July 2011 - Issue 143
Showtech 2011 took place in early June, with over 322 exhibitors in attendance at the Berlin Exhibition Centre.
Showtech has been a leading international trade show for 25 years, presenting innovations and developments from professional lighting, media and staging technology. Manufacturers, hire companies, distributors and production design and solution experts offer stage, lighting, audio and media technology demos and services for use in fixed installation design, festivals, tours and theatre performances.
Martin Professional launched a new catalogue with a 9th version of its product guide. With some of the most dynamic lighting and visuals for the stage and studio, the latest in LED-based lights and video displays to lighting control systems, media servers and Martin smoke machines, a huge variety of products were on show, including: EC-20TM, a new generation of indoor and outdoor LED screens, combining low weight and creativity with state-of-the-art image quality. It boasts a 20mm pixel pitch.
The MAC 350 EntourTM is a cutting-edge LED profile fixture that surpasses what has previously been possible in terms of brightness (8000 lumens), efficiency and compactness in a hard edge LED fixture. Featuring proprietary LED technology, it is the market’s first real alternative to traditional HID-based profile fixtures.
DMX 5.3 SplitterTM / RDM 5.5 SplitterTM are new Martin Splitters available to ensure proper data transmission levels and economically protect controllers and DMX/RDM devices. Both Splitters are useful in maintaining proper data levels over long runs or several runs of DMX signal with the RDM 5.5 Splitter also capable of effectively handling RDM data.
Beside the grandMA2 lighting consoles from MA Lighting, there is also a grandMA2 replay unit available. Its 19” housing enables easy integration into control room racks. Furthermore the grandMA2 replay unit offers all functions and features of the grandMA2 system.
The grandMA2 replay unit is especially recommended as an architectural lighting control or easy mountable backup unit. It is a very safe playback/master controller, because to avoid faulty operations there are no built-in faders or buttons. Instead, using the integrated touch screen or a mouse and a keyboard connected via USB operates the unit.
Art Lighting Production offered a new catalogue, which contains in-depth details on the AHR, CHR, DPR, FHR, Pipe and Golem series from basic luminaries to low voltage halogen fixtures.
Following on from Frankfurt’s launch, the Berlin leg of the Arri product tour unveiled a new range of suspension equipment for TV studios and theatres that incorporated pantograms, hoists, rail systems and carriages. Arri’s cable pantograms are available in two product families: manual, pole operated and the motorised version.
Also worth noting is Arri’s self-climbing hoists. They can lift a capacity of 800kg and travel up to 14 metres. The ARRISUN 18 system continues to be a success after a 10 year history and so a sister fixture, entitled AS18 Event has been developed for the event industry. The L-Series of LED Fresnels also made an appearance.
ADB Lighting Technologies showed its new Freedom and Liberty lighting control desks which launched in Frankfurt. Introducing a new generation of intuitive and creative control for every type of light, the MIKAPACK 15 and 30 dimmer ranges are designed to enhance programming functionality and flexibility for the entry-level market. MIKAPACK is a range of six channel or 12 channel 3kW all-digital dimmer packs.
Leader Light’s LED range extended to a new 2011 catalogue and a display consisting of some of last year’s best-known products. A new and convenient alternative to LL Arc Line series is the A3. The range contains top class LEDs using AC current without any additional converter with accurate and uniform light distribution.
The A3 family boasts a long service lifetime of 35 000 hours. LL A3 Line offers two colour temperatures – optionally 3000°K (Ra is ~ 80) or 6300°K (Ra is ~ 65). It is an ideal solution for floodlighting surfaces and areas with white light.
Philips Entertainment Lighting (PEL) showcased a raft of lighting solutions from its flagship brands: Philips Selecon, Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Vari-lite.
The Philips Entertainment team also demonstrated the latest developments in LED and intelligent luminaries alongside its dimming, control and distribution solutions. Besides well-known models such as the Philips Selecon PL1 LED Spot and PL3 LED Wash lights were the brand new Philips Selecon Wing LED Wall Washer and Philips Vari-lite VLX3, the VL440, VL770 and VL880.
