Video and AV News

PLASA 2002 - Audio Visual
Tuesday, 17 September 2002

Barco Events had a striking display of its DLite LED walls and a Catalyst projection in the aisle. Two new products - the Events Controller and Viewscape - were launched at the show. The Events Controller enables the control of all daylight and projection displays, as well as other show equipment. This includes High End’s Catalyst, automated and conventional lighting devices, special effects, image generators, truss motors, hydraulics and more. It features Positracking, which enables repetition of position and status of all attributes at any point during a show. The Events Controller uses Barco’s ViewScape platform, which is a flexible and powerful image processing device that can handle multiple tasks including input switching, windowing, tiling, generating a wide range of video effects, edge-blending and format conversion.

Nearby, Expoteam, who specialize in high quality electronic display equipment and systems, had one of the quirkiest stands at the show. Stacked high with sizeable Panasonic brown cardboard boxes, the type you see lining warehouses the country over, Expoteam had made a feature of these, cutting holes in the sides to allow the fully-working Plasma screens they were demonstrating to show through.

G-LEC has produced a great derivative on the LED screen concept. Based on modules approximately 2m by 1m, the LEDs are sheathed in flexible plastic tubes approx 130mm apart, and with no black fill frame behind them, the construction is completely open. So, for stage sets this brings a new dimension to LED screens as lighting tools, it now being pos

21st century animation
Tuesday, 17 September 2002

In line with the increasing use of video projection in theatrical productions, together with the development of products such as High End’s Catalyst, DHA has put its vast knowledge and experience behind a new company, Scene Change.

Officially launched at this year’s PLASA, Scene Change has been a year in development: housed in a purpose-built studio at Waterloo Road in London, the company will employ state-of-the-art equipment in the design and creation of original digital video content specifically for projection. As a market leader in gobo and slide projection, DHA’s expertise in this area will prove invaluable.

Scene Change unites two market sectors - entertainment technology and video projection, but developments in these sectors are by no means in sync. The video industry has developed at a faster rate than entertainment technology and video clips are being used in an increasing number of ways in the theatre and associated sectors. Whilst some companies are developing projector and computer software, Scene Change is the only company which can draw on industry specific knowledge to create original digital video content.

Conventional video libraries offer images in a rectangular format suitable for broadcast, but most lighting designers are used to working with circular images. They also need those images to have high contrast and colour saturation in order to retain their impact when projected over distances, or in ambient light. DHA’s expertise also enables Scene Change to pre-distort an image to order, to allow for the fact that projec

Crestron unveils unique DVP4 processor
Monday, 16 September 2002

Crestron chose Infocomm 2002 to unveil the remarkable new DVP4, a digital video processor, touch-panel interface and stand-alone 2-Series control processor that can display four real-time video/computer windows simultaneously on a single high-resolution monitor, projector or plasma screen. Ideal for presentations, distance learning and command and control centres, the multi-purpose DVP4 combines a unique set of features to deliver a complete presentation solution. With the 257 MIPS, 32-bit Motorola ColdFire processor of the 2-Series control engine at its core, the DVP4 can be used as a stand-alone master control system.

Also a seamless matrix switch for the ultimate in professional switching, the DVP4 features eight BNC inputs that allow any combination of composite NTSC, PAL or S-Video (Y/C) sources to be routed to the unit simultaneously. Each video window can be scaled and positioned in a virtually unlimited configuration, and graphics can be incorporated in the foreground or background in combination with the windows.

The DVP4 also provides digital transition effects, including fades, reveals and pans, which can be applied to video windows with software definable timing for each event. Built-in alpha channel support allows buttons, graphics and text to be placed over the video windows in a translucent format. The DVP4 supports four analogue RGB computer sources up to 1600 x 1200 resolution, or four digital visual interface (DVI) digital computer sources up to 1280 x 1024 resolution. A DVI-I output provides the option of running analogue RGB or DVI digital video to t

PSL and Nocturne collaborate on Guns ‘N Roses
Thursday, 12 September 2002

US-based video giants Nocturne Inc. recently approached their associates at PSL Concert Touring to support a major UK appearance by one of their long-standing clients - Guns ’N Roses. The group appeared at The London Arena on Bank Holiday Monday with PSL providing the complete LED and camera package.

