Runco who? Get Thumperized instead. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I've seen the Runco VX-1 several times and I was impressed enough that this machine did convert me from LCD to DLP. However, I was not about to fork over $14000 for it to this overpriced home theater store. I bought my PLUS UP-1100 ($2500) and went to see the Runco again and the two projectors were quite similar. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Runco takes a "standard" projection system and DRAMATICALLY enhances it (at a premium price of course).

I just had my UP-1100 Thumperized. WOW. This is real improvement. The blacks in this projector are the best I have seen in LCD/DLP. Banding was a problem before on this unit, but now it has been reduced by about 85%, I would guess. Using a scene in "Dinosaur" where the sun rises there used to be terrible banding but now you have to really be looking for it to even notice a hint of the artifact. I never had a real issue with banding, it happened so little it just did not annoy me. The fact that it is virtually gone is just a bonus.

A real improvement that I was not expecting was how clean the picture now looks. I hated watching my Laserdiscs because of all the video noise. I popped one in just for kicks and was stunned at the improvement. Very clean. DVD is still a bit better, but now I don't have to feel like my collection of Laserdiscs is wasted.

I must say I did not have these feelings when I first got the unit back from thumper. I thought I really screwed up by sending it to him because my picture was so dim. I hated it. I told him about this and he was ready to do all it took to keep me satisfied. He is EXCELLENT to work with and anyone can send their projectors to him with confidence. As it turns out, I needed to change my Gamma setting and rework my white balance. After a few days of tweaking, I have a brighter overall picture than before (at least it seems to be brighter) and the best part is the blacks really look black and I have more detail than the non-modified unit. So, needless to say, I never sent it back to him.

I just can't help but think about that $14,000 RUNCO. When you consider how much is invested in a UP-1100 and a Thumperization, and even compare performance, the RUNCO sure seems unreasonable. Mabey Thumper should start his own line of projectors...


Jeff
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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For the sensitive:

To be fair, the RUNCO was being sold at a store that overprices EVERYTHING. This was also about a year ago, so I am sure prices have dropped. I hope the owners of this projector are not offended, I really did like this projector when I saw it. At the time I was just turned off by the price and I think a Thumper mod performs better.

Jeff

P.S.

I also forgot to mention the added color saturation of the Thumper unit. Very nice.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 11:27 AM
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Jeff: glad (but not surprised) you are happy with the mods! Thumper does great work. IMHO, the unit will beat the Runco AND the Seleco and Dwin units in many key areas of image quality.

What tweaks did you perform to get your brightness up?

How is your halo?

What screen type are you using?

To really judge how well the unit performs, be sure to play back some of the "darker" movies--- "Snow Falling On Cedars," for example, was almost unwatchable b/c of how washed out many of the scenes were. No more. No lcd or other dlp or D'ILA (can't beat its colors though) that I have seen gets there, only high quality CRT.

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 12:27 PM
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The Runco is $15K here...hmmm...only a $12K difference for essentially the same projector if you use a HTPC. What a deal!

Jeff, how did you tweak your gamma? I've fiddled with my brightness/contrast with Avia and on my screen it's still a tad dim with my current blackout DIY screen.

I think that so far, most folks are running with mid to high gain (1.3-2.0+) with the Thumperized. That helps a lot I would think.

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The screen I am using is Draper M1300 (1.3 gain) 11 ft. wide 16:9 with a 2" deep curve. The screen is mounted on a flat black wall so the halo mods really did nothing for me.

I stated earlier that the image was brighter. Let me revise that a bit. The usable brightness is up. Way up. Before the mods I could not see what was happening in a dark movie image.

JXO,

Yes it is the darker movies is what had me doing cartwheels. You can SEE so much now. That was coool. Outer space scenes are great, and BLACK.

Nigel,

Give me a bit of time to collect the data and I will post it tomorrow. It is something like this:

Gamma NATURAL 2 (never did that before)
Brightness 45%
Contrast 70%
R Bright 45%
G Bright 54%
B Bright 36%
R Con 24%
G con 20%
B Con 8%

This is a guess from memory so you might wait until tomorrow for a more accurate post. Also, projectors may vary.

Skin tones look real accurate to my eye with these settings. My CI has color saturation at 62% Brightness at 36% and contrast at 57%.

If I had a HTPC I might be able to dial in a tiny bit more detail. But overall I am quite happy.

Wish I had the Panamorph..

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Also,

Maybe, someday I will learn how to spell "maybe".


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post #7 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Am I the only person to start a post with 4 posts?

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:32 PM
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Jeff - 4 posts in a row? That might be a record. I too saw the Runco VX1C and was impressed. Get this, our local overpriced home theater store sells the Runco for $17,000!!! Make's $14,000 look like a bargain http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Your story is what this Forum is all about. People empowered with information can make wise purchase decisions. Your Plus may not equal the performance of the Runco. But it is a Way, Way, Way better value.

Enjoy!!! Reed.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:34 PM
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Jeff,

The real kicker is the Runco is a Plus based product with some deinterlacing stuff added. Download the manual and the specs are almost identical to a Plus unit.

-Mr. Wigggles

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:44 PM
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Who is thumper exactly and how does one get their unit Thumperized?
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-01-2001, 09:59 PM
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jaron: I sent you an e-mail



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Gary

STOP DVI/HDCP!
DVI/HDCP! ~= HD-DIVX!!!
DO NOT SUPPORT JVC or anyone else who supports this!

Gary
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-02-2001, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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This shows how good my memory is:

Brightness 64%
Contrast 55%
B. red 25%
B. Green 18%
B. Blue 25%
C. Red 15%
C. Green 11%
C. Blue 8%

I think a screen with some form of gain is a must. I really wish I had 1.5-1.8 screen gain instead of 1.3. This range would be about perfect for my situation. I am hoping the panamoph makes up the difference.

Jeff
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