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ApexPro News

ApexPro Demonstrates the New SolaFrame 1000

High End Systems, an ETC Company, recently launched the latest addition to the SolaFrame family of automated framing fixtures, the SolaFrame 1000. South African distributor of ETC lighting solutions, ApexPro, has demonstration units of the fixtures, just two weeks after its European launch.

Mathew Lewis, ETC product manager at ApexPro, spoke to ETECH at a demonstration of the new fixture, hosted at the University of Johannesburg Arts and Culture Centre on 06 March.

“The High End Systems Solaframe 1000 is the first product that is the result of the combined research and development of the High End Systems and ETC teams, following ETC’s acquisition of High End Systems two years ago,” explains Lewis.

SolaFrame 1000 is designed to be a workhorse automated framing fixture, which is highly versatile and can be used for both installation and rental markets, for medium-sized venues.

The Solaframe 1000 delivers 20,000-lumen output, full framing shutters, rotating and fixed gobo wheels, multiple colour systems, 12°-40° zoom, and animation effects, which is suited for all professional production environments. Lewis concurs, stating that “the fixture offers a good value proposition, as it is a high-end lighting fixture that is well suited for either the rental or installations markets and is competitively priced, especially if you look at its impressive range of features.”

Available in Ultra-Bright and High CRI versions, the SolaFrame 1000 ships with a TM30 Filter that boosts the Ultra-Bright engine to 85+ CRI. Other features include Iris and Light Frost, Rotating Prism and High End Systems’ patented Lens Defogger System.

ApexPro currently has demonstration units available at their Johannesburg offices. If you would like to find out more, or book a demo, kindly contact Mathew Lewis at mathew@apexpro.co.za or call him on 076 057 7571.

Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos

In 2017, one of the most prestigious venues in France, the Opéra Garnier, updated its lighting consoles to a selection of ETC Eos desks. The Eos consoles were unanimously chosen by Jacques Giovanangeli, the head of the lighting department, and his team of 42 lighting professionals.

The previous console lacked the technological capabilities required for modern moving lights, and needed replacing to keep up with the venue’s demands. Fully aware of this, Jacques and his team began research to identify the best option and narrowed the search down to three potential consoles and conducted demos of each. They compared the different interfaces by paying attention to the ergonomics of programming a show, the ease of use of moving lights, and the precision of color control.

The switch to an ETC Eos system was strongly encouraged by the whole technical team. The design quality, adaptability to the opera, and color tools made the Eos family stand out. ”The reason for this choice was based on more than just the quality of the product,” notes Giovanangeli. ”I frequently travel to operas and theatres in France and abroad. I found Eos consoles in many places, such as the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Staatsoper in Vienna and many other prestigious places like The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The combination of the technical endorsement from my team and the observations I made on each journey led to us choosing Eos.”

”Co-productions continue to increase between the major opera houses and many lighting engineers work mainly on Eos consoles. With Eos, we can anticipate what’s coming by sharing files,” comments Giovanangeli.

In total, four Eos family consoles joined the Palais Garnier with three Eos Ti desks, two in the control room and one in the workshop. A Gio @5 is also on stage if an engineer would like to operate lighting from the stage. The whole system communicates in ETCNet3 (ACN) and the main console controls all the fixtures over sACN. To complete the installation, 2 RVIs (Remote Video Interface) are also available from the stage.

This RVI system enables remote viewing of the console screens and local programming of the Eos system. This allows the opera house to offer the production manager a tool to view the desk’s displays from the stage making interactions with the lighting technicians easier.

Approved in early 2017, the integration of the consoles in the Opéra had to wait for the summer break. With the renovation of the control room also taking place in late August and early September, the technicians had to work quickly to transition the consoles. Giovanangeli says, “The installation of the consoles was completed in record time and the team managed to release the first show, which was a large production, without any pitfalls.”

Jérôme Denime, one of the two opera lighting team leaders, adds, “We had to learn this new work environment and develop new habits. For example, previously we had to set all the spotlight parameters in each cue. Now, as Eos works with “tracking” logic, the parameters follow from one cue to another. There is no need to edit them entirely since they track from the previous position. It is much easier, but we had to get used to checking the states so that there aren’t any mistakes. The interface is very useful for tracking the state of the fixtures. In the end, the switch has saved us time overall. We are already completely comfortable with the system and we are still discovering new functions, especially as updates come out.”