Drawing on their new fleet of Barco DLite 7 LED screens, PSL provided the centre stage wall at 4.3m high and 3.6m wide with two PA walls both at 2.7m square. Lighting designer Gary Westcott added tremendous dramatic effect by having certain panels randomly removed and then blasting white light from behind through billowing smoke! PSL also provided a six-camera package with cameramen, along with the show graphics driven by DoReMi drives. Given the compatibility of the D-7 between PSL and Nocturne it means that systems can be easily duplicated for clients working between both the US and European markets.

(Ruth Rossington)

PLASA Show Closes on a High
Thursday, 12 September 2002

The 25th PLASA Show closed on a high yesterday thanks to one of the most positive shows in the event’s history. Business was high on the agenda for all exhibitors - many of which reported the highest levels of business they’d ever done, some saying that they had signed up orders of significant size at the show. The exhibition was buzzing practically from the moment it opened and the visitor count will significantly outstrip last year’s figures.

The show was active on many levels - the PLASA Product Awards for Excellence attracted one of its highest number of nominations ever with 64 products displayed in the L&SI sponsored New Technology Gallery - a clear indication of the importance of the event as a showcase for innovation. The Masterclass, Seminar and Round Table sessions that ran throughout the show added to the appeal of the event, allowing visitors to learn more about specific projects or new technologies, or participate in debates concerning some of the central issues affecting the industry.

We’ll have a full report on the Show in the October issue of Lighting&Sound International.(Ruth Rossington)

PLASA Awards 2002PLASA Awards 2002
Wednesday, 11 September 2002

The PLASA Awards for Product Excellence were presented yesterday evening in the New Technology Gallery in front of a packed audience. This year’s awards attracted one of the largest tallies of nominations ever - 64 in total - across the categories of Lighting, Sound, Audio-Visual and Stage Engineering.

The judging panel of freelance lighting designer Simon Swift, sound system consultant Richard Northwood of Coms UK, Live Business International’s technical director Roland Hemming, freelance AV consultantPhil Pike, system designer Glyn Hughes of Sysco, project manager Andy Hayles from Theatre Projects Consultants, technical consultant Mark Jones of the Royal Albert Hall and Jason Tang, general manager of Bandit Lites (UK), deliberated over three days to decide the winning products in each category.

In the Lighting category, Clay Paky’s Stage Profile Plus SV received a Highly Commended in the design excellence category, for what was felt to be the best design of automated shutters among the moving profiles nominated. In the category for Innovation, a highly commended went to Martin Professional for its moving barndoors on the MAC2000 wash, which the judges felt was a notable step forward in the automated light industry. The MAC2000 Performance also drew the same accolade for being the first moving light to incorporate gobo animation effects, in association with DHA. However, the Award For Design Excellence went to a brand new company - Bright Lighting - which has further embraced the recent boom in LED lighting technology with its Colour Stream system an

Chameleon-Expotus alliance nets three Asian distributors
Monday, 9 September 2002

Announced at the PLASA Show, Chameleon Audio has appointed the UK’s leading export company, Expotus, to source potential distributors for its products throughout Asia, and the alliance has already borne fruit, with three companies now handling the line.Total Solution, Singapore, Stagecraft International in the Philippines and Phoenix Audio & Lighting Technology, Hong Kong, are now official distributors of Chameleon amplification.

According to Chameleon MD, Paul Houlden, the decision to appoint Expotus was based on the company’s imposing track record of successfully marketing other UK brands overseas, particularly the Far East. Says Houlden: "Trying to break into the Asian market has been a particularly tough nut to crack. However, thanks to Expotus’ expertise, it’s already beginning to pay dividends for Chameleon."

