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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i know this will incite many of the board's regulars, but when i met with a couple of exec's from runco at the ny city home theater show, i told them i would help defend their company against the bashers on this forum.

at the same time, i will be defending myself against the implications that i am a schmuck for buying the VX-1c.


to me, these arguments remind me of another board where people try to say the a honda2000 is equal to a porsche boxster, but at two-thirds the price. yes perhaps the performance specs are similar, but the total ownership experience/cost is quite different. yes but both do use michelin pilots and premium unleaded.


oh yes...and a CD player is just a CD player. both have the same measurable frequency response. and both use burr-brown dac's for god's sake. so why would anyone waste their money on mark levinson when denon is "just as good."


like all consumer goods, the marginal improvement in performance is met with ever higher marginal cost. in my case, i strive for 90% perfection at much less than the top tier pricing. for others, 99% perfection is needed and money is absolutely no object. for others still, 80% of the quality at one-half the price is good enough.


the point is...i don't criticize the guy in the ferrari or my friend with the burmester. nor do i criticize my friend with the miata and a highend (but small) RPTV.


some people find satisfaction in "saving" the most money when purchasing, others turn their efforts to making money and then buying from experts.


the case in point...runco vx-1c vs. (take your pick) Seleco, G15, InFocus LP340, combined with various scalers/doublers. when you figure out the total cost of an turning a business projector into into HT, the elegance of the runco design makes a little more sense. it's quiet, cool, doesn't look like a slide projector, and works out of the box with perfectly mated electronics.


some people are happy with painting their walls...but there's a reason stewart can charge what they do.


the consumer electronics industry is so competive that if someone on this board had a way to take off the shelf components, tweak them, re-engineer them a bit, improve the aethestics....oh wait...runco does that already. oh...but i can do it for half the price. yeah right.

while you're at it, why don't you buy some..say..dynaudio drivers...and some mahoghany..and make me some speakers.


what does jvc tell you about those bad pixels...oh yeah..it's only one, don't worry about it.


one more thing: i finally saw something that in my opinion was better than my setup: the vidikron1 with a snell&wilcox interpolator. that the 99% solution at about $85,000.
 

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Robster,


I'm glad you've joined us. It will be good to hear your opinions.


I have to say your first set of arguments are pretty weak. It sounds more to me like you're trying to defend your choice to yourself rather than produce facts to the community about why the Runco is a better purchase. When we criticize the Runco we do so because we believe it isn't a competitive value offering. And that's what we do here. We talk about home theater.


I don't buy the argument that the Runco is a better projector just because it costs more. I need a little more meat than that.


Combining a G10 with a scaler is far less expensive than a Runco. The LP340 does not need a scaler.


The aesthetics of the Runco might be nice, but I certainly don't find a 3lb LP350 offensive. Do you?


What db is the fan when the projector is running? Is it significantly, if at all, lower than the sanyo or lp340?


Have you actually seen any of the business projectors in action? They work amazing for a small percentrage of the cost.


--Les
 

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Firstly I hope you are happy with your setup and it brings you much pleasure, after all the finer things in life are supposed to be appreciated... Thats why many of us work hard to achive our desires and how we spend our $$ is up to us but....


With all the rebadging Runco appears to do this comparison is not truly a Ferrari v Something else more a Lotus Elan v Kia Elan both are the same car made with the same design and mechanicals but one costs 2/3 what the other does... What do you get ?? The prestige of the Lotus badge.


I was not picking the Elan as an example of where (in quality stakes) this fits but it was one of the few examples (and it continued your analogy above) where the same product is marketed by differing brand names with differing prices.... I believe something smilar is done with Toyota / Lexus and Honda / Accura but as I am not familar with the US car market I couldn't name a car sold by both brands....


Kind of reminds me of a situation my father had on a train in France, he was asked what ticket he wanted the 55 franc ticket or the 80 franc ticket... What was the difference... 25 francs !!! He obviously asked well who in their right mind buys the 80 franc ticket and the answer was "far more people than you would believe" !!!!


If absolute image quality is what you are paying for fine but please examine a G20 calibrated + HTPC or rock scaler + Panamorph + Greyhawk.. (I would love to see this setup !!) and then rethink the Runco purchase on the quality grounds....


