Entech 2002, Australia
Thursday, 21 March 2002
Entech 2002 saw the welcome return of the show to its former venue at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, after its brief sojourn in the rather desolate Olympic precinct at Homebush. However, the change to an earlier, February time slot, proved to be rather unlucky weatherwise. On the first two days of the show, Sydney endured torrential downpours, with each day’s rainfall being equal to the entire average rainfall for the month.

That inclement weather may well be responsible for the slightly lower attendance of 5,143, compared with the 6,222 at Entech 2000. However from the comments of many exhibitors, the most notable absence was that of the casual brochure collectors (or ‘tyre-kickers’ as they’re affectionately known).

The Australian entertainment industry is a market dominated by products sourced from Europe and North America, so coming just a few months after PLASA and LDI, the Entech show floor featured many products which had already made their debut at these shows. What was different however, were the products that had been announced, or shown in prototype at LDI and PLASA, but by Entech were actually available and shipping.

Real products on show for the first time, included production versions of Jem’s Glaciator heavy fogger; Navigator Systems’ low-cost Rental Desk software; the Wavefront 8 LongThrow - Martin Audio’s long-awaited array loudspeaker; MA Lighting’s grandMA 3D visualizer; the DMX controlled douser for Selecon’s Pacific profile spots and Rosco’s Model 1700 fogger. The Delta 3000 Smart Fogger, whilst present, was still in beta test.

Despite that predominance of overseas products in the local marketplace, or perhaps even because of it, there are a number of highly innovative Australian entertainment technology companies. Not only do these companies compete with overseas products in the relatively small Australian market, but many of them also export the bulk of their output into the home markets of their European, Asian and American competitors.

Amphenol Australia, the independent company that develops Amphenol’s entertainment interconnection products, was showing a very simple, but seriously useful, addition to its product line. Previously only available in matte black, the components of Amphenol’s thermoplastic, chassis-mounted 3-pin XLR connectors are now available in colours. Colour-coding your patch panels, wall-boxes and stage-boxes becomes very simple.

Innovative professional audio developers ARX, had several new products. The MSX 32 is a 2 RU, 8 in/32 out, active microphone splitter with a range of linking and output options. The MSX 8 is its 1 RU 2in/8out smaller sibling. The CentreMIXX is a neat solution for the addition of a centre cluster in a system with only left and right outputs. In addition to summing the L and R signals, the CentreMIXX has an auxiliary input for the injection of an emphasized signal into the centre channel mix. Also on display was the SPL 30, the latest and broadest addition to the ARX self-powered loudspeaker range.

Bytecraft, well known for its scenery automation and sophisticated dimming systems, introduced two additions to its more affordable APC range: a docking version of the rack-mounted model (the return of the STM?) and a wall-mounting model for small installations.

DMX specialist Enttec was showing EVO, its lighting console. With 1024 channel output via Ethernet and the functionality of many high end moving light consoles, this sub £2,000 desk was attracting a lot of interest.

LSC was demonstrating the protoype of the PATPAD moving light module for the maXim console, which first appeared at PLASA 2001. PATPAD uses an approach to the control of moving lights that seems both flexible and intuitive. Also on display was the budget-priced iPak dimmer rack, which features the same power module as the successful ePak professional dimmer.

Premier Lighting is primarily known as a hire and production

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