PLASA 2002 Booth-by-Booth Report, Part 2
Back to Part 1.
Lightfactor showed the Droplet by Xilver, a new LED architectural unit. This curvy, compact luminaire provides full control of beam position, effects, and color selection. The high-brightness LED light source offers the ability to create fluid and fast color changes. A new division at Lightfactor--the Cut Colour Company was officially launched at PLASA. The Cut Colour Company is the new one-stop color-call shop. Color control media is available from stock in both roll and sheet formats from leading manufacturers like Lee Filters and Rosco and can be cut to size or scroll as required. The new Dimensions range of dimmers were shown, as well. The D610 six-channel dimmer, is available for both wall and truss mounting, in both dim & switch versions. The D1810 and the D2410, 18- and 24-channel dimmers, are both compact with sleek clean lines. Other products included the Giotto 400 profile unit and the Regia console from SGM and the new the new LDR Gobo Wizard software, which creates customized gobos from color photographs or any type of computer-generated artwork.
Lite-Puter showed the Super Couple line of dimming consoles and its architectural lighting control system.
Lycian Stage Lighting: Company news includes the hire of Maureen Gillian as director of sales and marketing. Seen for the first time at PLASA is the new M2 modular followspot, used on the Billy Joel/Elton John tour, for Britney Spears, and at SeaWorld.
MA Lighting was showing off the grandMA V4.0 software upgrade for its grandMA console family. Version 3.0 was a big leap and V4.0 promises to be an even greater leap advancing the console the next step. It has taken a bite out of the Wholehog market, by getting programmers and designers wish lists implemented faster. Version 4.0 features include multi-user operation for programming with multiple consoles, different fixtures, parameters, and palettes, with no theoretical limits. Up to six remotes, including the Compaq iPaq handheld and laptops can be attached to a system at one time. MA is using TCP/IP for addressing peripherals. Also launched was the grandMA 3D version 2 with a wire frame model in the console and a new patching scheme, as well as the grandMA designers remote in the body of the aforementioned Compaq iPaq handheld.
MDG: This Canadian company launched the Ice Fog Compack, in two versions: high-pressure (using non-refrigerated liquid CO2) and low-pressure (using refrigerated liquid CO2) pump-free, quiet fog machines with optional two-channel DMX interface. Produces a pure white fog.
As always, Martin Professional had plenty of new product. The biggest news was the Maxxyz console, which has features that include customizable LCD buttons for tailored programming, a built-in 3D visualizer with real-time preview mode, and full multimedia capability. Other new products included the Mac 2000 Wash and Performance models, the Ego 1 and 2 250W DJ effects lights, the MX-10 extreme scanner, the Alien 02 indoor architectural luminaire, the Freekie concept in lighting control, the ViroStation speaker/lighting concept, and, in the fog department, the Jem Magnum 550 and 950 foggers and Magnum hazer.
Milos Structural Systems launched the X Stage Platform Systems, with features that include a scissor leg mechanism (allowing height to be quickly adapted to various levels), or plug-in legs (with the height adjusted by adjustable or telescopic legs). Other new products include the Quick Truss® M400, for heavy-duty applications; the Quick Truss M520, a high-capacity system consisting of fixed and folding formats; the MR2 Tower, which is geared for use with the previous two products; and the MR3 roof.
Navigator Systems: New Rental Desk software, a Windows-based rental inventory management system, allows companies to track "date needed" and "exact location" of demo equipment and make sure it is available when needed so that new equipment will not become extra demo gear. The next generation of Navigator's award-winning HireTrack software is HireTrack Eclipse with e-mail, multicurrency, and multisite support.
New from PCM is the award-winning PCM Pilewind, designed for multipurpose theatrical applications. Available in 250kg or 500kg models, the Pilewind winch has been designed to allow for quick and easy raising and lowering of stage scenery and lighting bars.
Pani Projection and Lighting: Featured product: The Pani SP1.2 large-format projector with a 1.2kW HMI lamp making this projector 50% brighter than the Pani 1.2 classic. Features include DMX controlled blackout shutter and fan cooling; special lenses and accessories are available.
