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Runco Q-750i Review Akron OH

Specialist video maker Runco QuantumColor Q-750i and Q-750d front projectors are the company’s first offerings that include a trio of high-output, light-emitting diodes that provide the light source, in lieu of the traditional high pressure lamp.

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Runco Q-750i Review

Provided By:

April 19, 2010 By David Birch-Jones

Dim bulb? How about no bulb!

Specialist video maker Runco QuantumColor Q-750i and Q-750d front projectors got a lot of attention at last year's CEDIA, as they’re the company’s first offerings that include a trio of high-output, light-emitting diodes that provide the light source, in lieu of the traditional high pressure lamp.

Runco Q-750i/Q-750dWhile not the first displays to feature LEDs as the light source (some now-defunct rear-projection sets that were similarly powered were available from vendors such as NuVision and Samsung), the QuantumColor sets are among the first in the front projector segment, and feature a number of enhancements that set them apart from traditional lamp-based models.

At launch time Runco offered two models, essentially identical in performance, but differing in video processing configuration.

The Q-750i features an integrated video processor, while the more expensive Q-750d is shipped with an outboard video processor that doubles as a video switching center. Both offer two different lens throw options, along with an optional external anamorphic lens setup.

Their InfiniLight LED engine features a trio of high output LEDs, one each to provide red, green and blue. LEDs offer a number of advantages over traditional lamps, not the least of which is tremendously increased lifespan. Conventional projectors use high-pressure lamps, which are essentially arc lamps powered by a modulated square wave signal. Their lifespan is limited, and while operating lifetimes have been on the increase (with some sets spec’d at 4,000 hours or more in the economy lamp mode), the actual lifespan of these bulbs is more often determined by the actual number of power on/off cycles, which means your mileage may vary.

Conventional lamps also suffer from deterioration over time, becoming somewhat dimmer toward the end of their life, and their color characteristics also tend to shift with age, perhaps necessitating multiple calibrations over their operating life. When they do decide to give up the ghost, they often don’t go silently into the night, instead choosing to go out with a literal bang, which can be quite discomforting to viewers who are in the middle of watching a movie, and in some cases necessitating a trip to the repair center. Replacements aren’t cheap either, usually in the mid-hundreds of dollars; much more in the case of deluxe models with super-bright lamps.

They’re also severely limited in their light output range, with only about a 20 percent variance in light level output possible. Unlike conventional incandescent filament bulbs, projector lamps must operate within a fairly tightly defined range, otherwise their operating lifetime is severely compromised.

Still another area where conventional projector lamps come up short of the ideal is their light output characteristics, which feature a “spiky” luminance response over the visible light spectrum, with sharp and narrow peaks that presen...

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