Worldwide automated lighting manufacturer High End Systems, Inc. (HES; Austin, TX) is now shipping Catalyst DL1,™ a digital video engine that bridges the worlds of automated lighting and video projection. The Catalyst DL1 incorporates ruggedized moving light technology with a digital video engine and includes both lighting and video communications protocols. High End is positioning the DL1 as the lighting industry’s first commercially available digital moving light and will immediately begin promoting it to entertainment and information markets including theatre, television, film, concert touring, night clubs, churches and corporate events planners.
High End will publicly debut the Catalyst DL1 at the Professional Lighting & Sound Association (PLASA) trade show Sept. 7-10 in London. Preview showings in August include the Nissan Auto Dealer Product Launch in Mexico City and on the Aerosmith world concert tour.
Catalyst DL1 is the second generation offering in the Catalyst family of High End products. High End Systems started the move to digital-based lighting with the Catalyst moving mirror product two years ago.
The original Catalyst combined a media server and moving mirror light with an off-the-shelf video projector. Catalyst DL1 significantly enhances the technology by housing a digital engine in a ruggedized package that has the look and feel of a moving light and the versatility of a moving projector. Users are able to take images from DVDs, videos and other types of media and display them onto a stage, wall, prop, screen or a set – with complete control over image size and shape. The Catalyst DL1 also provides the ability to project Digital Aerials and provide uniform color and beam intensity. Unlike conventional moving lights where the beam field has peaks and valleys, digital lighting creates a flat, even field with a high contrast ratio.
“The industry has been demanding technology innovation,” according to High End Systems CEO Frank Gordon. “We listen to our customers and they are clearly telling us that digital-based lighting can provide exactly what they are looking for.”
Adds Mike Wood, HES Chief Technology Officer,” What this really does is give complete control to the lighting director. Anything they can think of, any kind of imagery, moving or static, subtle or overt can now be instantly part of the picture they are painting on stage. Imagination and creativity are released from the restrictions of current technology."
To help bridge the video and traditional lighting worlds, Catalyst DL1 incorporates the communications standards of both: VGA, RGBHV and S Video inputs for incorporating movie, film or graphics content, and DMX programming -- a lighting communications standard that allows the DL1 to be remotely pointed or focused from any DMX-based control unit.
DMX will also enable the video input selection to be switched – a feature that will enable the lighting director to choose content from multiple input devices simultaneously. Through a DMX console, the user can control color, brightness, contrast, focus, zoom and other video-related parameters of the DL1. An integrated fully closing iris even allows for a true blackout. DMX also allows bi-directional communication enabling electronic feedback on its temperature parameters, lamp life, filter quality and other details needed for maintenance purposes.
The Catalyst DL1 can be controlled from any DMX512 control console with imagery being provided by the Catalyst Media Server running Catalyst software or any other high quality video image source. To further complement DL1, High End Systems has scheduled a October release of the updated Catalyst Media Server based on Apple's new Power Mac G5 and Catalyst Version 3.0 software. This combination allows the Catalyst DL1 to take full advantage of the enhanced functionality of Apple OS X Version 10.2 (or later versions) and the latest developments in Open-GL based video cards.
As is standard with all High End equipment, Catalyst DL1 is ETL and CE approved for safety.
Catalyst DL1 is now shipping worldwide from High End’s Austin, TX, headquarters, and its European headquarters in London and Asia office in Singapore.
For more specific technical information on Catalyst DL1, please visit the High End Systems website at www.highend.com.