Following a series of field trials, all three companies have expressed their satisfaction with the amps. "I am particularly impressed with the compact size, modest weight, power handling capabilities and sound quality," comments Total Solution’s Glenn Wong on Chameleon’s 2750 and 3750 DP/2 models.

Frankie Zabala of Stagecraft International says the imposing power and headroom available are two aspects he considers vital. "The six Chameleon 3750 DP/2s supplied are at present powering the subs on a Turbosound rig, but already they have played a significant role in improving overall audio quality."

Phoenix boss Kevin Ip, who has Chameleon 600, 1200, 2000 and 3750 DP/2s at his disposal, is equa

Martin Audio & Synco Network announce W8L deal
Monday, 9 September 2002

The Martin Audio stand at PLASA 2002 was the site for an important announcement yesterday, and the first appearance of the Synco W8L Line Array System by Martin Audio, a specially configured version of the Martin Audio W8L line array system which is exclusive to the Synco Europe Network. Fred Heuves, MD of Synco Europe, and David Bisset-Powell, MD of Martin Audio, announced the signing of the deal that will see Synco Network members equipped with the system.

The deal represents Martin Audio’s largest single European sale since the launch of the acclaimed W8L system in the spring of this year. The Synco W8L Line Array will be operated in parallel with the existing stocks of the network’s Renkus-Heinz Synco Touring System and proprietary Synco floor monitors. "The network has grown very fast in the five years since we launched it and reached over 1000 cabinets but still we needed to invest in more PA to fulfil the needs of all the members," said Fred Heuves. "In addition, all Synco members across Europe had had requests for Line Array systems and had noticed the advantage for specific applications. Therefore we saw a potential for added business if we complemented our current speaker line with our own Line Array system. Together with the network partners we looked at and listened to all the systems currently on the market and decided that the Martin Audio W8L was the right way to go."

The Synco W8L Line Array system features specially badged W8L cabinets and Martin Audio amplifiers, matched to dedicated Synco loudspeaker controllers, but is

Mobil Tech France anouncement
Monday, 9 September 2002

Mobil Tech UK is to take on the manufacture and distribution of selected items from the Mobil Tech France range, which will include the ALP, Standtech and Alutech lines, and will also see the reinstatement of some of the company’s most popular stands from previous years. The move comes after Mobil Tech France had experienced some problems with its manufacturing capability. It is also envisaged that Mobil Tech UK will change its name to Mobil Tech International to reflect this change in emphasis.

Mobil Tech can be seen on stand D28.

Upbeat start for PLASA 2002
Monday, 9 September 2002

The 2002 PLASA Show got off to a positive start yesterday as the industry congregated in Earls Court, London. With another bumper crop of new product innovations on show the PLASA Show is providing an unmissable opportunity to see and discuss the state of the art in entertainment, communications and presentation technology. Comment from exhibitors was upbeat - one first-time exhibitor told PLASA Media he had been overwhelmed by the attention his company had received on stand, and wished he had more staff to deal with enquiries.

O Sunday night, PLASA’s 25th anniversary party took place to round off a highly successful day on the show floor. The event - staged at The Bridge - was attended by over 500 exhibitors and visitors who participated in numerous side shows at the Party including a bucking bronco, sumo wrestling, boules and the highlight, a full-on seventies disco.

On the show floor itself, a record 64 products are nominated for this year’s PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, all of which are featured on the New Technology Gallery, sponsored by Lighting&Sound International magazine. Technical editor James Eade, who is chairing the judging panel, said yesterday that the first day’s judging process had so far been an "absolutely excellent experience", adding "I’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm with which our panel of eight judges have taken on this task. It’s been a fascinating and - at times - quite heated process!" Once the debates are over, the Awards will be presented on Tuesday evening at 6pm, with Awa

Webb and Doyle introduce DiGiCo’s D5 Live at PLASA
Monday, 9 September 2002

One of the most talked-about live music mixing consoles of recent months - the DiGiCo D5 Live - was launched at PLASA yesterday, with and Dave Webster and Bob Doyle making a special presentation to members of the press over an enjoyable Sunday roast. On stand D28, the D5 Live system is on demonstration in a fully working set-up with a digital multitrack concert recording sync’d to video.