A training program made the transition smooth for the entire lighting staff. The teams were able to get gradually accustomed to the new interface before putting on the first show and tackle the 860 dimmers with more than 100 moving lights.

In an effort to continuously improve training efforts, ETC France is currently revamping its training program to better serve its end users. The new ETC subsidiary will improve the provision of trainings through its network of partners.

Over the past few months, many French venues have also chosen Eos consoles, such as the Opéra de Bordeaux (Dushow installation) and the Opéra de Versailles. ETC offers consoles appropriate for the theatre market with the Eos system and the touring market with the High End Systems Hog 4 range. With ETC France, these internationally renowned consoles will have even better support throughout France.

ETC returns to CABSAT, Dubai

ETC is heading to CABSAT, in collaboration with regional partner Oasis Enterprises, from the 12-14 of March at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Visitors to the tradeshow will have the opportunity to see ETC’s latest lighting and broadcast-friendly product range as well as demonstrations in a studio-style set up in room ‘Hatta-G’. This will include ETC’s award-winning and flagship lighting control desk, Eos Ti, renowned Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr array and ColorSource Pearl lighting fixtures.

The Eos Ti’s operating system hosts powerful magic sheets, easy-to-navigate software and the large-format multi-touch displays with a substantial programming surface. Source Four LED Series 2 Daylight HD and Tungsten HD luminaires will also be on display at the event, bringing visitors high definition lighting with the brightest output.

In Hall 2 (C2-10) alongside Oasis Enterprises, ETC will showcase further products including an EchoTouch controller, Gio @5 console and Irideon FPZ and ColorSource CYC lighting fixtures.

EchoTouch – a compact stand-alone one-universe wall mounted touchscreen controller that can output sACN or DMX and makes recalling or editing preset looks easy. The Irideon family of fixtures have exceptional output for their small size and an attractive design, with a range of color temperatures and 90+ CRI option.

High End Systems’ Road Hog 4 and the SolaFrame 750, will also be on display at CABSAT this year. The SolaFrame 750 is the most compact framing fixture in the Sola Series family of automated tools and offers the widest array of effects currently available in a fixture of its size.

Join ETC at CABSAT 2019 in Hall 2 C2-10 and Hatta-G between 12-14 March to meet with ETC staff and discuss your lighting project or product needs.

ETC Congratulates the 25th Annual Thea Awards Recipients

Every year, users of ETC’s architectural and entertainment control systems earn industry awards for excellence. This year is no different. The Themed Entertainment Association recently announced their 2019 Thea award recipients, and ETC had a hand in a few of the Thea Award-winning projects.

“We’re so proud of our partners recognized with a Thea award this year,” said Karl Haas, Architectural National Sales Manager at ETC. “These winning projects are a testament to the diversity and versatility of ETC’s products. We appreciate the design team’s trust in us and will continue to work to produce lighting system solutions that they can depend on and bring their customers delight.”

ETC’s Unison Paradigm and Mosaic, Sensor3 power control technology, and Source Four LED Lustr+ fixtures were the behind the scenes on several projects, helping other worlds come alive for hundreds of riders, visitors, and passengers around the world. ETC commends the innovative, imaginative talent of our partners recognized this year.

Since 1994, the Thea Awards “bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry.” In addition to recognizing industry luminaries and classic parks, TEA gives Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA) across several categories. The awards will be given out at the Thea Awards gala, April 13, 2019. A complete listing of 2019 Thea recipients can be found here.

ETC congratulates all the recent Thea recipients and is honored to be part of their success.

ETC raises the bar

The lighting and rigging specialist has unveiled several new products

Available in black and white, ETC’s Relevé Spot provides a brightness of up 6,000 lumens, gobo projection with five rotating/indexing dichroic gobos, an 18–54° zoom range, an Ani-gobo break-up and effects wheel for beam break-ups and fire, water and leaf effects, and a variable frost. It has a colour temperature range of 2,700–7,000K, a gate size of 44mm and an aperture size of 160mm.