Pearl River: Out of China and onto the PLASA show for the first time with UK distrbutor Miltec UK. Full range of automated luminaires include the Design 150, an outdoor color-changing unit, the Pilot 250 (a pre-production model) in silver or black finish, moving head and rotating gobos, and the launch of the Pilot Wash with CYM color-mixing and MSD250 lamp (not to mention the hip rubbery black casing).
Prolyte: Featuring the B100RV truss, the largest heavy duty truss system to date can handle over two tons of gear and has four-sided webbing to withstand horizontal as well as vertical forces. The one-year-old Triangular Box Corner (BOX 30D) now has new extension joints to make it compatible with corners from standard truss.
Pulsar Light of Cambridge continues expanding on the LED front, with the new ChromaPar36Can™, for TV, stage, and indoor architectural applications; the Chromadeck™, developed with Litestructures to create a staging system with color-changing panels; the ChromaSphere, a 300mm diameter spehere internally illuminated with high-power red, green, and blue LEDs; and the DataSplitter, designed for the distribution of digital signals from DC to 500KHz (such as DMX, PMX, RS232, RS423, RS422, RS485, etc.).
Rainbow color scrollers had a few new items including barndoor adapters and MA Lightpower, which is the exclusive worldwide distributor, has opened its own gel string assembly operation in Paderborn and are handling all of the service and marketing from this facility.
Robe, the OEM moving light manufacturer from the Czech Republic, exhibited at PLASA for the first time, taking the opportunity to launch a completely new line of products. Robe shared a stand with it's new UK distributors Coe-tech. Robe is already familiar to owners and users of several well known moving light brands--for which it's been a long-term OEM manufacturer. These include Movitec, Futurelight, TAS, Elation, Sagitter and others. Robe used the international forum of PLASA to launch itself as a direct sales operation. The company believes in constant development and progression on the product front, and launches it's new AT Series (Advanced Technology Series) at PLASA--initially with four models, with more to follow later in the year. The Robe AT Series includes the ColorSpot 170 AT, the ColorMix 250 AT, the ColorMix 150 AT wash, and the ColorMix 150 AT profile.
Robert Juliat: Exhibiting on the White Light stand, new from Robert Juliat is the Topaze MSR1200 followspot for small theatres and the rental market, as well as the Quincey profile and Buxie compact followspot with 575W MSR lamp, hot restrike electronic ballast and DMX controlled dimming shutter. New for Robert Juliat dimmers is two-way dialogue via the "Carmen" network.
Rosco showed the LimagePro™ gobo slide projector, in addition to 60 metal gobo designs (including cloud images, breakups, windows, and abstract graphics), and the Vortex 360™ single/double gobo rotator, and a new subfloor, which allows one to create a professional dance floor where none exists. Also Rosco Slitdrape has been given an ultraviolet fluorescent finish, which picks up and reflects light.
Selecon had the newly redesigned Finelite projector on display. Selecon has taken on the manufacturing operations of the Finelite, which was designed around the Selecon Pacific Cool Light ellipsoidal. They have streamlined and optimized the design for larger manufacturing operations. Also being shown was the finished MSR douser, which uses photo-grey glass plates for smooth mechanical dousing for discharge sources like the MSR, CDM, and metal halide lamps. I dare you to tell what is a mechanical douse versus a halogen ellipsoidal on a standard dimmer; it is that smooth. Also, Selecon was highlighting the Rosco Image Pro system, which can use plastic slides for projection. It does pay to remember that Selecon was the first ellipsoidal manufacturer who used plastic patterns in its cool beam ellipsoidals, without a fan!
Slick UK: Introduction of new Decolite and the Litebeam Mark II trusses. Slick is part of the Outback Holdings Group which also includes Mushroom Event Services, Outback Rigging Ltd, and Trapeze Rigging Ltd.
SpaceWriter has produced a kicky new effect, the iBall, a 300mm animated lightball with 360º spherical display, and 62,000 full-color virtual pixels. Also shown was the FanScreen, a 1.2m-diameter ceiling which has 85 full-color LEDs along one of the vanes. It also displays images, animations, and advertisements.
Stage Technologies: Projects include two Swedish theatres, the Gothenburg Staatstheatre (power-flying system) and the Royal Dramatic Theatre (control system only) as well as cruise ships for Princess, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, plus, in Australia, productions of The Witches of Eastwick and Oliver! and motorized rigging for the now-under-construction Welsh Bay Theatre in Sydney (set to open in early 2003).
