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Runco Acquires Vidikron Brands

Custom home theater projector manufacturer Runco announced at the recent CEDIA Expo that it had acquired the brand names and certain assets of former major competitor Vidikron in an effort to broaden its retail distribution.

Company CEO Sam Runco said the Vidikron and Projectavision trademarks could soon be used on lines of video projectors priced lower than Runco models and directed at retailers that previously did not fit Runco’s distribution requirements.

He told reporters he had long desired a means of expanding his company’s distribution, but had been afraid to do anything that would damage the high regard his dealers have for Runco’s products and programs.

While “nothing is laid in granite” at this point, Runco said he would like to use the new brands to “bridge the gap between high-end and mainstream.” He said the Runco brand would remain an exclusive line for custom installers, capable of offering their customers complete service and support before and after the sale.

Runco said his company would market the new brands “under the Runco umbrella, because I think they need that association to grow. But who knows what happens in the future, a spin-off or whatever.”

Runco said he pictures the three brands being positioned in a good, better, best structure, with Projectavision products placed “beneath both” Vidikron and Runco.

He speculated that prices for Projectavision and Vidikron product could range anywhere from $500-$10,000.

He did vow that he would not introduce CRT-based products under the new lines.

Initial models planned for Vidikron include the 46W-inch VP-46 (under $10,000) EDTV-level plasma display panel and the Vidikron Avanti DLP projector based on TI’s Mustang/HD-2 chip. The projector will include a DVI interface, 900:1 contrast ratio, 1,000 ANSI lumens of brightness and will carry a $9,995 and when its ships in October.

The first Projectavision model announced was the FP-3 Formula Plus three-panel widescreen LCD projector. The unit will feature 964 by 544 resolution, 700 ANSI lumens of brightness, 800:1 contrast ratio, 10-bit gamma correction and RGB, HD component, S-Video and composite video inputs.

Runco plans to show initial product entries for each brand at International CES in January.