Digital Cinema
Digital Cinema – Anamorphic Lens

Digital Cinema – Anamorphic Lens

Runco International, acknowledged worldwide as a preeminent developer of technologies and products for high-end home theater video displays, has introduced a significant upgrade for it’s standard-setting DLP projector. The Reflection VX-3c has been Runco’s reference DLP projector since early 2000, and now a way to maximize the resolution and eliminate ‘light spray’ has been implemented by offering an Anamorphic Lens option for this projector. 

The VX-3c is the first DLP projector ever to offer an anamorphic lens option for home-theater use; it had only been done in large cinemas previous to the release of the VX-3c. The anamorphic lens permits every single pixel of its native video resolution to be used when displaying widescreen 16:9 images. In short, the DMD is a native 4:3 device, and to display a 16:9 image, the signal would have to be scaled to a 16:9 portion of the device (1024 x 575), leaving many ‘pixels’ unused. The anamorphic lens allows all 768 rows of pixels to be used, as the 16:9 image is attained optically as opposed to electronically. 

“Runco has always been committed to pursuing leading-edge video projection technologies,” says Mike Woods, the company’s Technical Director. “With the VX-3c, for the first time customers can have digital cinema in their own homes today. The only possible way to realize every bit of potential resolution for a DLP projector today is to combine extremely high-quality video processing AND an anamorphic lens. The anamorphic lens optically ‘re-shapes’ the native 4:3 1024 x 768 resolution to a 16:9 format instead of simply scaling the image WITHIN the 4:3 device and settling for 1024 x 575. This, combined with the VHD Controller’s incredible processing, provides the most resolved image ever seen from a DLP projector—even better than digital cinema!” 

The VX-3c is based on the Digital Micro Mirror Device of which each of three chips contribute to the XGA-equivalent 1024 x 768 pixels of resolution of the projector. The result is that the new Runco model can create genuine movie theater brightness, contrast, and detail—film-like visual impact—on even the largest home-theater screens. Of course, another important factor is the VX-3c’s powerful light source, a Xenon arc lamp that can be adjusted to any power level between 450 and 700 watts (for different screen sizes) and a powerful 3,000 ANSI lumens maximum light output. The lamp combined with four lens options to optimize image size and throw distance, empower the VX-3c to offer an enormous range of picture sizes. Another feature unique to this projector is its vertical and horizontal lens shift, which permits installation in virtually any position; even rear-projection set-up is possible. 

But astonishing visual impact is just part of the story. Not only is the VX-3c the quietest three-chip DLP projector on the market today, it is fully DTV capable (via an outboard DTV decoder), able to display 1080i, 720p and 480p signals. Some of the credit must of course go to the remarkable three-chip DLP system, but an equally important feature is the fact that the Runco design is a two-piece system. The VX-3c includes Runco’s VHD Ultra Controller incorporating VIVIX technology, Runco’s proprietary video processing. The Controller is a sophisticated outboard design, with 10-bit processing and progressive outputs, engineered to match any consumer video source to the full native resolution of the system’s projector. 

The VHD Ultra Controller enables the VX-3c system to offer its full resolution potential to every source providing stunning NTSC up-conversion to the native resolution of the panel, and will also provide aspect ratio control for letterboxed, anamorphic or 4:3 sources. The feature packed processor also incorporates inverse telecine (3/2 pulldown) compensation for maximum motion accuracy, de-interlaces, and up converts the signal to the native resolution of the projector (1024 x 768). By doing this, the projector itself doesn’t have to scale the signal, preventing the signal from being scaled twice. The end result is a picture that looks virtually like High Definition. 

The VHD Ultra controller supplies four independent video inputs, one each in component, S-Video, and composite-video formats, as well as one RGB/component “pass-through” input that permits DTV or computer signals to pass unprocessed to the display. Each input can be independently configured and calibrated for its particular source, ensuring top performance on every program, while simple, legible, on-screen menus operate the projector’s and processor’s functions. 

For more information, about projectors and digital projection devices see digital projectors.

Author Notes:

Shayda Fraser contributes and publishes news editorial to  An online look at projectors, home theatre and accessories; such as digital, video, screens and slides.

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