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Goodbye, Runco

Planar and new owner Leyard are killing Runco projectors, the last vestige of the vaunted Runco home theater brand.

Goodbye, Runco
Leyang/Planar say goodbye to Runco projectors and very probably the Runco brand.

Julie Jacobson · February 26, 2016

It looks like Runco is finally dead. The pioneering home theater projector manufacturer, founded by Sam Runco in 1987, appears to be getting out of the projector business. And as that business goes, so goes the famous brand.

Runco was acquired by Planar, a commercial display manufacturer, in 2007. As Runco was built on personality as much as product, Planar promised to continue with the famous Runco conferences and parties previously hosted by Runco and his wife Lori.

But the Runco vibe was never the same, and Runco slowly lost its cachet. Now it's losing its flagship projectors.

Just six months after Chinese LED manufacturer Leyard acquired Planar, the company has announced a phase-out of Runco projectors.

Here's the memo that just went out to Runco dealers and reps:

The Runco Price List has been updated and you will notice that all Runco projectors are now listed as “limited availability.”  Our pioneering efforts once focused on projection are now directed to new breakthroughs in video wall technology and flat panel displays, categories in which many of you have been very successful. 

We expect availability on most models for the coming months, but all orders and product configurations are subject to availability.  As always, we encourage our dealers to place orders immediately to ensure delivery for upcoming projects.

We will continue to honor our warranty commitments on previous and future sales, stock and sell service parts, and offer out-of-warranty support, as we do today.  We look forward to seeing our customers and their clients through the transition of the market to new display technologies.  For more information about the Runco line-up or for product details, see www.runco.com.

RIP, Runco.



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at jjacobson@ehpub.com

Follow Julie on social media:
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View Julie Jacobson's complete profile.



  Article Topics


Planar · Runco · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by TedG on March 1, 2016

This is one of my predictions that I’m sorry to see come true!

Posted by shawn panamorph.com on February 28, 2016

About a decade ago Sam Runco took a chance on industry acquaintance that launched the anamorphic UltraWide home cinema movement that ultimately became Panamorph. Today, and over $14M in lens sales later, every major home theater projector brand includes these anamorphic modes to differentiate full 4K performance on an UltraWide theater screen from the only 3K resolution of letterbox movies people can get with flat panels. Sam loved movies so much that he wanted everybody to be able to enjoy them like he did. That created a legacy still growing to this day and I will never forget working with Sam and the entire Runco family to make that happen.

Posted by Mitch.rauch on February 26, 2016

You can still buy most of your Runco projectors from the manufacturer. We still have plenty and have created new model names h9090 is the led machine you so loved….

Posted by Adroit1 on February 26, 2016

I had the pleasure of selling both projectors and plasma TV’s from Runco back when a 42” TV cost $17000.00. We had sold 4 TV’s to a yacht refit project and one of them had a mother board go bad. Sam sent a new board and. at 8 PM on a Saturday night, guided me in replacing that board. Lying a plasma TV down was quite scary, but Sam was patient and assured me nothing would go wrong. It was that kind of quality and service that made the Runco brand as good as it could be. It is sad the brand is no longer with us, but with so much competition, and without Lori and Sam, and without updated products, the end was inevitable. It is sad.

Posted by bizbuilder on February 26, 2016

Some of the most challenging times of my life and career.  Helped me put two kids through college and boy was it fun!  Thank you Sam!

Posted by Jason Knott on February 26, 2016

The end of an era for sure.

Posted by Audioplus on February 26, 2016

I agree with Jim, It’s been 15 years but still miss the family of friends and people. I think passion in the industry departed a few years ago? Dan C

Posted by jhamill1 on February 26, 2016

Man, the Q series have an awesome image! Definitely sad to see them go. It’s probably been a tough market for display manufacturers over the past few years; thankfully there are some other very qualified brands going strong for now.

Posted by Jim Kershaw on February 26, 2016

Having been involved in projection television since the early Advent days, seeing another legendary PJ brand disappear is painful.  Sam Runco leaves a legacy of innovative, high-performance products, and a business practice that will never be duplicated.  His Mexico trips took a large industry category, and re-made into a small family of friends.  We will miss the passion, and the people!

Posted by wiredguy on February 26, 2016

I was hoping that with Texas Instruments announcement of the new DLP chip, that we would soon see a new LED light engine based DLP projector from Runco. I still love my Q750i and have sold several of them. I am disappointed that I will not see what Runco could do with the new chip. Now I will only be able to imagine what it would have looked like. Sorry to see the end of this product line!

View all comments.

Posted by wiredguy on February 26, 2016

I was hoping that with Texas Instruments announcement of the new DLP chip, that we would soon see a new LED light engine based DLP projector from Runco. I still love my Q750i and have sold several of them. I am disappointed that I will not see what Runco could do with the new chip. Now I will only be able to imagine what it would have looked like. Sorry to see the end of this product line!

Posted by Jim Kershaw on February 26, 2016

Having been involved in projection television since the early Advent days, seeing another legendary PJ brand disappear is painful.  Sam Runco leaves a legacy of innovative, high-performance products, and a business practice that will never be duplicated.  His Mexico trips took a large industry category, and re-made into a small family of friends.  We will miss the passion, and the people!

Posted by jhamill1 on February 26, 2016

Man, the Q series have an awesome image! Definitely sad to see them go. It’s probably been a tough market for display manufacturers over the past few years; thankfully there are some other very qualified brands going strong for now.

Posted by Audioplus on February 26, 2016

I agree with Jim, It’s been 15 years but still miss the family of friends and people. I think passion in the industry departed a few years ago? Dan C

Posted by Jason Knott on February 26, 2016

The end of an era for sure.

Posted by bizbuilder on February 26, 2016

Some of the most challenging times of my life and career.  Helped me put two kids through college and boy was it fun!  Thank you Sam!

Posted by Adroit1 on February 26, 2016

I had the pleasure of selling both projectors and plasma TV’s from Runco back when a 42” TV cost $17000.00. We had sold 4 TV’s to a yacht refit project and one of them had a mother board go bad. Sam sent a new board and. at 8 PM on a Saturday night, guided me in replacing that board. Lying a plasma TV down was quite scary, but Sam was patient and assured me nothing would go wrong. It was that kind of quality and service that made the Runco brand as good as it could be. It is sad the brand is no longer with us, but with so much competition, and without Lori and Sam, and without updated products, the end was inevitable. It is sad.

Posted by Mitch.rauch on February 26, 2016

You can still buy most of your Runco projectors from the manufacturer. We still have plenty and have created new model names h9090 is the led machine you so loved….

Posted by shawn panamorph.com on February 28, 2016

About a decade ago Sam Runco took a chance on industry acquaintance that launched the anamorphic UltraWide home cinema movement that ultimately became Panamorph. Today, and over $14M in lens sales later, every major home theater projector brand includes these anamorphic modes to differentiate full 4K performance on an UltraWide theater screen from the only 3K resolution of letterbox movies people can get with flat panels. Sam loved movies so much that he wanted everybody to be able to enjoy them like he did. That created a legacy still growing to this day and I will never forget working with Sam and the entire Runco family to make that happen.

Posted by TedG on March 1, 2016

This is one of my predictions that I’m sorry to see come true!

View all comments.