The lighting and rigging specialist has also unveiled two products that work alongside each other. Prodigy FlyPipe is a compact, self-climbing hoist that reportedly requires minimal structural support which, according to ETC, means users can add lighting, sound systems and projection to spaces previously overlooked. The hoist is described as safe to use thanks to its multiple built-in safety features and is ideal for budget-conscious venues. FlyPipe can be used in conjunction with ETC’s QuickTouch Preset to set equipment and record its position. QuickTouch Preset allows users to walk into a space and, with the single push of a button, have the room set and ready to work.

ETC has also extended its Echo family with EchoTouch, a compact touchscreen lighting controller that can act as an interface into a standalone or integrated Unison Echo control system. EchoTouch can also provide status and control of all Echo products and direct control for DMX/RDM and sACN fixtures and devices. It mounts in a standard 3-gang back box and is powered by PoE or 24DVC. The graphics on the 7-inch screen reportedly support customised layout and naming for any application.

The final new arrival from ETC is Foundry, a line of DMX-controlled distributed power control products that include mini panels, relay controllers, 0–10V controllers and phase-adaptive dimmers. Foundry products are described as the perfect partners for Unison Paradigm, Mosaic or any third-party DMX control system, helping users create complete lighting and plug-load control packages that are said provide advanced energy-saving features and meet stringent energy codes.

ETC boards the Polar Express

When guests arrived at the train platform for a ride on The Polar Express this holiday season, they knew they were in for a magical evening — but chances are they never thought about the technical challenges that come with mounting a show on a moving train …

“The Polar Express ride is like Broadway on train,” explains Guy Rhodes, lighting designer for the show. “We deploy a complete theatrical lighting and sound system in the luggage racks of each car, and treat the show as we would a show in a proscenium space. We have a full crew, including myself on lighting design, a sound designer, props designer, costume designer, two stage managers, and multiple production managers. In one small train car.”

Guests of the show, based on the well-known children’s book and film, are taken on an hour-long train ride and treated to a live performance in the aisles of the train.

Rhodes and his team started researching the lighting in July for an opening the second week of November. And because of the limitations of time and availability of the train, teched the show ahead of time in a mock train car they built in a warehouse in Colorado. This enabled Rhodes and his crew to finesse the show in a relaxed environment, as opposed to years past when they fought against time and space. “When you throw a railroad into the mix, everything is just compressed. You lose the time to fine tune and you’re always rushing,” Rhodes explains. “Lots of quirks come from producing a show and doing technical theatre on a train.”

That quick timeframe and quirky environment also made ETC an easy choice for his lighting needs. “Triggering lighting cues off Eos was a no-brainer. It’s my go-to platform in theatre, musicals, and dance, so I knew that working in such a rigid environment would be a natural fit,” says Rhodes. He also needed a system with which the local techs at all four locations would be familiar. Eos was the answer.

The iRFR app was also extremely helpful in the tight space. With iPad in hand, Rhodes could walk down the train during tech and load the cue stack without lugging the console around. “Polar Express has forced us to up our game on technical knowhow,” says Rhodes. “It’s unlike anything I do during the year. Any technology we can get our hands on to make life easier is great. Our electrician even already had the app on his phone.”

If the looks on the passengers’ faces are any indication, it looked like another great year on The Polar Express.

ETC’S Motorised Rigging Systems in SA

ApexPro, the local distributor of Electronic Theatre Control’s full range of lighting, control and automation technologies, recently hosted a brace of launches featuring ETC’s motorised rigging systems in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Nils Becker, the global ETC rigging products manager, spoke with ETECH during the Johannesburg leg of the launch, held at The University of Johannesburg in October.

ETC has been a global leader in the design and manufacture of lighting and rigging technologies for the theatre, film and television studio environments for more than 40 years, and has a well-established reputation for innovation, responsiveness and outstanding customer service. ApexPro, the distribution arm of Prosound, has a long-standing relationship with ETC, having distributed the company’s lighting and control systems for a number of years. With the rapid adoption of automated staging technology in theatres across the globe, ApexPro decided to invite Becker to introduce ETC’s innovative range of stage automation solutions to the South African market.

NEW POSSIBILITIES

In 2009, ETC introduced the Prodigy range of automation solutions: a new class of over-stage machinery systems that were custom-designed to meet the needs of medium-sized theatres, studios and corporate venues.  According to Becker, ETC’s Prodigy family enables smaller venues to access to motorised staging technology that, as little as a decade ago, was only accessible to the world’s largest and most affluent professional venues.