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HTPC without using windows... GUI Front Ends for Home Theater
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thank you everyone for the civil replies...after re-reading my original post, i thought maybe i was too strident.


in response so far, let me say that i AM quality obsessed, not status- or high service dealer-obsessed. in fact, not one person i've had over has ever heard the name runco. what i don't think i said is that in a/b'ing systems, the vx1-c was the best i found (new, not used) under 20k.


as an aside, i don't think the vx-101c is worth 10k though, compared to its relevant peer group.


i ruled out the jvc g15 at $13k list (and other d'ila-s) despite their higher fill ratio and great color rendition due to my concerns on pixel reliability and my better technical understanding of texas instrument's chips as well as their quality assurance/reliability standards. in addition, the g15 introduced artifacts within the first 5 minutes i viewed it...and it was as loud as a small leaf blower.


the ht10...well...i don't like screen doors. period. 16x9 chip, quiet and all...but not as good blacks as the dlp's. and of course, the cheap consumer dlp's like marrantz and the dreamvision were just not in the same league.


as for the business projectors/HTPC...the only experience i have was a compaq (infocus?)dlp at $4k....but just using a laptop with not so great video card. that certainly didn't impress me. although if i were totally nuts, then it might make sense to take on business trips to watch in the hotel!


in truth, there was no place i could find that had "home-made" systems that i could demo first.


also....don't assume you have to pay list for the runco, nor do you need to accept inflated installations charges either.

 

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Robster1958 and friends,


Hope you take this in the manner it is intended.


I have owned several setups, most significantly 35mm film (with CinemaScope and mag sound). Right now I have an inexpensive Infocus machine, and I'm waiting for something really great. (My gold standard is 70mm film with carbon-arc projection.)


I would pay the price of the Runco if it were really great (despite family problems that would ensue). But when I have seen the machine, it is only marginally better than much cheaper business machines.


The Runco itself is really only a modest upgrade to a business machine.


Runco makes its business by taking products others have developed, rebadging them and modifying them. They then sell these through their high-end distribution network.


Runco makes and sells good stuff and has good dealers and good service.


But the comparision to high-end automobiles is just not justified. Runco products are not that different than the products on which they are based. They simply are not worth the extra money IMHO.

 

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Rob,


I can't quite see the analogy between the Honda and Porsche.


Lets say someone took the Honda at ~$20,000 and gave it a facelift and some special features, but no real changes to the actual car(engine, drivetrain, etc). Then resold it for 5x, like lets say for $100,000 adding excellent service and a prestigious name. So you purchase the name, and service for 4x the actual market value of the product itself.


Most people that look at what the product actually is will buy the $20,000 Honda. However, there will always be some that will buy the $100,000 super Honda(with service and fancy name) and be happy as a clam.


I'm not sure you are in this second group otherwise you wouldn't be entertaining us with your plea.


H



 

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TextI am the perfect example!!!! I have a RUNCO 5801c. All it is, is a hopped up Toshiba. I have had nothing but troubles with the unit and I am WAITING for RUNCO to do something about it (so there reputation says..)! Now i find out that RUNCO discontinued the model and are not replacing it!!!! Where does this leave me? S.O.L!! I have written a Letter to Sam Runco and we shall see if he responds. Beleive me the FORUM will hear about this one for sure!!!! Regards, Helfy


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You don't know and You don't know that you don't know!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JSC:


Runco's primary market appears to me to be financially secure folks who will hire someone to install a complete HT. They will probably not be interested in technical details.
I have found that to be VERY true. I know 2 people that had home theaters built for them and they both bought Runco DLPs. Why? Because the HT shops they went to told them it was the best. These same shops told them that they don't need any acoustic treatments in their rooms (is there such a perfect room with all drywall walls?). I'm not saying that all Runco owners are uninformed, just that they have the money to spend, so some of them buy what the HT shop recommends. There must be a good markup on Runcos at HT shops.


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-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
second response...


sorry about the confusion with the car analogy...what i was referring to was honda's S2000 sports car (the cheaper acura NSX) that sells for about $33K, compared to the porsche at $46k or so. track tests for acceleration, braking, and roadhandling are all porsche-like. in addition, more things are standard, such as HID headlights. the honda is actually a very good performing car...and i happen to think it looks great too.


and far from uninformed, i do extensive research and am a DIY'er as far as installation/tweaking go. of course your room is the most important part of any audio/video system...who wouldn't know that.


no need to be condescending. the only important endpoint is creating the best theatrical impact in your own home. sopranos in hi-def on the big screen, playing plastation2 with your kids, watching a well-transfered movie or re-creating a live concert....and doing so with only a few taps on your pronto....that's all that matters.
 

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Ok so lets look at these technical details. People can decide for themselves if they are worth the money or not, or if they can do better on OEM improvements themselves. Certainly the people buying them are not majority members of this forum that know what tweaks there are or what business projectors to get. They just bought the best package (myself included)


But it certainly not just a rebadged NEC-LT100 with a paint job. That would cause me to seriously question it's price/performance.


