Runco VX-5000ci

Movie fans with deep resources and a hankering for ultra-quality images should take a look at Runco's VX-5000ci. This DLP projector is built from the ground up to generate stunning 16:9 pictures.

Improving on its predecessor, the VX-5000c, in several areas, the 5000ci offers an HDCP (high-definition copy protection) compliant digital video interface, meaning it's totally up to date whenever high def movies finally appear on cable. The DVI input also eliminates image degradation caused by unnecessary digital-to-analog conversion.

HDTV compatibility is via an outboard converter at 720p native rate. The VX-5000ci is also capable of displaying 480p, 540p, and 1080I, and is compatible with PAL and NTSC video sources.

Although designed for 16:9 screens, the VX-5000ci will cast images in multiple aspect ratios - anamorphic, letterbox, 4:3, and "VirtualWide." There are five lenses available for this projector – one for each range of throw distance and screen width. The VX-5000ci boasts an amazing 2500:1 contrast ratio, with maximum light output rated at 1500 ANSI lumens. A remote controlled "Reflectance Volume Regulation" (RVR) enables user-adjustable iris control of contrast ratio versus light output for the best image regardless of ambient light in the viewing room.

At the projector's heart is Texas Instruments' 16:9 HD-2 digital micromirror device with native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, buffered by a nine-point color balance system for accurate gray scales regardless of source. A 3:2 pulldown detection circuit insures seamless projection of film-based sources. Runco's proprietary PFP controller and VIVIX technology let the projector upconvert standard definition sources to "virtual high def."

Setup is easy thanks to the horizontal and vertical lens-shifting feature. Severe vertical offset of the projector won't affect the final image thanks to an electronic vertical keystone correction feature. Light source is a 250 W NSH lamp with a useable lifespan of approximately 2000 hours. Image width is 40" to 200" depending on the lens selected. The VX-5000ci measures 9.95" H x 20.87" W x 27.8" D, and weighs 73 lbs. without a lens mounted.