>In the market since 1982, Bryant Broadcast was a new exhibitor at PLASA this year, bringing a range of power distribution units, audio/video patch fields, flexible multi-pair audio snake cables, microphone and stage boxes and cable drums to the show. New products included a number of cost-effective 'hybrid' audio/video cables for digital projector systems in boardroom and education applications. Bryant's Bob Hart told L&SI that the company's power units and drums went down a bundle, adding: "If the number of catalogues and CD-ROMs we got through is anything to go by, then visitors were previously lacking in equipment suppliers like Bryant for the nuts and bolts of technical installs!"
>There were two new products from Formula Sound - the Q18 foldback mixer system for use in small studios and the AT-1 controller, a noise control device for use in conjunction with the company's Sentry unit for power socket control. Essentially, Sentry will cut power to club/bar audio systems where over-excited DJs feel impelled to exceed agreed noise level limits. AT-1 provides a more sophisticated intercept, taking the Sentry system measurements and controlling the output levels to the PA system.
>Remixer One and the simpler R1 titles are both applied to XTA's new DJ mixer. A departure for XTA, whose wares are more normally to be found in the realms of live concert, the R1 is a high spec mixer with a comprehensive EQ section that will shame many a rival. The usual toys are there - plug-in DJ effects modules for dynamic filtering, phlanging, crossfader - but it's the features such as balanced inserts which will set this unit apart. This was in prototype form, so expect production models soon.
Also from XTA was the DP6i, the install version of the highly acclaimed and well-known DP226. It has a tamper-proof front panel with just four buttons to access your own programmed presets. All the usual parameters and controls are accessed and set from your PC.
>Italian company Luci Della Ribalta (LDR) is one of Europe's leading lighting manufacturers for both the architectural and entertainment markets. New products on show this year included LDR's Soffio CDM-T luminaires, Canto followspots and Gobo Wizard.
>On the Bosch stand, Integrus took pride of place; a digital IR transmission-based conferencing system with light and nifty receiver belt-packs, Integrus can operate up to 32 channels, each individually configurable. In addition to a much improved signal-to-noise ratio (<80dB) the big advantage of this digital IR system is its ability to work in adverse conditions, not least broad daylight. Also from Bosch, the less sophisticated Ultro CCS80 system now has an acoustic feedback suppressor for hassle-free set-up on portable conferencing. Bosch also announced that it is licensed to sell the Intellivox system, developed by Duran Audio, and now badged to Bosch.
>ELC Lighting showed its new dmXLAN range of Ethernet nodes, based on the ArtNet protocol. It allows the user to convert from DMX to Ethernet and back and enables complete system management via a PC or Pocket PC software. It can be wall- or truss-mounted as needed. The software is WYSIWYG compatible and the company is officially licensed by to be a Registered WYSIWYG Developer.
>The new VL3000 Spot from Vari-Lite adds to the rental inventory of service-company VLPS. The new lamp features a 1200W source, extremely smooth movement, two gobo wheels with full indexable rotation (and morphing between them) plus effects wheel, 6:1 zoom optics and full CMY colour mixing. The VL3000 weighs 35kg and has the same upper enclosure footprint as the 2000 series. Quiet and bright.
>Since its foundation, Link has concentrated on manufacturing and distributing a wide range of cables, connectors and accessories dedicated to this sector. The company has recently introduced two new cables, specifically designed by Eurocable for Yamaha's PM1D system, and a copper interface between the CS1D console and DSP1D unit.
>The Spica series is a range of automated lighting from 5 Star Systems in 250W and 400W discharge versions. Fast pan and tilt, comprehensive colour and gobo wheels, plus the ever-popular prism all shine through a motorized focusing system (two step 16°-20° and 20°-25°). Also on display was the VisualDMX Windows application for programming and controlling any DMX512 device. Aimed specifically at club light jockeys, the key feature of this software is its intuitive interface, which masks much of the specifics of technical lighting control, leaving easy grab functions visible; you might not know which lamp type you've grabbed, but the software will turn it red for you anyway.
>Displayed on the attractive, leafy DHA Lighting stand was the new Gobo Carousel - an optical effects system which sits in the focal plane of the ETC Source Four profile. This can serve as a gobo changer containing two wheels (each with five 70mm/B-size slots giving a potential choice of eight gobos plus open), or a dichroic colour changer, or effects unit, utilizing either one ot two wheels. With independent speed and direction control of each wheel, this is a highly felxible unit, and is aimed specifically at theatres and rental companies.