Speciality lamp and LED distributors MGC were displaying various entertainment lighting options including products by Osram and Philips.
ETC’s range of control desks, including Congo Kid – the latest addition to the Congo line – was on show. Congo Kid offers a style and power of lighting control, which will be familiar to users, in an affordable package designed for smaller venues. The desk is self-contained, with 40 master faders and all the controls from the Congo Jr built into a portable console. It works perfectly either as a fully independent main desk or back-up desk for smaller shows.
ETC’s new Selador Desire range allowed visitors to experience the quality and power of ETC’s x7 Color System in a PAR shaped housing. Desire is a selection of wash lights including Lustr+, Vivid, Fire, Ice and Studio variants which complement the company’s Selador Classic LED range. Each is optimised for specific lighting needs.
Before Selador, it was thought that LED simply wasn’t up to the task of theatre lighting; however, the x7 Color System adds four more colours to the traditional RGB mix, radically expanding the colour range and power.
Also new in ETC’s lighting range is a Fresnel luminaire, which offers the controlled washlight and soft focus area lighting you can only get from barn-doored Fresnels. The special ETC dichroic reflector design enables Source Four Fresnel equipped with HPL 750W lamp to equal the lumens output of other manufacturers’ 1000W Fresnel fixtures. The unit has a unique Quick eXchange lamp socket, accessible from the bottom access door, enabling relamping without breaking focus.
JB Lighting’s LICON 2X is a lighting console for live application characterised by a clear structure, easy operation and reliable hardware. Combining two multi-touch screens, and 24 motor faders, fast programming is ensured. Similar to the A12, the A8 also features a newly developed optical system, allowing the same 8o - 48o zoom.
The A8 uses a total of 37 RGBW multi-chip LEDs as a light source. Now, to the star of the show for JB Lighting, the award winning A12, which is affectionately, called ‘the beamwash’. The design is said to be JB-Lighting’s perfect LED washlight, using a total of 61 RGBW multi-chip LEDs, and produces a low-noise policy.
Schnick Schnack Systems had a grand display of LED panels. The C60-50 was ready for connection via 4-pin XLR cable and serves as a complement to the successful C100 LED panel. 144 individually controlled, high-sorted and RGB-LED backlighting reach an area of 60x60 cm. It may be combined in a short time to a variety of surfaces and in conjunction with the system power supply, it is 4E from any lighting desk, as controlled by media servers and video converters.
VISUAL MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
Pro Systems Groups featured heavily on catalyst media server software. Four different Catalyst v4 software versions – an Apple product with compatible hardware components – enables a solution orientated towards budget. In contrast to many PC or Linux based media servers, the Catalyst Media Server has no restrictions concerning substituting hardware.
Christie was on top form, at the forefront of partner stand Videlco. Christie’s NitroSolutions are integrated digital luminarie systems, designed for staging and event applications. Enabling bright, vivid images and video and effects to be projected onto virtually any surface.
Also in view was the Spyder X20, a versatile hardware-based video processor combined with the flexibility of a universal routing switcher. Its integrated source monitoring enables simultaneous, real-time, full-frame rate monitoring of all inputs. Videlco’s 42 Controls modules are now compatible with Vista Systems, Christie, Picturall, Lightware, TV One, Electrosonic and Flexible Picture Systems to name a few.
HB Laser had an impressive display at its stand thanks to its HyperCube booth. The result of creative work with the LightCube Next Gen technology series, (which boasts an easy to handle operation which is compatible with video projectors), Hypercube has created a new visual dimension.
The Light Cube Next Gen is designed specifically for mobile applications, enabling the technology to operate and thrive in various environments whereas HyperCube uses just a few laser systems with the effect multiplied by mirrored, reflective coating on the cube walls.
