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Runco Buys NView Trademark

Denver — Sam Runco, chairman of high-performance video display enterprise Runco International, announced at CEDIA Expo that he recently bought the rights to the dormant NView brand and certain assets out of bankruptcy this month, with plans to use the trademark to market a new “retail” video display line.

Runco said that he had long wanted to market a line of video display products for “do it yourselfers,” like himself, and needed a new brand to execute the plan.

Although Runco purchased the rights to the Projectavision trademark when he purchased Vidikron’s assets, he said the name didn’t work well with flat-panel displays, which the NView line would most likely carry, along with projectors.

Runco International currently markets Runco and Vidikron branded display products through custom installers and high-end A/V specialty dealers. Runco said the new company’s products would not cross over into the distribution channels of those two successful lines.

Runco said the new brand would be used to market products through specialty dealers that aren’t currently served by Runco or Vidikron. In jest, he said at the press conference that the brand would target “Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Wendy’s,” but he later qualified the remark.

Runco said he has not yet had time to develop product plans or price ranges for any products he would sell under the line.

Manufacturing, he said, would most likely be handled off shore, using in-house designs and engineering produced at Runco International headquarters. He said Runco has used similar arrangements for some of its previous products.

“It all depends on how well you set up your contracts [with off-shore manufacturers],” he said, adding that high-quality products can be produced by third-party manufacturing operations if the level of quality control is clearly indicated.

NView had been a manufacturer of commercial video display products, and was noteworthy for purchasing the first hundred DLP engines from Texas Instruments, Runco said.

“This all happened so fast that our methods of marketing still aren’t clear,” Runco said. “But it is not going to be a Runco-lite or Vidikron-lite company.”

In other news, select models under the Runco and Vidikron lines became the first products to receive THX video certification, through the expansion of that organization’s home theater standards and certification programs.

Models receiving the certification all offered three-chip DLP configurations and included the Runco VX-2cx projector family, and the Vidikron Vision models 90t and 100t.

Runco and THX were also said to be working on a series of THX-certified 1,080p models.

In other announcements, Runco International said it is encouraging third party screen manufacturers to work with it in developing projection screens that can present in full images delivered by its CineWide and AutoScope-enhanced projectors. Runco CineWide and Autoscope projectors were paired at CEDIA with a Stewart screen with automated masking capabilities, allowing viewers to enjoy 4:3, 16:9, and ultra-widescreen 2.35:1 source material at full-resolution without black bars.