G’day, and welcome to LDI 2008. Let the games begin. One of the fringe benefits of this show I enjoy is its global appeal. I will certainly get to see some old, international friends, and also the wares of manufacturers from lands far away. So this column is dedicated to all of you that traveled to the United States for this weekend. Let’s rock.

You can visit mi amigo Fred Mikeska and Co. at the A.C. Lighting Inc. booth, and witness the first US appearance of new Chroma-Q™ and Jands lighting products. The Chroma-Q LED range includes the recently launched Color Span™, a configurable low profile, ultra bright LED fixture for indoor / outdoor wall wash, cove, effects and feature lighting applications. The fixture lets users specify the unit from a choice of indoor (IP20) or outdoor (IP67) IP rated use, three body lengths (16, 32 & 48”), ten body colors, RGBA, single color or any color combination of LEDs, and narrow, medium or wide beam angle optics! The Color Span fixture can wash a 72 foot long wall from just a single wall outlet and features individual LEDs arranged in sets of four channel circuits for programming flexibility. The fixture can be controlled via DMX or in standalone mode, and has a choice of power supplies for up to six or 18 full-length fixtures. Next up is the Chroma-Q Color Web™ LED matrix, an attractive entry-level creative LED system for providing whompin’ low-res visual effects. The PC based Madrix control software is easy to set up and features a simple interface with two playbacks for cross-fading effects. Content is handled by its own flexible content creator, which enables full creative control of the Color Web in real time. Other Chroma-Q LED products featured include the Color Punch™, the Color Split™, and the Color Block™.

It’s ‘all Greek’ to me, but everybody needs good communication in the performance arena, and Clear-Com speaks loud and clear. The company is exhibiting its Eclipse Digital Matrix Intercom System with IP-enabled V-Series user control panels at Booth 668. In line with the company’s strategy toward ubiquitous communication, the new IP connectivity allows users to link their Eclipse V-Series user control panels to the Eclipse Matrix frame over their existing WAN or LAN Ethernet cabling infrastructure. Harnessing the power of IP technology, this new application significantly expands the range and mobility of the Eclipse system, simplifying communications during live production and other time-sensitive applications.

The Meyer Sound R&D team works on two different planets (one is Mars), and produces mind-blowing live audio reinforcement … seriously, check out their LARGE product offerings at LDI, starting with their new 500-HP subwoofer, the UPQ-1P wide coverage loudspeaker and its narrow coverage version, the UPQ-2P loudspeaker. The UPQ’s carry a peak output of 136 dB and flexible rigging options well suited for permanent installations, as well as portable AV applications. The 500-HP subwoofer brings the powerful and extremely low-distortion signature of Meyer Sound subwoofers to a package ideal for rigging with the M'elodie line array loudspeaker to create an aesthetically pleasing array. With an integral pole mount receptacle on the top of the cabinet, the 500-HP subwoofer is an appropriate complement to a variety of other Meyer Sound loudspeakers, including UPJ-1P VariO and UPA-1P/2P loudspeakers. The flexible UPJunior loudspeaker features a rotatable horn that provides the same precise 80-by-50-degree coverage regardless of horizontal or vertical cabinet orientation. And for those applications where powerful, wide-bandwidth sound must disappear into the décor, the booth also features a display of SMALL custom-colored, palm-sized MM-4XP self-powered miniature loudspeakers.

If you’re ready to dip your toe into the exciting waters of digital lighting, then Robe Lighting will be one vital stop along your way. Their new products include the DigitalSpot 3000 DT, which emits 2,700 ANSI lumens from a single 200W projection lamp and has an awesome contrast ratio of 2,000:1. It’s now available in an affordable and compact package featuring an additional REDWash Module from Robe´s RED (Robe Emitted Diodes) Series. Also new is the DigitalSpot 7000 DT, ROBE’s flagship digital moving light projector. The fixture emits 6,500 ANSI lumens from a single 330W projection lamp and is loaded with new and exciting parameters from its Graphics Engine and motorized fixture layout. Their DreamBox is a multi-functional Tool Box with two DMX Ports and one USB 2.0 port that communicates with a PC or laptop. With additional Robe software, the DreamBox provides fixture software updates, DMX Control and RDM, as well as new control protocol featuring AutoPatch and Fixture Status Monitoring.

Aside from some soon-to-be-legendary ‘consumption-related’ research at the TMB Pavilion, Wybron has a groundbreaking widget on board for the show. Infogate for the iPhone® lets lighting pros control their rigs and troubleshoot problems from virtually anywhere in the building – all with a pocket-sized wireless device. It gathers invaluable feedback from lighting equipment and uses a wireless signal to transmit the data to an iPhone or iPod. With that wireless signal, users can inspect and manipulate equipment without being chained to a booth, board, or computer. Depending on the setup of the user’s network, Infogate’s wireless signal can stretch hundreds to thousands of feet, letting users monitor and control equipment onstage, backstage, and beyond.

Apollo Design has the best carpet you can stand on at LDI, and I always stop by for a quick reference check. No international puns here; they are (Indiana) Americans, and do a lot of cool stuff with color and its creative cousins. While your dogs are barking, you can check out the following at Booth #1138: The Smart Color® Pro includes all the great features of the successful Smart Color scroller plus LED menu display, 24 color frames, universal mounting tabs, reduced power requirements, and a lighter chassis, you will definitely want to check it out. Be sure to check out Apollo's new family of Smart Power Supplies and the EZ Iris DMX - using one channel of DMX512, you can conveniently control the beam spread from many conventional ellipsoidals. Finally, they are showing six new gel colors and many new standard pattern designs. You will have much to see … and stand upon.