Designed from the ground up to deliver high sonic purity and powerful, instantly accessible controllability, the D5 Live comprises the D5 Live console itself, a front-of-house Digirack containing A/D converters and I/Os, a matching stage Digirack and 100m of fibre optic cable. This is a complete, self contained system that does away with the need for a multicore, splitters, line drivers, dynamics processors and - optionally - an entire effects rack too. The D5 Live can even record live to multitrack with a single, simple MADI cable and a hard disk multitrack recorder.

Virtually every feature is visible at a glance, or at most a single, logical fingertip press away. The four LCD touchscreens present their rich feature sets exactly as an engineer would expect to find them on an advanced analog console, with instant access and no menus to navigate. This intuitive approach means that, despite packing in powerful digital dynamics, an optional effects package, total recall of every function, a 38x8 output matrix, up to 96 input channels and 40 multi-configurable internal buses, the learning curve will be as short as the feature list is long.

The D5 Live software provides flexibility i

We Will Rock You
Friday, 6 September 2002

So here’s the thing. I’m no expert in this theatre lark - is anyone? - but it seems to me that if your message is that the music business has gone bad, producing fake stars who do dull dance routines synchronized to synthesized backgrounds just to extract the maximum amount of cash from the fans . . . then the best medium for presenting that message is perhaps not a musical which heads dangerously close to that style, and for which you charge in the order of £40 per ticket.

But hey, a couple of thousand screaming Queen fans a night (after a slow start, ticket sales picked up following the cast’s promotional efforts at the real Queen’s Jubilee celebrations) suggest that the producers of We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre (the Queen back catalogue in the style of Stars in their Eyes, with Nigel Planer reviving his own old Young Ones role as an ageing hippy) know more than I do, though one suspects that the show will have to continue that success for some time to make its investment back (fit-ups measured in months rather than weeks do not come cheap).

Some of the money is visible on stage (particularly the tracking-and-flying LED video walls from Lighthouse, fed by Blitz’s new HRS graphics system, and run via Brilliant Stages’ motion control and Vertigo’s rigging, which re-arrange themselves into many different patterns during the show) and some if your eye wanders over to the technical infrastructure (let’s just say that the circle front conductor monitors appear to be plasma screens).

The show tells the story of

Lighthouse screens with Tomas LedinLighthouse screens with Tomas Ledin
Friday, 23 August 2002

Lighthouse LED screens, supplied by Massteknik, Scandinavia’s foremost giant screen provider, played a huge role in the visual aspect of the recent month-long tour by Sweden’s best-known and most popular artist, Tomas Ledin. A total of 77 panels of Lighthouse LVP1010D LED video screen (10mm pixel pitch, 1000 nits of brightness) was divided between three screens which tracked from side to side across the stage, forming either one giant screen of 11 x 7 panels (7.04 x 3.36m), or three smaller individual screens, with the centre screen being larger than the two outer screens.

Throughout the month of July, the tour visited open-air venues in no less than 30 cities around Sweden, sometimes on consecutive nights, with each concert attracting crowds of up to 10,000 people. This is the second year running that Massteknik has provided Ledin¹s entire video solution and, to make such a gruelling schedule possible, the stage, provided by Starlight Staging of Sweden, is built on the chassis of a truck so that it can be more easily moved from place to place. This truck has a built-in stage roof on top of a truss structure, with the screens being hung from the truss. To enable them to track from side to side with the necessary precision, Massteknik helped to design custom-built motors, with movement accurate to within 10mm, to provide a seamless screen when the three became one.

