Video and AV News

SPS Dlite Crowd at BBC Music Live
Wednesday, 28 June 2000

The Roald Dahl Revolting Concert, held in Cardiff at the end of May, provided the first opportunity for Show Presentation Services (SPS) to spec its new Barco Dlite 7 LED screen for an outdoor event. Part of the nationwide BBC Music Live series, the 17sq.m screen was used to relay live coverage of the concert to the 3,000 strong crowd.

Tony Rodber joins Stage Electrics
Tuesday, 27 June 2000

Tony Rodber is to join Stage Electrics as business development manager for Wales and the West. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the industry where he has been a well-known figure for the last 13 years, principally with Lighting Technology.

PSL Becomes Preferred AV Supplier to ExCel
Thursday, 22 June 2000

PSL has announced the signing of a seven-year contract with ExCel, the new London International Exhibition Centre, which makes the company the preferred onsite AV and presentation equipment supplier. PSL will acquire approximately 20,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space onsite, within one of the existing warehouses on the ExCel site for the storage of their AV and presentation hire equipment. In addition, the company has negotiated two additional storage areas - within the Northern and Southern breakout/seminar rooms - allowing them to be the only AV company to service these areas. PSL estimates that it will hold around £1million of state-of-the-art equipment onsite.

PSL Invests in New Audio Division
Thursday, 22 June 2000

PSL has set up a new audio division, and pledged a multi-million pound investment in a new hire fleet. The bulk of the equipment will be purchased through Marquee Audio, while other suppliers will include LMC, SES, Total Audio Solutions, VDC, Kelsey Acoustics, d&b audiotechnic and Shuttlesound. Gil Rabinowitz (pictured) was brought in to configure an inventory which the company believes will make them competitive in their own right, at the same time offering a resource that will enable the remainder of the Gearhouse Group to quote turnkey packages to conference and exhibition clients.

VDC Launches Latest Catalogue
Tuesday, 20 June 2000

VDC Trading has released its 2000-2001 product directory, featuring the copany's full range range of pro audio, video and broadcast cabling systems. The world-renowned Van Damme range of cables are prominently featured as are over 5000 other cabling and connector solutions, from custom-built stage boxes and metal work, racks and multicore looms. VDC hs also added further product lines to this year's directory which include 2U, 16-32amp mains distros, all rack mountable and in two colours.

Masters Joins SNP as Head of Sales
Saturday, 17 June 2000

SNP Group, supplier of big screen technology and digital signage, has appointed Lee Masters as head of sales. He has gained broad experience managing sales teams into consumer-driven markets, most recently at Haymarket Exhibitions. He will now have initial responsibility at board level for the exhibition and events rental department at SNP, as well as strategic sales planning for the visual systems division.

Rearpro Simplified by Paradigm
Friday, 16 June 2000

Paradigm Audio Visual has launched the Paradigm Rearpro LC rig, a new low-cost system for AV specifiers and installers, which will enable installers to carry out professional rear projection installations (up to a screen size of 72") without time-related expenses on design, planning materials and lengthy installation procedures. The Rearpro LC Rig comes as a serviced hardware package comprising projector mount, optical mirrors (glass or foil), frames and all interconnecting framework. The rig can be used with any LCD or DLP projector, for which it will then be assembled and aligned. Also included in the package is a full CAD service that enables a dealer's projector to be built into the system. Complete CAD drawings are supplied for client use, liaison with contractors and for system documentation.

BAV Equipment Stolen
Wednesday, 31 May 2000

Boath Audio Visual are offering a substantial reward for equipment that was stolen from the company in early May. A Mr F Belhadj, who gave a false address in Worthing, hired a range of equipment, including JBL speakers (serial no: 18017), a Crest amplifier (serial no: CA12 9404392), Citronic mixer (serial no: A611B903A0288), Yamaha multi-effects unit (serial no: 65238), two MAD Madscans (serial nos: 27006, 27006B) and a Le Maitre G150 smoke machine (serial no: 0563). The list also included a Shure radio mic system, Numark twin CD player, Opti White Lightning strobe and an Apollo Equinox lighting effect.The equipment has never been returned and BAV believe that Belhadj is now in Tunisia, though the equipment may still be in the Sussex area. If you have been offered any of this equipment or can help, please contact Brighton Police Station on 0845 6070999 - quote crime reference no: C1/8661/00 or John Boath at BAV on Tel: +44 (0) 1273 600678.

PSL's new Ryder
Monday, 22 May 2000

PSL has appointed Mick Ryder to the company's Concert Touring Division, which is currently co-ordinating a number of high profile tours throughout the UK, Europe and the US, including Ricky Martin, Leftfield and Oasis. Ryder arrives at the company following four years as event director for Fulham-based Cube TV, but it is his previous 20 years experience as freelance production manager for bands such as UB40, Robert Palmer and Black Sabbath, that singled him out to PSL.

