Runco International was founded by Sam Runco with wife, Lori, in northern California in 1987. He is a founding member of CEDIA(Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) and has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CEDIA and been inducted into Dealerscope magazine’s Hall Of Fame and for his contributions to the home theater industry.
The first large screen projection system to display the Runco name was introduced in 1970. Prior to the incorporation of Runco International the company functioned as Runco Video. Cinemabeam was Runco Video’s first projector to feature external convergence controls that allowed the video image to be projected onto large screens. Two years later, Runco magnified the image of a 15" television using a fresnel lens to project it onto a wall, a turning point for the future of the company and large screen entertainment.
Runco International was incorporated in 1987 and launched the Runco International HT (Home Theater) video projector. The company later added significant performance enhancements and features to better accommodate the growing video market for home theater enthusiasts and its dealers. As the home theater market expanded, the company acquired additional brands within the consumer electronics custom installation channel, including the purchase of the Vidikron video display brand. By the early 1990s, Runco International had expanded its corporate offices in California, and developed worldwide distribution. It had become a popular brand of CRT projectors, selling models produced by other manufacturers such as Zenith Electronics, NEC, and Barco modified for greater home theater suitability.
Runco last recorded net sales as a private company of $54.6 million in the 12 months ending March 31, 2007. In May 2007, Runco was acquired by Planar Systems, Inc. Runco operations including product design, manufacturing, customer service, marketing and training teams have been transitioned to Planar’s headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon, USA.
Runco is a home theater video display and technology company that makes custom displays for high-end home theater environments. Runco’s home theater product line consists of front projection systems, in-wall projection systems, flat-panel plasma and LCD displays, video processors and other video technology solutions for the custom installation consumer electronics market. Runco products are sold and serviced by the company’s network of authorized custom installation audio and video dealers and international distributors. Runco products are distributed to over 100 countries.
Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLNR) acquired Runco International in May 2007, adding Runco to the company’s home theater business unit and its portfolio of video display brands. Planar Systems, Inc. provides hardware and software display solutions for residential and commercial environments including hospitals, space and military programs, utility and transportation hubs, shopping centers, banks, government agencies, businesses, and home theaters. With the acquisition of Runco International, Planar Systems also acquired all of the company’s assets, trademarks, and brands including, but not limited to, Vidikron, Project-A-Vision, and nView.
Runco Product Lines and Trademarked Technologies
- Product Lines
Front Projectors: Signature Series, VideoXtreme Series, Reflection Series
Plasma Display Monitors: PlasmaWall Portfolio, CinemaWall Portfolio
LCD Display Monitors: Crystal Portfolio, Climate Portfolio
In-Wall Projection Systems: VideoWall, CineWall
Video Processors: DHD Digital Controller, SDC Digital Controller
Signal Enhancers: LiveLink DVI Cabling System
- Runco Registered Products and Technologies
- Crystal Series
- Dynamic Pixel Protection
- Theater Manager
- Virtual High Definition
- Video Xtreme
- Pixel for Pixel
- Trademarked Logos
- Live Link
- Runco The World’s Finest Home Theater Products
Further Reading – Product reviews/article clips
The New York Times DealBook, featuring the Runco D-113d projector - 
Jonathan Blum, Fortune Small Business - A $9000 Bargain TV
Jonathan Blum, Fortune Small Business – A $20,000 TV Actually Worth the Price
Eric Taub, New York Times Gadgetwise
Home Theater Review – Runco PlasmaWall XP-65HD