Video production, also provided by Massteknik, was from an OB truck located behind the stage. Three separate video feeds, each with its own content, were supplied to the individual screens and als

Electrosonic at Opel in BerlinElectrosonic at Opel in Berlin
Friday, 23 August 2002

About 600 guests, including the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and many famous politicians and actors, attended the recent opening of the new Opel Co-ordination Centre in Berlin. With a permanent exhibition of the latest models and numerous changing displays, ‘Opel in Berlin’ will be a genuine attraction for visitors. Art exhibitions and lectures will be staged and there is an ‘Auto-Media Café’ for the general public too. The whole exhibition was designed by Stadler Project of Offenbach, who were also the project managers.

Working with Scheiner Interaktive Medien of Langenfeld, who were responsible for the AV design and project management, Electrosonic supplied and installed all of the audio-visual systems in ‘Opel in Berlin’. On the ground floor the visitor can surf the world of cars in the Auto-Media Café, where there are 10 interactive displays, with Intranet and Internet connection, using 15" LCD Monitors and Trackball. Then they can follow the fascinating development process of a new car- ‘from the first vision to the latest Vectra’. Here there is a 15" 3D display, three Touchscreens, six LCD displays and an interactive LCD. The whole area uses eight channels of Electrosonic Video Server.

In the car showroom area, Electrosonic installed a 42" plasma display, a 15" LCD touchscreen, also served by an Electrosonic video server, together with four channels of Electrosonic ESTA Tapeless Audio. Also on the ground floor is the range of safety components which are built into Opel cars, displayed on

PLASA’s 25th Birthday Party
Friday, 23 August 2002

Sunday 8 September - 7.30pm till late . . .

This year the PLASA Show is celebrating its 25th year, and it’s something we’d like to share with as many exhibitors and visitors as possible. So, we’re hosting a PLASA Party on the evening of Sunday 8th September at 'The Bridge' (underneath London Bridge) - one of London’s newest venues, to which everyone is welcome. The all-inclusive tickets are just £50.00 (plus VAT) and include a champagne reception, buffet supper and all you can drink. Not to mention the chance to dance until late.

For further information call Mikaela Fenton-Jones on +44 (0)207 370 8207.

Quentor launch new Q-Fix range at PLASA
Wednesday, 21 August 2002

Quentor introduced its System Q Cases in 1996. Strong, good looking, weight saving products designed specifically for the demanding environment of Formula One motor racing, their benefits have been readily embraced by other industries.

Now the company has introduced its Quentor Q-Fix flightcases, which feature a new level of accuracy of manufacture almost unknown in the flightcase industry. The cases utilize a new, patented construction system offering unique, high strength and quality assembly. Quentor Q-Fix Cases are available in standard sizes or custom-built in almost any size, style, and colour. They are ideal for many applications within the AV, broadcasting and entertainment industries. The range includes trunks and racks, together with more specialized cases for lighting, cameras, and other AV equipment. The cases are available ready-assembled or as a flat-pack system, making them ideal for distributors/stockists or for users where space is at a premium.

Quentor can be found on stand C29.

Creative Technology flies the flag at Farnborough
Wednesday, 21 August 2002

CT Exhibitions, through its London and NEC offices, supplied audio-visual services to a number of design and production companies with clients participating at the Farnborough International 2002 air show (July 22-28). Specialists in providing the technical infrastructures for exhibition displays, the two operations pooled both their expertise and their equipment resources.

Design company IEDS contracted CT to equip two locations for its client, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd, by providing plasma screens, DVD players and a 6ft x 4ft screen running off an NEC LT155 video projector in the hospitality chalet area. General Dynamics’ stand display was in the form of a multimedia projection show featuring four pods based around Samsung LCD monitors, along with a further two Barco 6400s, a 40" plasma display, control equipment and audio reinforcement. A significant amount of LED screen was also supplied elsewhere within the event. CT Exhibitions account manager Trudy Taylor confirmed that this included the AV fit-out for Parker Aerospace, via 4 Sight Design Group, with a 6 x 5 Barco i10 high-brightness LED screen, displaying content from a Sony DVD player.