Pros

- ArtDeco hush box (OEM $$$)

- Improved black level in optical path (OEM $$$)

- Better depixel/sharper lens (OEM $$$$)

- Available anamorphic lens (OEM $$$$)

- Unquestionable service

I have three no cost returns for dust and ripped wires that are clearly my fault - with dealer pickup and reinstall. (FedEx $$$$ + OEM $$$)

- "Native Rate" Scalar with Vx1C (OEM $$$$)

- NTSC 6500K color temp delivered. (OEM $$$)


Cons

- stock LT100 lamp at high markup? (OEM $$$)

- stock gamma tables? (OEM $$$)

- stock circuit boards with Vx1? (See above Vx1C scalar)


So lets take your business projector and add up all these OEM tweaks and see if we get the same price/performance.

Then lets see what my next projector is?


What else is tweaked or stock with this projector?
 

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The problem is that the Runco DLPs are so bad in the price/performance category that it's pretty hard to defend.


For that same $15K (price at the local dealer) you can buy:


* Thumperized Plus UP1100 (80% less halo than stock, improved black levels, terrific service and quality, etc) - $3K

* High end HTPC + Dragon 5.1 ($3K) OR Camelot Roundtable DVD Player - $4K

* Panamorph - $1600 (someday real soon http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif )


And still have $8K left to improve something else.


You could buy a B&K Ref 30 preamp ($2500) and five Ref 220 amps ($6290) for only a grand more. Or get a Krell HTS ($4300) and a KAV1500 ($6000) for two grand more.


You could put $8K into your HT room....seats, hush box, popcorn maker, signs, cables, etc.


That's a lot of HT improvements in return for a nicer looking box, a bit of sound dampening, a deinterlacer daughtercard you aren't going to need with either the HTPC or Roundtable and the Runco name.


Even if money was no limit wouldn't I buy the Runco vx-1c. I'd be looking at something other than a single chip DLP.


Nigel


PS I'd stack my Plus UP1100(t) against a VX1C assuming I had a good source and screen.
 

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I personally find the Runco projectors quite fine examples of added value, if you can afford them. I started my DLP voyage by previewing the VX1 when it first came out at cedia 2000 (or was it 1999, can't remember, was in Indianapolis). At the time it was an oustanding projector (and still his).


I personally ended up buying a plus UP1100 because it was the same base projector and gave me probably 80-90% of the performance at 20% of the price.


Lets face it, there are some that can afford the best and are willing to pay 3x the price for that last 10% improvement. I say go for it if you have the cash! However I think most of us struggle to keep this hobby satisfied and so we end up dealing with lesser products but saving a lot of cash. The problem is some people get jealous and thus the flame wars start.


Runco makes a premium product at a premium price. That is their market. If you don't like it, shop elsewhere, there are plenty of options. For those of you successful to afford the big bucks - I say congratulations and enjoy!


Let me add one last comment: I personally take pride in having a better home theater than many folks that spent FAR more money than I did. I had an aquaintence who had a "custom" home theater installed by one of the biggest dealers in his state. They installed a CRT without a line doubler and a bunch of other 1/2 ass equipment. In the end he had spent probably 5 times what I did, but my HT kicked ass all over his. The problem is that his "high end" boutique store didn't know **** . They were all attitude, little knowledge. Such is the fact with all too many "high end" a/v stores. I have found that I know more than probably 90% of these so called experts just by reading here regularly. That is not to say that I'm so smart, but rather that they are so in-bred and don't keep up with things. For example, my friend's installers never even discussed room bass trapping..


Anyway, long live Runco for those that can afford it, for the rest of us, lets keep finding those bargains that allow us to enjoy our hobby. And most of all, dispense with the hostility and jealousy that so often comes with these "high end" vs. "great value" discussions.


Regards.



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Lex MC1/Sunfire CG/Hales Rev3's x3/M&K SS150 tripoles/Quadscan/Plus UP1100/Homemade screen
 

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Guys sorry I'm late,


I wouldn't buy a VX1-C because it uses a P-VIP lamp. That's not what the Runco web-site says but it's what the owner's manual says and if you take the bulb out it will say OSRAM somewhere on it. Plus doesn't even use the bulbs anymore. They are great for head lamps on cars, but for projectors?


The VX-1C is a U2-1080 in a different quiter case. It has quiet whites mode enabled (i.e. it doesn't use the clear section for it video, but it is still there). It calls it the White Segment option. BTW, this projector is sold as 1000 Lumen projector, but you won't get a that level until you enable the white segment, thus enabling all of the 1-chip goodies that people complain about: hot whites, . You are actually watching a 500 lumen projector at best.