Audio Visual Industry Census 2000
Friday, 19 May 2000

The UK's first ever media industry census takes place today. Backed by major employers, trades unions and the government, Britain's first broadcasting census is the culmination of a major consultation exercise by the cross-industry group examining future training needs in the media industries. The initiative is part of a programme of work developed by the Audio-Visual Industries Training Group (a joint venture between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Skillset) and is chaired by Roger Laughton. Our industry has long been hindered by the lack of accurate available information and the Census should provide reliable estimates of how many people work in the industry, and a picture of what they do and who they are. If you are a company working in any sector of the industry you can complete the census form online.

Image Reality from SGI
Friday, 12 May 2000

At the TiLE (Trends in Leisure and Entertainment) show in London this week, advanced graphics specialist SGI claimed it has made a significant development in image realism for the interactive entertainment market, with the launch of the InfiniteReality3 (IR3) graphics engine for the Silicon Graphics Onyx2 visualisation workstation. Onyx2 InfiniteReality3 provides a powerful image generation system for immersive, real-time 3D graphic experiences. The solution will be used for planetariums, heritage visualisation and science centres to create multi-channel virtual environments where groups of users can interact directly with seemingly realistic surroundings. Onxy2 InfiniteReality3 handles high-resolution images using 256MB texture memory and improved texture mapping techniques. This, says SGI, will yield a four-fold increase in image quality over the previous-generation InfiniteReality2 (IR2).

Des Fallon Joins Nocturne Europe
Wednesday, 10 May 2000

Des Fallon has joined the fast-moving and rapidly-expanding team at Nocturne Europe as sales manager. From June 1st, he will be working alongside his old colleagues Chris Mounsor, Lee Spencer and Richard Burford. Fallon worked for the last six years supplying video systems to the music industry. His technical knowledge and communication skills have been instrumental in helping to establish touring video as a live music production genre in its own right - along with sound and lighting. He has handled accounts for artists such as Blur, Pulp and Robbie Williams.

Tim Adams to be New Editor of Installation Europe
Thursday, 4 May 2000

Tim Adams is to take on the role of Editor of Installation Europe following Mike Lethby's departure at the end of April. Adams, who for the last few years has been working alongside Jerry Gilbert at JGP public relations, will take up his new position at the end of May.

Gearhouse Makes Major Barco Purchase
Friday, 14 April 2000

At the NAB exhibition in Las Vegas (8-13 April), Barco and the Gearhouse Group have signed an important order for the renewal of a significant part of Gearhouse's worldwide projector rental fleet. The agreement involves in excess of 80 LCD and DLP projectors, with a market value of $5m. It comprises Barco ELM R12 DLP projectors as well as Barco 9000 and Barco 6000 Series LCD projection systems, which will become the reference projectors for Gearhouse's rental and staging applications worldwide. Gearhouse director Gary Davis said: "We believe this is the largest single order for projectors ever placed in the rental industry and in line with our commitment to being the premier staging company worldwide."

Matthews Studio Group Files For Chapter 11
Friday, 7 April 2000

PLASA EXCLUSIVE:PLASA Publishing has this afternoon learned that US-based Matthews Studio Equipment Group - one of the largest suppliers of professional equipment to the entertainment industry, has today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The NASDAQ-listed company supplies conventional and automated lighting, grip, transportation, generators, camera equipment, audio and video equipment and theatrical supplies via its worldwide distribution network.Carlos D. DeMattos, chairman and CEO, said: "We have spent the past several months attempting to come up with a proposal that would address the company's challenges outside of a court proceeding. Ultimately, the time required to complete a restructuring transaction and the uncertain cost of closing unprofitable locations were too great to overcome."He continued: "This procedure will bring order to a disorderly process. It should have little or no impact on our customers, our vendors, or our employees. We intend to continue to compete vigorously in all of our markets and to work diligently to meet the needs of our customers."Certain of Matthews' subsidiaries were included in the filings as a result of last-minute demands by the company's lenders, to which the company was forced to accede.

New LCD Projector from Optoma
Tuesday, 4 April 2000

Optoma have produced a new compact and versatile LCD video projector for home theatre and commercial applications. The EzPro 540 features triple video input and projects in excess of 500 ANSI lumens, and can network between DVD, VCR and laserdisc appliances simultaneously. The unit weighs only 4.7kg and measures an unbelievably small 259mm x 162mm x 317mm. Other features include height-adjustment facility; onscreen display menu; remote control; projection size up to 160in; and exclusive Keystone correction to prevent distorted image. It also has an audio input/output function, and while it contains two internal 3W speakers, the EzPro 540 may also be connected to external speakers.

Lighthouse Acquires Pixelite
Monday, 3 April 2000

Lighthouse Technologies, the Hong Kong-based giant screen specialists, has acquired Pixelite from Avesco plc. This will create the world's most broadly-based giant screen sales and installation operation with core offices in Hong Kong, Europe and North America, and associated offices in Australia, Africa and Asia. For both Lighthouse Technologies and Pixelite, the move is a natural fit and opens a host of possibilities for the enlarged organisation. Lighthouse is already a major player in the giant video screen market whilst Pixelite, headed by Graham Burgess, Dave Gunn and Simon Taylor has a strong track record in the giant screen business in the UK and Europe. The entire Pixelite team will be joined at their Isleworth offices in west London by the current European Lighthouse staff.