Another of CT’s clients was Meggitt, for whom they supplied a 3 x 3 cube wall via Global Displays Ltd, while the company also supplied further kit to other participants on a dry hire basis. Trudy Taylor summarised: "Once again CT has shown it can respond collaboratively to the quite different AV requirements of a number of design and production companies, thanks to our combined equipment resources a

New developments from CrestronNew developments from Crestron
Tuesday, 20 August 2002

Crestron has extended its popular line of handheld, wireless RF touch panels with the arrival of the ST-1700C. This is the industry’s only active matrix display, producing stunning on-screen picture resolution from 64,000 colours. In addition, the ST-1700C provides five engravable push buttons down each side, for quick and easy ‘one-touch’ control. The ST-1700 features new fast-charging long-life NiMh batteries, and is compatible with the CNRFGWA RF gateway. A two-way version (STX-1700C) is also available to allow feedback from RS232 devices on the panel.

Crestron has also announced the addition of a ‘mini-tilt’, one-hand-control extension to its award-winning Isys high-resolution touch panels. The smallest of Crestron’s table-top versions, the TPS-3000 touch-panel provides the industry’s highest resolution (640 x 480) on a 6.4" active matrix display and 64,000 colour graphics from its Isys engine. Multiple graphics can be displayed on the TPS-3000 without any shift in colour depth or quality. The panel also supports real-time video as standard and can accommodate balanced or unbalanced video, S-Video or composite.

The touch-panel’s audio capabilities include stereo audio speakers offering built-in volume control, a built-in microphone and built-in WAV sound file capability. Furthermore, it places centralized, fingertip control of any device including integration and control of audio, video and computer signals, and boasts full Internet compatibility. The TPS-3000 also comes with optional accessories.

(Lee Baldock)

Stardraw increases sales force in US
Monday, 19 August 2002 has appointed Lee Bennett to the position of National Rep Manager in the US. Bennett will be responsible for managing Stardraw's rep force whose principal responsibility is the sale of Stardraw's ‘shrink-wrapped’ product range. Inc president Randell Green sees Bennett's appointment as representing a vital link in the chain and an opportunity for Green to concentrate on other areas of the business. "In addition to seeing continued growth in our traditional markets, we are also expanding into new sectors such as custom development for manufacturers," said Green. "Lee will ensure that we continue to offer excellent support for our established core activities, thus enabling me to focus on emerging business opportunities."

(Ruth Rossington)

Lighthouse Screen SuccessLighthouse Screen Success
Friday, 16 August 2002

Lighthouse recently held its first Open Days at Shepperton Studios in Middlesex, where it gave the first European showing of its new LVP0630 and LVP1050 high resolution, high brightness LED screens, and followed on from a highly successful Infocomm exhibition, where confirmed orders for the new products topped $4 million.

Over 100 attendees, including both existing Lighthouse rental partners, integrators and potential new customers from around Europe and the UK, viewed the state-of-the-art screens in the art gallery-style setting of The Orangery, in the heart of the world-famous studios. The ultra-high brightness LVP1050 (10mm pixel pitch, 5000 nits brightness), and the high definition LVP0630 (6mm pixel pitch, 3000 nits) both feature Lighthouse’s new M4 technology. At 5000 nits, the LVP1050 is the world’s first outdoor SMD (Surface Mount Device) LED video screen. It features Lighthouse’s unique M4 Uniformity Control (which brings TV quality images to the giant screen), the Quarter Bin sorting process and 13-bit processing to produce one of the highest performance LED screens available, displaying 16.7 million shades of colour.

Lighthouse international sales and marketing director, Graham Burgess commented: "The number of people attending from all over Europe points to the tremendous interest in these new products, and we were very pleased to be able to show them to such good effect in these wonderful surroundings. We’re looking forward to attaining the high volume of orders in Europe that we have already done in the United States."

Round Table sessions address Industry Issues
Friday, 16 August 2002

L&SI magazine is running two Round Table discussion sessions during the forthcoming PLASA Show (September 8-11, Earls Court 1, London) designed to address some of the most central issues in the industry.

