This year's ETS-LDI, held October 22-24, was so jam-packed with conference sessions, events, and new products it may have been somewhat overwhelming for the average attendee. To help distill at least some of that info, we've come up with a list of 20 products unveiled at the show that hold promise for the future. A mix of new products ready for purchase and a few prototypes to keep an eye on, the gear below — chosen based on preliminary conversations with end users who attended the show — should serve as a starting point for all of the great products unveiled in Vegas. If this is still too much, remember that ED will be unveiling its annual Sound, Lighting, and Staging and Projection Products of the year over the course of the next three issues. So many products, so little time!
- Daktronics ProTour
Projection and presentation technology continues to gain a bigger presence at ETS-LDI; Daktronics made its mark with its ProTour LED modular display systems, available in 6, 8, and 10mm pixel pitches for indoor applications and 10, 12, 15, and 20mm pixel pitches for outdoors. Designed for live events, the panel weighs less than 25lbs. and includes quick-release fasteners and handles. A redundant panel-to-panel signal optimizes system reliability; additionally, display diagnostics provide active monitoring of display operation and troubleshooting support.
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- High End Systems DL2
High End continues to place its bets on digital lighting as the wave of the future with the DL2 — the third generation in its digital lighting line. The intriguing thing about the DL2 is that's all housed in a single unit — one tidy package houses a light engine, media server, and content. All that, plus it hangs and acts like an automated light. Because of this, there's no need for RGB cabling or a server in the FOH. Features include the ability to import 3D object images; movie playback synchronization between multiple DL2s; and an iris for full black-out.
HIGH END SYSTEMS
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- Lucid 3D BRASH!Live
Honored as a debuting product/promising prototype in the projection category at the ETS-LDI awards, BRASH!Live™ is an integrated visual composer designed to create and manipulate live visuals in real time. It sports a render engine that allows for complex imagery and effects including video, live video, true 3D objects, and particle systems to be displayed simultaneously. Further, the 3D elements can dynamically respond to a live audio feed. The manager allows you to load your own custom artwork. BRASH!™ visuals are created, blended and manipulated through a standard MIDI controller. Scenes can also be cued through the built-in preset generator, or recorded to a MIDI sequencer, edited, and played back at a moment's notice.
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
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- Toshiba TechnoRainbow TR2006R
Toshiba made its mark in the LED screen world with the latest in its Techno-Rainbow line, the TR2006R 6mm indoor surface mount display (SMD). The TR2006R is an indoor modular LED screen that can be built on a convex, concave, or combination curve along the horizontal axis. The screen can also be built flat without a curve. The 16" modules are surprisingly compact. The screens also offer a low 1.5 total system frame delay for live show applications.LIGHTING
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- City Theatrical PDS-750 TR Touring Power Supply
Gary Fails somehow manages to come up with something useful, year in, year out. This year's entry, a joint venture between City Theatrical and Color Kinetics Incorporated, is a touring-style power/data supply that allows connection and disconnection of up to 12 ColorBlast® 12 fixtures, 24 ColorBlast® 6 fixtures, 24 ColorBurst® 6 fixtures, 48 ColorBurst® 4 fixtures, and 96 iColor Cove® fixtures by means of standard 4-pin XLR connectors. The supply includes a function similar to that of the Zapi address-setting device, enabling users to address all fixtures plugged into the power/data supply to channel one.
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- Doug Fleenor Design Remote Addressing Device
His DMX coffeepot got most of the chuckles, but this product from Doug Fleenor created a nice buzz and got him the Dealer's Choice Award in the widget category from ESTA in the process. RAD is used to set the DMX address of compatible products. A new enhancement to DMX512, called RDM (Remote Device Management), allows users to receive status information and set parameters (such as the DMX address) of compliant products using the DMX link.
DOUGH FLEENOR DESIGN
ARROYO GRANDE, CA
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- ESP Studios ESP Vision
Winner of the Lighting Product of the Year in the lighting tools/software category, ESP Vision provides real-time lighting simulation software to the lighting and production industry for use in concert touring, corporate functions, and theatrical applications. The software simulates and displays real-time shadows, color mixing, color and gobo wheel rolls, animation wheels, prism effects, frost, framing shutters, and virtually any other feature provided by moving or conventional fixtures on the market.
LAS VEGAS, NV
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- ETC SmartFade
The newest ad-dition to ETC's Smart lighting control family, SmartFade™ has three useful operating modes: Two-Scene, Normal, and DMX Backup. The Two-Scene mode provides a 12- or 24-channel, two-scene preset console with a manual or timed crossfade section, bump buttons with master, and a grand master. The Normal mode provides 48 or 96 channels with 288 or 576 memories and 48 sequences for expanded control functionality. In DMX Backup mode, 24 or 48 backup looks of 512 channels each are provided, with backups recorded as a dimmer snapshot.
ELECTRONIC THEATRE CONTROLS, INC. (ETC)
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- Lamina Ceramics Aterion
The holy grail every year on the show floor is an LED that's actually bright. The buzz this year was that Lamina may have found it with this new 13,300-lumen RGB LED array, which generates light in more than 16 million colors, including white. According to Lamina, the Aterion's 13,300 lumen, 860W RGB LED engine breaks a world record with 677 lumens per square inch of saturated colors. The high light output is achieved through a proprietary multi-layer ceramic-on-metal packaging.