Stardraw.com was showing off the first CAD program that allows you to draft over a website. The idea is to sell subscriptions and a registered user could go into a cyber café or library and whip up a drawing and send it off to a manufacturer or dealer for a quotation. They are looking to pitch this as a service for manufacturers to house on their own websites as a selling tool. The program already boasts over 35,000 symbols. It is heavy on the audio side at the present, but look for that to expand as they get the word out about the capabilities. The demonstration looked good and does not seem to be too dependent on the processor that you have locally, but rather the speed at which you access the site, which these days is becoming less of a drawback with the proliferation of cable modems, DSL and T1 or faster access.
Strand Lighting: New products include the launch of Strand's 100 series lighting consoles designed for the school and entry-level theatre or club market, with a 19" rack mount version for theme parks or use with distributed control systems. Also launch of 200 series desks this fall, with two models available, 12/24 channels and 24/48 channels. Consoles also include the 301 Back Up console in portable or rack-mounted versions. Strand showed the prototype of the ACT Digital six-way wall main digital dimmer rack and the SD6 rack-mounted digital dimmers. In the fixture line, a redesigned compact, all-enclosed QuartzColor Redhead.
Studio Due showed the XS Excess moving head, which is available in two versions, the XS600 and XS 700, and has been conceived for TV and live applications. Features include two rotating gobo wheels, two color wheels, one glass wheel, two rotating prisms, two static frost, one progressive forst, two changing conversion filters, electronic dimmer (combined with the mechanical dimmer), electronic focus, electronic zoom, iris (with 256 steps) and shutter/strobe.
Swefog: First time in the UK for Sweden's Swefog Ultimate 200 atmospheric haze generator and Ultimate 300 whisper technology high-output cracker hazers that were launched at SIB last spring. Both feature low fluid consumption and instant on (no warm up).
TMB: This increasing international company announced its new distribution deal for Syncrolite products in Europe and the mid-East, as well as UK distribution for Wybron products and the US/UK distribution for the LED products of Bright Lighting (now Pixeon). TMB also handles Bohhen dichroic filters made in China using German materials, and UV Power Pars as seen in Mamma Mia! where a TMB Parcan is used with a UV filter.
Tomcat showed the new Swing Wing Truss™ which has made a splash recently in the concert touring world, and Tomcat One, billed as a simpler, lighting trussing solution for exhibit and retail applications.
At PLASA, Vari-Lite unveiled its 1,200W, Series 3000™ product line featuring the powerful Vari*Lite® VL3000™ Spot luminaire and the equally impressive VL3000 Wash luminaire. The new 1,200W product category complements the existing Vari*Lite product line. The power and zoom range of the Series 3000 products provide a complete package for designers needing extra brightness and extensive zoom capability. With the new Series 3000 family of products, Vari-Lite also announced a new, easy-to-remember naming system for its entire line of Vari*Lite products. Series 1000: This group includes the VL1000™ ERS product line, both arc and tungsten units. Series 2000: The 700W product range includes the VL2000™ Spot (formerly VL2202™ spot) and the VL2000™ Wash (formerly VL2402™ wash) as well as the VL2416™ luminaire.
Visual Act showed its new flying system, especially designed for dynamic three-dimensional movement of flying objects, which was used last summer to control seven sails at the Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia. Also on view was the digitally controlled light wall, built for a recent summer tour; its control until supports any number of digitally controlled lamps of up to 1,000W each and with refresh rates of over 30 times each second. A DMX interface is available for operation by any light board.
White Light: This 31-year-old lighting services company celebrated its one-year anniversary at its new Wimbledon headquarters with an open house the day after the PLASA show closed. On the White Light stand at PLASA were products for which White Light has exclusive UK distribution, inluding Robert Juliat, Look Solutions, The Smoke Factory, MDG, and White Light's own VSFX and Tubular Ripple effects. White Light also has a new online lighting shop.
Xenotech/Strong International was highlighting the Gladiator IV followspot with its powerful 4.5kW xenon source. They had a prototype at LDI a few years back and are now ready to ship this light with a designed throw of 400-700'. It was used at the recent Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City to highlight skaters at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. It uses dichroic colors in the color boom position (it would toast the hardiest plastic color in seconds) and has an option to add a color-mixing scroller at the front of the unit.