The first session Freelance Rates - Due for Review? will focus on the current rates of pay for freelancers, which over the years have shown a downward trend in real terms, and will be led by a panel of industry professionals on both sides of the fence. The second session, Discounting Rental Rates: Is it Economic Madness? will look at discounting in rental markets, and how companies may be devaluing the services they provide in their attempts to undercut competitors. Once again, the panel will be drawn from those who deal with these issues on a daily basis.

The Freelance Rates session will take place on Monday 9 September at 3pm in the Westminster Room on the Mezzanine Level of Earls Court 1.The Discounting Rental Rates session will take place on Tuesday 10 September at 3pm in the Westminster Room on the Mezzanine Level of Earls Court 1.Both sessions are free for all to attend, but as space is limited, we would ask that you register in advance by contacting Jane Cockburn at PLASA Media at the e-mail address below:

Rosco Range at PLASA
Thursday, 15 August 2002

Rosco has a wealth of new, interesting and innovative products to be seen this year. The award winning ImageProGobo Slide Projector will be demonstrated on the stand allowing visitors to see how easy and effective it is to use. Also on stand will be catalogue of hundreds of images which have been specially selected for their value in theatre, opera, ballet, television and concerts. A CD containing the images is available from Rosco or available via the company’s website.

For traditional metal gobo users, Rosco has produced 60 new designs, including cloud images, break ups, windows and abstract graphics. Again, the entire range of over 900 other images can be seen on the Rosco website. Some or all of these new gobos can be used in the new Rosco Vortex 360 Single/Double Gobo Rotator. This new product offers excellent flexibility in a low cost package and can rotate one or two steel or glass gobos at fixed or variable speed. The speed of rotation can be set through a switch adjustment on the plug (for fixed speed) or by lowering the dimmer (for variable speeds). The Vortex 360 doesn’t require an additional power supply - the transformer plug can be plugged directly into a wall outlet or, using a low cost adapter, into a dimmer. The Vortex 360 fits the iris slot of such fixtures as the ETC Source Four, the Altman Shakespeare, the Strand SL, the Selecon Pacific and many similar instruments.

Rosco’s range of decorative material for events, promotions or theatrical design has been greatly expanded, updated and modernised. The materials have been improved, and

Distribute video and audio signals over low cost CAT5
Wednesday, 14 August 2002

AutoPatch, manufacturer of high performance and customizable audio, video and digital signal switching and routing equipment, has released its new Modula CAT5 Matrix Switchers and Point-to-Point transmitters/receivers. Users can now reduce the overall installed cost of a system by routing and distributing S-Video/Stereo or 2 x Composite/Stereo, point-to-point over 300m of unshielded twisted-pair (CAT5). In addition using the new AutoPatch Modula Matrix Switcher with CAT5 cards, users can achieve true Matrix configurations up to 32 x 32, 4 x 60 and 60 x 4 in a single 3U enclosure. RGBHV models will be released by the end of the year.

(Ruth Rossington)

Stardraw launches first web-based application
Wednesday, 14 August 2002

Software provider is to launch the world's first web-based CAD system. is a tool that allows users to design and document integrated systems through a browser using an on-line library of over 30,000 industry-specific symbols. represents the introduction of web-based technology which incorporates tools and data for all of the niche markets addressed by Stardraw's conventional software packages including Stardraw Audio, Stardraw AV, Stardraw Lighting 2D, Stardraw Professional and Stardraw Radio. As a result, users can now customize their symbol sets drawing from any or all of the above libraries according to individual requirements. Stardraw MD David Snipp explains: "Our conventional applications have established the sorts of tools that integrators find easy to use and valuable for system design and documentation. The web-based application has been written from the ground up to provide comparable functionality, but it is designed to run within a web page. Furthermore it encompasses everything we have ever done within our conventional 2D applications across a variety of markets, making it all accessible under the single heading of This is brand new technology and we believe we are the first company in the world to offer full CAD capability via the web."

Where traditional software is shipped on CD and installed, Stardraw’s web-based application is delivered through HTML pages, using tools which download themselves as and when they are needed. All of the functionality, for instance Cut, Copy, Paste commands


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