Video and AV News

Illuminating Video
Wednesday, 8 November 2000

Visitors from the lighting and creative media worlds were given a unique preview of the kinetic future when Screenco fronted a two-day Illuminated Video Workshop at Three Mills Island Studios recently.

In association with a prime team of concert service providers, including Vari-Lite Production Services, Avolites, Stage One Creative Services, Creative Technology, Aerial Camera Systems, SSE Hire, ShowSec and Vertigo Rigging, the experimental two-day interactive workshop graphically highlighted how the boundaries between the rapidly-converging disciplines of automated lighting and video displays are being pushed back. The workshop was the brainchild of Screenco’s Mike Walker, whose vision for the event was born out of a desire to bring the creative skills of video and lighting together. Production manager for the event was Adam Wildi at Hothouse, assisted by Mary Jefferson from Tiger Productions.

Two leading show lighting designers - Vince Foster and Nick Jevons - were asked by Screenco to blend their visual techniques, with each pursuing a completely different path in two large studios, back to back. For Foster, and VL Virtuoso board operator Theo Cox, it was a conventional live concert stage with a widescreen video display, and for Jevons it was a fast-changing club/dance environment, working in conjunction with DJ Callum Wordsworth to deliver spectacular colour-changing set elements, interacting with live video graphics.

In Studio 8 Vince Foster had produced the 3D visualisation for the band show and presented Theo Cox with the CAD drawings to carry out his o

Screenco Invest Heavily in Training
Friday, 3 November 2000

Recognising the importance of operational competence and compliance with Health & Safety Executive guidelines in event production, i-mag specialists Screenco recently held intensive back-to-back four-day training programmes in Holland and the UK for its staff and freelance crews. Overseeing the workshops at Screenco's mainland European base, just outside Rotterdam, were general manager Jeroen Jongenelen, Graham Filmer and Avesco plc's in-house Health & Safety Officer, Phil Roberts (with managing director Dave Crump replacing Jongenelen in the UK organising team). In Holland 20 freelancers and ten staff took the opportunity to increase their knowledge while in the UK some 30 freelancers and 15 staff attended.

Christie Inc and Christie Digital Systems Inc Join Forces
Thursday, 19 October 2000

Sister companies Christie Inc and Christie Digital Systems Inc plan to form one company under the name Christie Digital Systems. The merger, expected to be finalised in April next year, will create one company dedicated to providing projection solutions for cinemas, conference centres, large venues, the rental and staging markets, and the emerging digital cinema marketplace. Under the new organisation, Christie Digital Systems Inc will maintain headquarters in Cypress, California and Kitchener, Canada. The company will continue to operate regional sales and marketing offices in Canada, Europe, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Manufacturing operations will be based in California and Canada.

CP Sound Expands and Moves
Monday, 16 October 2000

CP Sound, creative audio, lighting and AV designer and installer, is moving to a newly-acquired, hugely expanded premises in central Staines. CP Sound's operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that it has outgrown the site in Chertsey that has contained it for the last three years. The new building, workshops, warehouse space and offices are part of a purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow CP Sound's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. It will also enhance its already well-established quality of service.As from today the company's new contact, the new contact details are Unit 3 Tim's Boat Yard, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3JZ. Tel: +44 1784 461614.

Blitz's Silver Successes
Wednesday, 11 October 2000

AV specialists Blitz Communications picked up two Silver Awards at the Marketing Event Awards 2000, held at the London Hilton recently. Nominated twice in the 'Best Supplier - On Site' category, Blitz won Silver for both. The first nomination was for its work with HP:ICM on the Opel Agila and Astra Coupe European Dealer launch - an event which itself won the Gold Award for 'Best Product Launch'. The second was for the launch of a new pharmaceutical firm, Aventis, for which Blitz's three divisions - Blitz Vision, Blitz Interactive and TP Sound Services - put together a highly complex system.

The Art of Grass
Monday, 2 October 2000

Combine photographic imagery with photosynthesis and what do you get? An amazing 10ft high by 11ft wide image in grass that is currently on display at the V&A in London, acting as a reminder of the original appearance of the V&A's 14th century Devonshire Hunting tapestries. Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have explored the art of grass before (you may recall seeing it in L&SI) but needed technical expertise for their most recent project and turned to Wyatt Enever at DHA. Using a technique similar to that used to transfer continuous-tone images onto glass gobos, Enever converted a continuous tone image into a random-dot break up and then, transferred this to film which could withstand high temperatures. A Pani projector was then used to project the image onto a frame of earth containing germinated grass seed, which then grew in relation to the amount of light projected. The grass was allowed to dry and the result is an incredible sepia photographic images depicted in grass.