>There was genuine excitement on and around the A.C. Lighting stand, where the new Vista console from Australian manufacturer, Jands, was being demonstrated. With a new design utilizing the latest user interfaces, the Vista promises a leap forward in speed and ease of lighting desk operation. Doing away with touch screens, keypads and number-crunching, the Vista uses a pen and a large colour screen, and incorporates a timeline that shows what's happening in your design in relation to time - when lights come on, when they change colour and so on. You can step in at any point to edit, and all variables (colours, focus, gobos etc) are there on the one screen.
The Vista also boasts a generic fixture model that makes changing fixtures easy. When a change is made, the Vista compares the two lights and adapts automatically - even if the replacement has a different feature set. For the operator, the desk provides splittable fader banks, a host of user-definable buttons and assignable encoder wheels to give you fingertip control of timing, chase speed and more.
A.C. also showed the TourSpot 575 and TourWash 575 moving head fixtures. The former includes a rotating wheel with seven indexable gobos, a remote focus control, three-position stepped beam angles (13°/18°/21°) plus frost effect, a rotating three-way prism and an eight-way colour wheel. The latter also includes CMY colour mixing with an additional eight-way colour wheel, remote zoom control (16-28°) and a directional lens for beam shaping.
But that wasn't all that A.C. had to offer: the latest Chroma-Q products in
>It was difficult to miss the Light Engineering Multiform stand with its impressive 7m long sign rigged above it. The seamless, polycarbonate sign was backlit with colour changers and Sparkle fibre optics and by the time you read this will be mounted back in its permanent home above the company's premises. On show was the Gemini 12x48, a two-preset DMX memory lighting desk aimed at small theatres. Also new was the DMX424, low cost, mains powered decoder.
>A discretely-styled wedge, the M12 monitor from Community features a nifty cable management system, with input connector mounted to an indent on the underside, making this passive two-way 300W (continuous) system very attractive for use in TV studios. Also from Community, the Cloud12-66 is a high power ceiling speaker based upon a 12" with 1" coaxial driver, capable of handling 200W continuous. A dual transformer package (70.7V and 100V) and 60° x 60° control pattern makes this a useful solution for installers confronting high ceiling environments.
>With its main business in television, G-LEC has been kept busy either renting its LED curtain system or designing and selling systems to meet project specifications. Product-wise, the company has upgraded the software for its systems to enable more flexibility for the user.
USA - During this week's PLASA Show, US-based lighting manufacturers Color Kinetics Inc and Altman Lighting Inc announced an agreement whereby Altman will license Color Kinetics' patented Chromacore technology and expertise and integrate Color Kinetics components for a unique line of intelligent LED-based systems for the theatrical, entertainment, and themed architectural lighting markets. The Chromacore-powered systems are slated for availability in November 2003.
Robert Altman, CEO, Altman Lighting told us: "When it comes to intelligent LED illumination, we recognize the distinct advantages of aligning with Color Kinetics, whose dominant intellectual property, technology, and expertise are unmatched in the field. We're pleased to announce this agreement in support of Altman's commitment to deliver high-quality, state-of-the-art products that meet the rigorous demands of today's foremost lighting designers and specifiers."
Bill Sims, President and COO of Color Kinetics, commented: "Altman is renowned for its market strength and expertise in theatrical and entertainment lighting, and we're pleased to help distinguish its product offerings through the powerful advantages of Color Kinetics' intelligent LED technology and integrated systems approach. This agreement further validates Color Kinetics' proven technology and supports our expansion strategy to meet wide-ranging market opportunities through select OEM and licensing relationships."
Chromacore is a pioneering technology that applies microprocessor-controlled, multicolored, high-brightne
>Looking intimidatingly like a piece of naval hardware, the massive Hardware Xenon 7000W xenon followspot/image scanner was launched at PLASA. As a followspot it features a shutter, iris and six-colour boomerang, while the image scanner features two rotating gobo wheels and seven-position colour wheel. A stroboscopic shutter and removable servo-controlled mirror complete the spec, with all features DMX compatible.
The company also launched a weatherproof stainless steel enclosure for its 7000W OLS large format projectors. Featuring dust-filtering ventilation, it also provides some measure of security against theft. Riding above the stand was the spherical Projection Balloon: these are available up to 5m in diameter and projection is from a 4000W OLS unit, which can hold up to 100 images.
