Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Grand Blanc, MI USA
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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...