Caribiner International Announces New Brand
Monday, 18 September 2000

Caribiner International has launched a new name and identity. The company will be known as Jack Morton Worldwide after merging with its American counterpart of the same name. The company has an impressive client list and was responsible for the public arena installations in the Millennium Dome and at the Hanover World Expo 2000. Recent projects include the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremonies, The Royal Military Tattoo and the Queen Mother Celebrations on Horse Guards Parade. The new combined company represents a worldwide community of over 1200 people in more than 30 locations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. William Morton is chairman and chief executive, located in New York, whilst Josh McCall, located in Boston, has been named president and chief operating officer. Lois Jacobs, based in London, becomes executive vice president, regional director, Europe and Asia-Pacific, responsible for the growth and profitability of the company's operations in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She joins the executive committee having previously served as chairman of Caribiner Europe, and remains as executive chairman of the London Operation.

John Lethbridge Launches On-Line Auction Service
Thursday, 14 September 2000

John Lethbridge, founder and ex-managing director of Cerebrum Lighting and a former vice-chairman of PLASA, has launched a brand new on-line Internet auction site through his new company, Cereco International Ltd. will specialise in offering new and ex-demonstration audio, lighting, AV and effects equipment - all of which carries a 12-month guarantee.The auctions are free to enter for buyers and sellers and unusually, for an e-commerce operation, buyers do not have to give any credit card details. All sellers will be carefully vetted as Cereco will provide a money back guarantee to any dissatisfied buyers. Instructions on how to take part are available on-line in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese and products are offered in six different currencies. New auctions will start every Thursday evening and run for 10 days, finishing on a Sunday evening (UK time).

Sony to Manufacture Projectors in Barcelona
Friday, 8 September 2000

Sony Broadcast and Professional Europe has announced its intention to start the European production of its ultra portable liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors at its existing manufacturing plant in Barcelona, Spain. Sony hopes that the move will increase production efficiency, shorten delivery times and improve after-sales service in the European market. The plant is scheduled to produce 50,000 LCD projectors in its first year rising to 100,000 units in 2002.

Getting a Life in AV
Monday, 4 September 2000

Creative Technical Services has installed a dnp-fronted AV environment, supplied by exclusive UK distributor, Paradigm AV Ltd, into Cardiff's Life nightclub - the latest in a string of Luminar Leisure ventures. The installation by CTS is part of an ongoing commitment by Luminar Leisure to embrace leading edge technology and develop an AV policy throughout its establishments. The installation featured four 6ft x 4ft dnp wide-angle rear projection screens, in conjunction with Sony S900projectors.

Conference Cast - Casting the Net Wider
Monday, 4 September 2000

Presentation Services, the specialist AV and staging division of the Gearhouse Group, has announced a new alliance with computer networking specialists, Madge.web. The two have launched ConferenceCast,, which will specialise in the broadcast of corporate and live video and audio events over the internet. A high-profile launch on Wednesday 23 August, at the Whitbread Brewery in London, featured a full conference set and live streaming media demonstrations. For both Madge.web and PSL, ConferenceCast is a logical extension to their existing areas of specialisation. Madge.web is one of a few companies worldwide to offer an integrated service of managed networking, VPNs, streaming media and web and application hosting. The company has recently opened a new Network Broadcast Centre in Wokingham. PSL, meanwhile, is perfectly situated to provide the dedicated web-encoded front-end AV Hardware, having at its disposal one of the largest stocks of presentation technology.

New Distributors for Gearhouse Optiscreen
Wednesday, 30 August 2000

PublicScreen & Lightsystem has joined the growing family of Optiscreen distributors enabling Gearhouse Special Projects to supply more screens to more end users through its specialist distribution force. PublicScreen & Lightsystem have offices in both the UK and Germany and the latest in the Optiscreen family of products will be launched on its stand at Photokina at the end of September.