A renewed sense of optimism was evident around the halls of Earls Court during the 2003 PLASA Show. Despite world events earlier this year, and the knock-on effect these inevitably had on business worldwide, this year's Show seemed to give the industry a renewed sense of its own potential and forward momentum. The Lighting&Sound International-sponsored New Technology Gallery (designed by DWP with fixtures and fittings supplied by Stage Electrics), provided a strong focus with a record number of Product Award nominations - 79 in all - proving that the industry remains a fertile ground for new ideas and invention.
The central networking bar with its surround view and high resolution LED screen from CT Screenco, provided an ideal place to meet colleagues and friends, or plan the ensuing expedition around the hall. This year's more open-plan layout also had the effect of making the show floor simpler to navigate - an important consideration if you visited Bandit Lites' stand first!
With considerable advances in product development, business diversification and expanding markets, the show has taken on a new and very distinctive identity. Areas such as digital sound, LED technology, computerized control systems and club and DJ products have progressed both technologically and in the scope of their applications. Ditto for those products serving the architectural and installation markets - hence the Show's decision to embrace these sectors by introducing a dedicated Architectural and AV area - an initiative that not only brought a new visitor base to the show, but one which wil
>Installations for a variety of applications, including schools, colleges, theatres and cruise liners have been keeping the British Harlequin team busy. The company has just started to install floors in Europe, with recent commissions from Finnish National Opera in Helsinki and Theater Basel and Stadttheater Bern in Switzerland. Monica Arnott said they were currently installing two-three floors a week, making 2003 an extremely busy year.
>Antari UK launched the X Series of smoke machines; the X-150 is a neat little 1000W unit, the X-525 slightly more powerful at 1500W, and the X-530 topping the range at 3kW. All three are aimed at the pro user; the fluid tank is dimly lit by a blue LED, allowing monitoring of fluid level by eye across a large stage (should you miss it, the pump automatically cuts out at critical levels). Completing the range is the X-310 - a Fazer with in-built fans (vari-speed) and the potential to produce an instant burst.
>Despite the issues surrounding the future of Arbiter Pro Audio at the show, it still pulled together an impressive display of new products. Enjoying its UK launch - and winning the PLASA Award for Design Excellence in the Sound category - was AKG's WMS4000 UHF radio microphone system, offering software control and 1200 frequencies in each of six bands. Also showing was a modular upgrade of the Tri-Power and Emotion series microphones, allowing wired mics to be easily turned into wireless versions.
New from JBL Professional was the Precision Directivity PD5212/95 PA cabinet, plus the Dance5, Dance3 and CBT4 dance market loudspeakers, while from dbx came the launch of the AFX224 feedback suppressor and Driverack 260 loudspeaker controller.
>A little 128Mb USB memory stick, the USB Key is all it takes to enable your laptop (Mac/PC or Linux platform) to access displays and control of Strand Lighting's 300 or 500 series consoles (connect via wired or wireless Ethernet). The Designer Remote software only occupies approximately 30% of the stick's capacity, leaving space for offline editing and saving. Also from Strand, the LD24 is a greatly simplified variant of the successful LD90 install panel dimmers. Still a high quality, digital 24-channel 2.5kW dimmer, the LD24 hits a much lower price bracket by removing the more sophisticated architectural and analogue controls. Strand also chose PLASA to launch V2.6.10 - the latest software for Strand consoles featuring a 'host of enhancements'.
>XTBA seems to have the solution to most of the world's DMX requirements. At PLASA, further new products were added to the company's growing portfolio. Amongst these was the new Smart Splitter View - a one in, five out (with loop through) data splitter. It is available in single isolation version, as in the Smart Splitter, as a fully isolated version, as in the Smart Splitter 5i, or as a case version for hanging in the rig. In addition to being the splitter the Smart Splitter View can show (via an easy to read display) the received channel levels and data parameters allowing for easy fault finding and checking of data. In receive mode the viewed channels can be scrolled left and right and displayed in decimal or percent.
>ChromaDeck is based on the Pulsar LED Chroma Panel but ruggedized and repackaged to fit into LiteStructures' existing staging system. The polycarbonate top, though not completely scratch-proof, is both strong and light, making this ideal for illuminated dance platforms. LiteStructures also took the opportunity at PLASA to reveal its updated company logo and launch a new website.
>Attracting attention on the Batmink stand was the impressive, high output Bubble Machine, which was filling the area around the stand with the kind of bubbles childhood dreams are made of. Featuring booster fans and remote timers, the machine is new and exclusive to Batmink. Also new, and available from December, are Spectrabank LED strips, which have a total of 912 ultra-high brightness LEDs providing high light output with minimal heat, arranged in 12 individually-controlled clusters.