Coolux GmbH’s new Widget Designer PRO is a stand-alone program that extends the feature set available in the Widget Designer STD. The Widget Designer PRO comes with a node based programming environment that allows the creation of various interaction scenarios.
The available input, filter and output nodes represent building blocks that receive, process and output control data. The incoming data can be manipulated with filtering nodes while output nodes route the data to any Pandoras Box parameter or external application.
TRUSSING, STAGING & CASING
XL Video gathered on a stand with LED flooring bringing the eye line up to an interchangeable backdrop of male mannequins and female silhouettes - needless to say, a popular meeting point throughout the two-day exhibition!
Martin Professional showed its weighty portfolio of lighting and video display products which aim to enhance the theatrical environment. The EC-20 LED display panel combines the image quality and precision of conventional high-resolution screens (20mm pixel pitch) with the creativity and low weight of mesh type screens. The EC-20 is semi-transparent and is designed for fast setup and teardown in combination with maximum flexibility and easy serviceability.
TRUSSING AND STAGING
After successfully launching in April at the Frankfurt Messe, CyberMotion developed by XLNT Advanced Technologies made its Showtech début. It is designed not only to change the philosophy of motion control but also to open the horizons of stage engineering.
Case Pack Poland’s flight case-based technology such as aluminium, profile system, locks, fittings, handles, etc., is characterised by high strength and low weight. Boxes made in this technology perfectly protect equipment transported. Case Pack is also aiming to branch out into the UK market.
Austria’s high power projection company, Rezac, were hard to miss at Showtech due to its spotlight technology demonstration. Specialising in large projection including analog and digital, with video projection, it provides a complete service from concept to technology and production. Since 2010, Rezac has been the official rental partner for Zacktrack, the radio-controlled system for lights, cameras, all DMX-enabled devices and a real-time video-capable server.
ZACTRACK, which is a fully automatic ‘follow’ system, offers an optimal and precise solutions for locating performers in any space. Any number of characters or objects can be detected by radio while in a 3D computer model, and then tracked automatically securing complete freedom of movement.
Koster stage technology showed its winch range for theatre. With over 20 different standard versions of manual and electric winches on sale, the company displayed its WE 20B, WE 10 B, WE 5B and WE 1B models.
LSD, the LED Soft Displays company that distributes via Steinigke Showtechnic, showed new Eurolite LED Soft Displays, which may give competition to the regular, stiff LED panels. The new design are flexible, light weight curtains which may be folded thus making transport and temporary installation quick and easy.
Chain Master’s XYZ Wireless Controller is a complete mobile auxiliary controller for the ChainMaster XYZ control system. It enables the EN61508 BGV-C1/SIL3 compliant multi-user operation of electrical chain hoists, trolleys, rope winches and stage machinery throughout the stage area. The controller is also ideal for programming complex sequences of movements in offline operation, making it an extraordinarily flexible interface between operators and stage hoists.
Birkenhead based Lift Turn Move, has become the recent new owners of previously German-owned company, C.O.W. LTM will shortly be moving into bigger premises, (still local to the area) due to company growth and expansion.
Wirral based Hoist UK shared a stand with American trussing manufacturer JR Clancy whose products are distributed in the UK by Hoist.
Rigging experts JR Clancy build hoists for virtually any application and will now distribute the new technology created by Truss UK, the soon-to-be launched sister company of Hoist.
J.R. Clancy’s highlighted new product, Titan Hoist is an automated rigging model with high-speed performance and very high capacity settings. It is designed to work with all J.R. Clancy SceneControl consoles but may accommodate other manufacturer’s consoles if the factory is contacted.
Reutlinger’s cable holders Type 50SVII and Type 80SVII, launched in 2008, were again on display, holding fort as an industry must-have product.
Stage Technologies’ Acrobat G6 is the latest in control consoles. A short panel with LCD buttons, it provides one-touch control of pre-programmed actions. It also has the ability to display the status of external equipment, proving quick access to frequently used desk functions.