VX 1,080p models are offered with numerous configuration options and prices, including CineWide and CineWide with AutoScope technologies that reproduce 2.35:1 CinemaScope movies with full vertical screen image height. All models are paired with Runco's DHD controller.
Like Runco, Vidikron also showed a 65W-inch 1,080p plasma monitor in the VP-6500VHD ($19,995 suggested retail). Vidikron said the model is the first plasma display to achieve THX certification.
The 1,080p plasma includes 16-bit digital video processing, Vidikron's IntelliWide mode and the separate VHD controller with Imagix video processing. It is also compatible with all ATSC HD resolutions, including 1,080p 24, 30 and 60 frame rates.
"We have almost come out of nowhere and really grown," said Jim McGall, Vidikron VP. "This year alone we will be shipping 11 different projector platforms and 10 different flat-panel editions."
The company also showed a pair of 60W-inch plasma monitors with 1,365 by 768p resolution. The VP-6000 ($14,995) incorporates Imagix processing technology into the monitor, and the VP-6000VHD ($16,995) offers an external VHD controller.
In LCD TV, Vidikron presented a pair of 1,080p models in the 40W-inch VL-40 ($3,995) and 46W-inch VL-46 ($5,995) which are added to the DView model series.
The Vision Model 150 LightAMP three-chip 1,080p DLP projector ($99,995) is the company's new flagship front projector. The THX-certified unit incorporates a three-chip (1,920 by 1,080) DLP light engine and an advanced Xenon LightAmp illumination system featuring a 1.2 kW Xenon lamp.
Included is a digital VHD controller with Imagix video processing and advanced aspect ratio control system. The unit's CineWide and CineWide with AutoScope technologies enable filling an entire screen when viewing 2.35:1 widescreen CinemaScope signal sources.
Vidikron also announced that is now shipping a pair of previously introduced single-chip 1,080p DLP models in the Vision 70 ($11,995) and 85 ($16,995). The Vision 85 is THX certified.
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