Information Highlighted at Euston Station
Tuesday, 22 August 2000

Leading systems integrator Integrated Circles has installed an outdoor rear projection display screen for Railtrack. Situated on the main square at London's Euston Station, the screen forms the focal point for the information window display seen by tens of thousands of commuters every day. Simon Beer, MD of Integrated Circles, was concerned about the ambient light levels in the station, and after carrying out tests, opted for a combination of the dnp 84" Black Stripe screen with Sanyo XF 10N LCD projector, offering 3000 ANSI Lumens. Beer told us: "It's all about delivering contrast, because a washed-out image is often quite bright enough - it's just that the ambient light is overpowering the dark parts of the picture. So the combination of contrast enhancement filter systems from dnp and good contrast from the Sanyo has made this very successful." The system was provided by Paradigm AV, the UK distributor for dnp.

Avesco and Christie Sign Major Contract
Thursday, 17 August 2000

In a major expansion of its global projection rental fleet, the Avesco Group has placed a substantial order with Christie Digital Systems which will further extend Avesco's foothold as a leader in the rental staging marketplace. In a deal that will be worth more than US $5 million in total, Avesco will invest in a quantity of Christie Digital's projectors - specifically, the award-winning Roadie X10, Roadster X6 and Roadster X4. With initial delivery of 40 projectors, the new stock will be distributed between Creative Technology's expanding North American interests, while in the UK, holding company Avesco plc will place the equipment with its subsidiaries, including Creative Technology and Media Control Ltd.

dnp Provides Casino AV Solution
Tuesday, 15 August 2000

South Africa's Carnival City Casino, Johannesburg, is a multi-entertainment venue on a grand scale. The complex includes a casino with 1,750 slot machines, six cinemas, three bars, five restaurants, two coffee shops, six boutiques, a children's entertainments area, several business suites, two hotels and an arena with a capacity of 5,000 people for major events. As well as all this, the casino boasts one of the most impressive AV display solutions ever installed in this type of venue. Throughout the casino, large rear-projection screens show sports events, betting information plus output from a video jukebox. In the Salon Prive, guests can relax while watching video or a major sports event on the large rear projection screens. In the SuperSport Action Bar, four of dnp's new 120" wide angle screens above the bar are capable of showing multiple sporting events simultaneously. A fifth screen displays betting information and racing events. Additional screens are installed in the Casino's Main Area, Superbet, Boutique and Studio venues. The installation includes a total of 12 dnp Black Stripe and New Wide Angle Screens powered by BARCO projectors. The AV solution is installed by dnp's South African distributor, Questek.

Electrosonic Opens Fourth US Office
Friday, 11 August 2000

Electrosonic has opened a new office serving the New York, Philadelphia and Washington area of the USA. Over the past few years, Electrosonic Systems Inc has achieved significant growth in the US audio-visual market, and the new office provides engineering design and support services to the company's corporate, design and consultant customers in the area. Although the unit is self-sufficient, it is able to draw on the resources of Electrosonic's existing USA offices (Minneapolis MN, Burbank CA, and Orlando FL). Conveniently located near Princeton, NJ, the office is managed by Andrew Kidd. Apart from a two year sabbatical, during which he acquired an MBA degree, Andrew has worked for Electrosonic for 22 years in engineering and project management positions around the world. The team at the New York Area office includes expert staff recruited locally, and experienced Electrosonic hands re-located from other Electrosonic offices.The new Electrosonic office is located at: 11H Princess Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648, USA. Tel: +1.609 219 9494 Fax: +1 609 219 1538

Numbers Change at PLASA Publishing
Friday, 4 August 2000

Our telephone numbers at PLASA Publishing have changed. The old number - 01323 642639- has now been replaced by a new number - 01323 418400. Callers to the old number will, for the time being, be redirected to the new one automatically. The PLASA office number remains 01323 410335, although each member of staff at head office will now also have a direct line. The fax number for the entire office - 01323 646905 - remains unchanged.

Cricket's New Look Features Screenco LED screens
Monday, 31 July 2000

Following on from its three-year contract to provide giant outdoor screens at all major international cricket matches and the NatWest Final in the UK, Screenco is also now supplying screens for the Norwich Union National Cricket League for this summer's season. Organised by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the Norwich Union National Cricket League is a series of 45-over matches between 18 first class County Clubs, including over 20 floodlit games starting at 4pm and finishing after dark, necessitating the installation of temporary floodlights at the grounds. A total of 20 Norwich Union NCL matches televised on Sky Sports will feature a 32sq.m 25mm pixel pitch LED screens provided by Screenco, along with bespoke aluminium goal post support structures, mains power and peripheral branding facilities.