Deal with Unitek Doubles Screenco's rental capacity
Monday, 3 April 2000

Screenco and parent company Avesco PLC have today announced the acquisition of Unitek Displays' rental operation. Unitek introduced the Megascreen to the entertainment market in 1997 and since that time has made significant improvements to the product and established a growing rental business from its Gerards Cross base. With immediate effect all the rental equipment will transfer to Screenco and the business will be integrated into Screenco's existing European rental operations located in the UK and Holland. The deal includes the purchase of 120sq.m of existing modular LED equipment and a commitment to purchase a further 164sq.m of Unitek's latest LED system for delivery during the summer months. More on this story in the April issue of L&SI.

Barco's Group Turnover Increases by 8%
Thursday, 30 March 2000

The Barco Group is closing the 1999 financial year with a group turnover of 28.6 billion BEF, compared with 26.436 billion BEF for 1998. This represents an 8% increase. Within this, Barco Projection Systems saw its turnover increase by almost 5%. This was probably limited by only partial recuperation of the loss in market share, especially in the USA, after the fire in the projectors factory in Kuurne in February 1998. During the course of 1999 however, Barco started to catch up with the introduction of the ELM projector based on the DLP technology of Texas Instruments. The year was also marked by some important structural changes within Barco Projection Systems with the business structured into five divisions.

E/T/C UK to Hold Large-Scale Projection Demo
Friday, 24 March 2000

E/T/C UK Ltd is planning a large scale demo of its new Rotating Double Scrollers which will be held on the 3rd May 2000. (Time and venue still to be confirmed). The PIGI 7kW Xenon Rotating Double Scroller is the latest of the PIGI projectors and is fitted with two scrolling films, a programmable 360 degree rotating head and programmable lens mount and rear foot. The demo is aimed at conference producers, lighting designers, set designers, event designers, rock and roll promoters, party planners . . . indeed anyone who needs new ideas for scenic projection and would like to fill large areas of set with bright exciting imagery. If you are interested in attending the demonstration of the equipment, then please e-mail Ross Ashton at or call +44 20 8893 8232 and full details will be sent by return.

Barco Signs Digital Cinema Agreement with Texas Instruments
Friday, 17 March 2000

Barco's has signed a co-operative development agreement with Texas Instruments, giving Barco access to TI's new DLP Cinematechnology. The agreement will allow Barco to develop a completely new range of projectors that will have the capability of replacing 35 mm film projectors in cinemas around the worldand potentially opens a multi-billion USD market for the company as more than 100,000 cinema screens around the world convert from traditional film to digitally-based projection systems over the course of the next 10 to 20 years. DLP Cinema technology is a further enhancement of TI's Digital Light Processing technology which Barco is already using in its large venue projectors for the rental and staging markets. By comparison with these large venue DLP-based projectors, the DLP Cinema technology features even higher contrast, together with colour processing designed to replicate the visual experience of film.

Black Box LED the Way
Wednesday, 15 March 2000

In what it believes to be a world first, Black Box-AV has just launched a CD listening post with a moving, dot matrix LED display. Installed in the new Virgin Megastore at Glasgow, the 3" wide by 3/4" high signs provide a welcome message prior to headphone pick up, together with a 'thank you' closing message when the headphones are replaced. Messages can be updated via PC or hand-held organisers such as Psion, although the post itself is not PC-based. The product is the latest in a new range of listening posts from Black Box-AV which include the bar code recognition system widely used throughout the Virgin Megastores. All these now utilise CD-ROM drives as the audio delivery mechanism.

Sony AV in £97m at-Bristol Project
Wednesday, 15 March 2000

From next spring, Bristol's visitors and residents will have access to one of the most sophisticated learning and leisure destinations in the world. An imaginative mix of science, nature and art, the £97 million at-Bristol landmark millennium project makes extensive used of advanced media techniques. The centre is home to two major attractions - the scientifically-led Explore-at-Bristol and Wildscreen-at-Bristol which will reveal the diversity of the natural world. The centre also includes an Imax large-format cinema and planetarium. As principal AV partner, Sony will provide a broad range of professional display solutions, including its PFM-500 professional flat screen monitors, VPL-S900 and VPL-X2000E LCD projectors, together with a range of monitors and LCD panels.

New Headquarters for Screenco
Tuesday, 14 March 2000

Giant outdoor screen specialist Screenco is celebrating its 15th anniversary this Spring . . . with brand new, much larger premises in Hampshire, UK. The company, which was founded in 1985, has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of giant CRT and LED outdoor screens and screen mobiles, with offices and associated companies based in the UK, Holland, Germany, Australia and the USA. The new HQ is at Fareham in Hampshire, around 10 miles from the former Eastleigh base. The 13,000sq.ft facility gives the company more than double the warehouse space of the old building and greatly improved office and workshop space. Screenco has also unveiled a brand new website which includes full details of the company's range of rental video screen, camera and portable production unit (PPU) services, equipment and key team members.


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