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- Robe DigitalSpot 2600 DT
Amid the ever-increasing hoopla surrounding media servers and digital lights came this relatively quiet entry from Robe, currently in proto- type form. The Digital-Spot features two digital gobo layers with a selection of up to 255 videos and images per layer, as well as an image resolution of 1024×768×3 pixels. The unit can be controlled via any DMX512 controller with an Ethernet port or on a separate DMX/Art-Net interface.
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- Rosco Solid State Profile
Another prototype that generated positive buzz despite its low-key status on the floor, the Rosco Solid State Profile (there is also a Solid State Wash fixture), was designed by Dialight Corporation and marketed by Rosco. It is powered by a solid state LED engine array and offers a hard edge beam, shutters and sharp gobo projection capabilities with specifiable, repeatable Rosco colors matched to the Roscolux and E-Colour swatch books. The unit will produce an output of approximately 6,000 lumens, so that gobos and ImagePro™ slides may be visibly projected with the clarity associated with modern theatrical instruments. Rosco hopes to have this available sometime in 2005.
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- Selecon 45-75 Pacific Zoom
A big winner at this year's show, earning the lighting/entertainment product of the year award, the 45-75 Pacific Zoom allows angles from 45° to 75° for area illumination or pattern projection. From a throw of 13', it delivers a beam adjustable from 11' to 20' in diameter, allowing full body shots from close in side-stage positions or for texturing a complete set using only a few fixtures. The Pacific 45-75 lens can be used with any Pacific light source.
SELECON AUKLAND, NZ
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- Vari-LiteVL2500 Spot
Vari-Lite continues its admirable courting of the theatre market with its latest, the VL2500™ Spot luminaire. This one features an improved CYM color-mixing system, a coated glass dimmer wheel, and a separate dual-blade strobe system. The CYM color-mixing system provides color options from pastels to deep colors. The color-mixing system responds almost like a fixed color wheel, so designers can quickly snap from one color to the next. A higher resolution coating process is used on the dichroic CYM wheels, resulting in a more even color mix.STAGING/EFFECTS
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- JEM Hydra Fog System
If they can control moving lights from one spot, why not fog machines? The Hydra fog system allows users to control multiple fog heads from one base unit. It offers control of up to 16 fog heads from a base unit and eliminates precarious high-wire refills thanks to a ground-based fluid supply. All heads can be individually controlled, so users can trigger a single fog head or multiple heads at a time. Each 1.2kW fog head is capable of delivering anything from a high volume of dense white fog to a translucent canopy of haze.
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- Le Maitre EZ Kleen
It's always encouraging when a manufacturer comes up with something de-signed to make products last longer; EZ Kleen is used as a preventative maintenance measure to ensure longer heat exchanger life. It is easy to use and should be used on a regular basis to prevent blockage of your heat exchanger that frequently happens to fog and haze machines. EZ Kleen earned a Dealers Choice Award in the expendables category from ESTA.
LE MAITRE SPECIAL EFFECTS
LONDON, ONTARIO, CANDA
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- Total Structures Ballast Truss
A clever trussing solution that won the Rigging and Hard-ware Product of the Year Award at the show, Ballast Truss is to be used with delay towers and roof structures. It is designed to hold three plastic tanks that each hold 100 gallons of water. Each tank provides over 2,500lbs. of ballast, and are filled and drained via large diameter holes on the top surface and small diameter holes around the base, respectively.SOUND
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- BSS Audio Soundweb London
BSS Audio's new programmable DSP/ matrix system, the Soundweb London range, provides enhanced I/O configurations; dual-redundant CobraNet™ audio networking with greater network capacity and matrix sizes; more efficient DSP using Analog Devices SHARC processors for double the DSP of the Soundweb 9088ii processor; and integration of control, monitoring, and error reporting of Crown Audio's CTs Series of amplifiers using TCP/IQ PIP cards. Thanks to Harman's new focus on synergies between its products, it also functions well with Crown's new I-Tech series of amps, which earned both products a joint award as Sound Product of the Year at ETS-LDI.
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- Crown I-Tech Series Amps
Crown's latest amp series, de-signed for the touring market, clocks in at a modest 2RU with a weight of less than 28lbs. I-Tech features Crown's patented Class-I switching output design and global regulated power supply, delivering full power regardless of AC mains voltage: from 120V to 277V, and from 50Hz to 60Hz. Power Factor Correction (PFC) allows I-Tech to draw current from the mains more efficiently, providing more power from a single 20A breaker.
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- Gepco CT504HD Cat-5 Cable
Sound geeks went ga-ga over this heavy-duty tactical Category 5e cable from Gepco. An ideal solution for portable or remote patching of Ethernet networks or digital audio/video formats utilizing CAT5e type cable, the CT504HD has a rugged, and flexible design thanks to a double jacket construction. The CT504HD is intended for use with Neutrik EtherCon connectors, and is also available from Gepco as pre-terminated cable assemblies.
DES PLAINS, IL
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- HME DX200 Digital Wireless Intercom
Digital appears to be the wave in intercoms as in everthing else, and the DX200 shows promise based in part on its price point. The DX2000 has a 2.4 GHZ license-free operation; it's approved for worldwide use so users won't need to coordinate frequency operation with other wireless systems. It also incorporates digital frequency hopping spread spectrum with encrypted signals to secure communications. All that, plus a pretty sleek looking beltpack.
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