Telex Relocates Corporate HQ
Friday, 28 July 2000

Telex Communications Inc has moved its corporate headquarters to a new location in the Minneapolis area. The new building will house all sales, marketing, engineering and administrative functions for Telex Communications and its professional audio, wireless and multimedia communications products. The new address is 12000 Portland Ave. South, Burnsville, MN, 55337. The main telephone number remains the same, with a new area code: 952-884-4051.The move, which significantly expands Telex's space to approximately 115,000sq.ft, was brought about by strong performance across all the company's product lines and the need to position the company for future. Telex, which employs 300 people in Minneapolis, will maintain its manufacturing facility in Buchanan, MI, which had once been the home of Electro-Voice and its related brands.

Sony and Leisuretec Team Up
Thursday, 27 July 2000

Sony Broadcast & Professional UK and Leisuretec Distribution Ltd have announced a strategic distribution agreement that sees the two companies identifying major growth in the sound reinforcement, audio visual and public address markets. The agreement covers the Sony pro audio range, including sound reinforcement products, effects units, wired microphones, Freedom wireless mics, DAT CD and Minidisc, which Leisuretec will now offer from its 14,000sq.ft stock sourcing facility in Leighton Buzzard.

DNP Launches High Image Contrast Screen
Tuesday, 18 July 2000

Paradigm Audio Visual has introduced a new screen with exceptionally high image contrast for control rooms and other similar environments. The dnp Black Bead Screen, like other double element screens in the dnp range, utilises a Fresnel element to capture and redirect the projected light. Uniquely, however, the Black Bead screen incorporates a single layer of tiny glass beads set within a thin film of black material. A maximum area of each bead is exposed at the rear of the screen, facing the projector - with only a small surface area exposed on the viewing side. This configuration not only maximises the actual image contrast, but it also enhances the perceived contrast - because the screen appears black when nothing is being projected. The Black Bead screen offers wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles, virtually infinite resolution, but at a relatively low gain.

Paradigm Announces First Ever Holo Screen
Wednesday, 12 July 2000

Paradigm Audio Visual has announced the arrival of the latest innovation from Danish projection specialists, DNP. The Holo Screen, a holographic rear-projection screen designed specifically for point of sale applications, was launched at the recent Infocomm exhibition in California, USA. The DNP Holo Screen is a hologram in the form of a thin film laminated to an acrylic substrate. This hologram will only respond to light striking it from specific angles - in this case exactly 35°. This allows the screen to be hung anywhere in free space, with the projector hidden away from view. From the viewing side, an image of almost perfect 3D-quality can be seen apparently suspended in thin air. This new medium allows further scope for creativity in content and images than has previously been possible, and enables the use of existing video, computer and still image material. The hologram is so selective about the direction from which it receives the light that it is suitable for use in even the most glaring of ambient light situations, such as shop windows. The DNP Holo Screen is activated solely by a projector modified to throw a trapezoid image at a 35° angle that translates as a perfectly square image. The DNP Holo Screen is now shipping and is available from Paradigm Audio Visual, exclusive distributors for DNP Denmark A/S in the UK.

Expanding the Ranks at Paradigm
Wednesday, 12 July 2000

Paradigm Audio Visual Ltd has expanded its ranks to include new sales manager, Mick Perrone. The rear projection technology specialist is expanding due to a successful business relationship with Danish rear projection manufacturers, DNP Denmark A/S. Perrone brings to the role qualifications in computer technology as well as experience in account management.

SNP Group Takes the Tennis to Southfields
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

Tennis fans departing from Southfields Tube Station, the nearest stop to Wimbledon 2000, have this year found something else to stare at other than their shoes. Sponsors TDI and IBM, have transformed the station into a tennis haven - the length of the platform features astroturf tennis courts, fan-suspended tennis balls, and hanging baskets. Also present is a huge 2.1 metre by 1.6 metre Clarity Visual Systems cube wall, displaying an edited video of past Wimbledon champions in a heated rally. The cube wall, provided by SNP Group, is the first to ever be installed on an Underground station.


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