On the annual trade show list in this industry, NAB is the 800-pound gorilla. Indeed, at times it seems more like an emerging new nation than a trade show, as tens of thousands of attendees trek through the Las Vegas and the Sands Convention Centers, checking out the latest in broadcast technology. This year's show, held April 10-13, attracted an astonishing 113,000 visitors and 1,600 exhibitors, confirming NAB's gargantuan proportions. Here's a highly selected look at some of the companies whose wares are relevant to LD readers:
Altman Stage Lighting premiered the CDM-TV, a point source lighting instrument, intended for around-the-clock key lighting and backlighting talent, product, and other subject matter with a low-heat, long-life, 150W energy-efficient lamp.
Arri Lighting introduced several new products including the Arrisun 5 Event Lighting System, created to save setup time and costs when large numbers of daylight PARs are required. Also, Arri has adapted its tungsten and HMI fresnels for theatrical applications. The latest from Brightline is the T-Series line of recessed fluorescent ceiling fixtures that transform into multi-directional, drop, tilt, and swivel image-enhancers, for use in broadcast and videoconferencing situations. The T-Series line uses a 55W biax fluorescent lamp.
Chimera premiered a shallow lantern for omnidirectional soft light. Cinemills introduced the Super 12/10kW Silver Bullet tungsten-halogen lamp head, with a 20" fresnel lens, which is billed as durable, lightweight, and reliable. Colortran, now a Leviton company, was on hand with the new Colornet network protocol converter, an ethernet node that serves as an interface for remote devices and displays for Colortran control consoles and architectural products that support Colornet 2.0, including the Innovator console; Colornet allows consoles, peripherals, and dimmer racks all to communicate on a single network.
A new exhibitor at NAB was Cosmolight, a Rome-based maker of film lighting. Key products were a portable kit featuring four luminaires, and a new version of the company's portable torch, which accepts a light source up to 250W 30V. DeSisti Lighting had a number of new items, including the Deb 6 12 6,000/12,000W microprocessor-based combination ballast; the 400 Mini Goya, a 400W HMI, with a beam spread of 130 degrees, and the 6,000/12,000W Mighty Goya, a single-source light used for huge backdrops and gigantic sets. ETC showed its latest products, including the Source Four PARnel, the Source Four HID, and the HID jr. as well as the ETCNet2 DMX Node.
GAM Products' latest self-named innovation is the Gambox, a foldable modular diffusion unit with an internal pipe that allows the mounting of multiple light sources. The product is said to defy the Inverse Square Law of Light, with 1/2 stop of light falloff in 25' (8m). Also on the GAM stand, from the German company Lighting Innovations, comes the MotorYoke moving yoke, for conventional lighting units and the Inno-Four 575 HMI.
Another first-time exhibitor, Integrated Lighting Systems, provides systems design and engineering, fixed and moving grids, electrical distribution, hard and soft cycloramas, dimming and controls, background curtains and track hardware, studio and remote fixtures, gaffer and grip equipment, and remote power generation. Kino Flo showed off a number of new products for 2000, including the Image 80 and Image 40 fluorescent units with DMX, the Diva-Lite 400 and 200, the Foto-Flo 400 ballast, the Foto-Flo 400 kit, and the Diva-Lite 400 kit.
Lee Filters has added the 81+ Red series to its product line; the series features warming filters that combine an 81 series color temperature filter with a red CC filter, to make a correction for landscapes and outdoor portraits. Other new productions included Plush Filter Envelopes, made of velvet, to hold 4"x6" or 4"x4" filters, and four new filter sets, named Sunset, Sunrise, Landscape, and Twilight. Also, the new Lee catalog is packed with useful information on using filters, gobos, and more. Lowel-Light presented the new Lowel DP Daylight System, a family of three HMI/MRS fixtures (200, 400, and 575W) based on the design of Lowel's DP Light, with the addition of a triple output lightweight ballast. Also new from Lowel is the Caselite line of location fluorescents (above); for convenience, the Caselite is an all-in-one unit, combining the light and case. LTM Corp. of America had a prototype on display: The 6/12kW Prolight is designed to combine the advantages of single-ended lamp technology and a short focal fresnel lens to give optimal performance while reducing weight and size.
New from Matthews Studio Equipment is the Rocket Pod doorway dolly system. Mole-Richardson had two new products: The HMI MoleSource provides a daylight retrofit to the existing ETC Source Four, and attaches directly to the fixture, with no modification necessary. Also, the 2,000W Molequartz Spacelight is the company's smallest lantern light. Rosco/Entertainment Technology showed the Capio series of Intelligent Power System dimmer racks. Billed as the products that introduce an era of totally solid-state dimming, the Capios provide the advantages of IGBT dimming technology in an industry-standard rack configuration, at a price competitive with current SCR products.
Another NAB debutante, Soft Lights, is a professional fluorescent lighting system based in Paris. Its featured product was the T5-55 Mini-monster, a compact fluorescent lighting tool that uses a small, lightweight source, runs on 110V, 240V, or battery power, and is designed to be very energy-efficient. Strand Lighting debuted three Quik Kit Quartz portable lighting systems. Kit One contains Bambino 650s in combination with a 1,000W Redhead flood and a softbox; Kit Two combines a Bambino 500 with a single arm yoke, plus a softbox and Redhead. Kit Four's Redhead open-face luminaires are designed for fast setup and teardown. Also making their NAB debut was the Series 300 consoles.
Next year, NAB returns with a slightly later date--April 21-26, with exhibits beginning April 23. Can the show's numbers get any higher? See for yourself.