The remote has a pointer if I'm not mistaken. Why? because it is a presentation projector. "As you can see by this pie chart here..."


I don't want to bring a nice guy like Thumper into this, but a modified UP-1100 would at least equal the performance you are getting. And you could use the same VH-D1 scaler with it. In fact, Thumper would probably modify your Runco if you wanted but he would be scared to death to work on such an expensive piece of equipment. You could pay a couple thousand to get a U2-1080 and then have him work on it to compare the difference.


Any projector looks good in a good room with a equally good sound system going.


This is nothing new. There are plenty of gold/platinum/silver/berylium/titanium plated products out there that simply cosmetically look good.


I wear a Timex you probably wear a Rolex.


By my watch, Runcos days are limited.


-Mr. Wigggles


Ps. FCC class b must be expensive these days.
 

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Nothing really wrong with a VX-1c (except for the price), but I sure hope you haven't seen a lot of other setups since you say you finally saw something better which was the Vision 1/Snell combo. There's a TREMENDOUS difference between those two setups. Lots of setups are better than the VX-1c while the Vision 1/Snell is just about as good as it gets.


Also your Honda S2000 vs Boxster comparison is not a great one either. The S2000 is an awesome car for people who REALLY like to drive. What else can you buy that revs to 9000 rpm? That's quite an experience.


Bryan

 

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How did we start talking about cars? let's stick to watches.


Anyway 9000 RPM just means you'll be in a shorter gear and you'll need the idle to be higher to get the same performance you would get from a car that got its horsepower at a lower RPM. Sure the better gas millage is nice.


As far as being more race car like, race cars rev higher because that is the only way to get more horsepower. They would love to have more cubic inches to work with.


Can we please get back to Runco bashing? It's a lot more fun, like:


Roberto, have you found a use for your "Mouse Out" port on the projector? Runco has reserved it for "future use".


-Mr. Wigggles


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The Mothership is now boarding.
 

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Reeves Calloway makes the Calloway Corvette for about 25kmore than a stock Corvette. BAng for the buck it is hard to beat the Corvette in stock form. So who buys the Calloway Corvette? The same guy stupid enough to buy RUNCO!!!! Probably divorced and middle aged!


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You don't know and You don't know that you don't know!
 

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Robster,no offense, but what's the point of your initial post? Did someone insult you for choosing the Runco in another post? So, you bought the Runco. That's great. There's no question in my mind that you think you've made the right choice but why do you need for others to validate your decision?


I'm one who would opt for %90 of the performance for a fraction of the cost. But when I finally buy my Infocus or NEC or whatever, my first post won't start off: "Hey, I bought an LP350 so screw you if you don't like it!"


Just enjoy your stuff.


PS


Who gives a s%$t what the damn box looks like?
 

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Having completely disassembled a Runco VX1C recently with a friend of mine that is the service manager at Plus I can tell you that the Runco is is a UP1100 with a remote mounted keypad and IR receivers with a 12 volt relay board for the screen trigger. Nothing else is different about the projector. After re-assembling the projector and reflashing the eeprom in both the UP1100 and the Runco VX1C with a corrected gamma file to eliminate the poor Grayscale tracking the projectors looked absolutely identical!


The enclosure for the Runco is twice the size of the Plus and has a small amount of foam insulation for noise deadening. Aside from this the projector is unchanged as it is delivered to NEC from Plus as the LT100.


The picture quality when viewed with a Dish 6000 receiver connected with an HDTV feed was very good. Given the price of a Plus UP1100 this is an excellent picture. The price of the Runco is a little bit much for the addition of a steel enclosure and a screen trigger relay. The additional $10K can go a long way in a home theater.

 

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Urm, those Callaway's are fast cars. Even the SuperNaturales (which IIRC are slower than the old twin turbos) can do the quarter mile in 12.5 sec (114 mph). The race version does the 1/4 in 11.6 sec (127.5mph).


For an inexpensive fast car, I like the Eclipse. Brent Rau turned in a time of 9.188 sec (152.51mph) in his '95 GSX at Atco NJ (w/nitros) and 10.085 sec (140.09mph) without (Rock Falls Rcwy, MN). Now this is a seriously modified car but still...probably cheaper than that boxster.


On the other hand a '90 Talon Tsi with $700 worth of mods ran the 1/4 in 12.76 sec @ 106 mph. Um...not bad.


Sigh, now I have the bug to buy one of those again.


No..no..must resist...only one expensive hobby at a time.

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Nigel
 
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