Prodigy hoists are built around a groundbreaking sloped drum, which makes for a smaller, lighter machine that fits into more places and requires less structural support. There are a variety of models, each of which can be installed in a number of configurations, with a slender design that enables close line-set placement.

All Prodigy hoists use ETC’s unique compression-tube technology, which allows the system to be connected to a structure with fewer brackets, independent of the loft-line placement. This technology cancels out the lateral forces usually created by traditional rigging systems, meaning it can reduce new-installation costs and allow for retrofits in spaces not traditionally designed for stage-machinery systems.

SIMPLICITY DELIVERS RESULTS

The Prodigy system requires an extremely simple infrastructure, as each hoist needs just one cable for power and one for control. A package of 24 machines only requires a single Cat5e cable to connect the hoists to the controller. Prodigy can include a low-profile cable-management system that cleanly hides cabling, as well as pantographs or traditional power options. They accommodate many circuits of power, including emergency circuits, and can contain DMX or network-based data communication.

ETC’s automation controllers deliver high functionality at an affordable price and have been designed with the end-user in mind. From the most basic QuickTouch series to the flagship Foundation controller, the user interface features easy-to-understand displays, such as current weight and position. Also, the system offers a range of installed and remote options to fit the specific requirements of the particular venue, enabling the end-user to execute set changes efficiently and effectively.

SAFETY STANDARDS

ETC’s commitment to safety means that operational safety is a priority of the design and everything in the load path is engineered in terms of a ten-to-one safety factor. The ETC Prodigy hoist has built-in sensors that constantly track, test and log information, such as distance travelled and weight load errors. Every model includes a slack-line sensor and load cell displaying the real-time weight, coupled with an intelligent profiling technology; each motor will instantly halt when it unexpectedly encounters an obstacle in its path.

“In response to increasing awareness about the importance of safety and risk reduction in the workplace, there is a growing aversion among universities, professional theatres and corporate venues to placing people on ladders and within fly rails to access equipment. As a result, there is a growing demand for affordable motorised rigging systems that make it possible for equipment to be lowered and adjusted, which is exactly what the ETC Prodigy range allows,” says Becker.

SCALABILITY

“One of the most important features of the Prodigy family is that it offers venues a highly scalable and customisable solution, that is easy to install and cost-effective to maintain. Also, the system is highly flexible and can be implemented in phases. A venue may invest in just two or three hoists to start with and add to the system as the need arises over the years. As a result, the capital cost of changing from a counter-weight to a motorised system can be managed over a number of fiscal cycles,” Becker concludes.

ETC’s Prodigy offers a package that is user-friendly, affordable to install and increases both the functionality and safety of flying equipment. The Prodigy family promises better access to your flown systems from an approachable interface, thereby making your venue safer and more efficient.

Kindly visit www.etcconnect.com/Products/Rigging-Systems for more information about ETC’s innovative motorised rigging solutions.

ETC lights leading news channel Al Arabiya, 24/7

For over 10 years, an ETC Eos Classic has been used to light the broadcast studio of leading TV news channel Al Arabiya, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week live on air without any technical faults.

Al Arabiya is the chief news station in the Middle East, based in Dubai. ETC dealer, Oasis Enterprises has been in partnership with Al Arabiya since 2008, supplying and installing technical equipment to the TV channel. The news studio commented positively on the relationship with Oasis Enterprises, remarking that their ‘reliability and support’ influenced the decision to choose ETC for their broadcast studio: “They offer us a great service and are always available whenever we need them,” comments the Head of News Resources, Mahmoud Issa.

This year, Al Arabiya was upgraded to ETC’s flagship lighting control desk Eos Ti, bringing the latest technology and most powerful hardware to the broadcast studios. “As our channel runs 24/7, it is crucial that there are no errors with lighting, vision mixers or consoles. We need to be equipped with the best and ETC’s Eos console is one of the best so far,” remarks Mahmoud Issa.

The TV company is also equipped with ETC dimmer racks, Eos Remote Processor Units and lighting fixtures – Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr Daylight HD and Source Four jr luminaires. “The Eos family software platform and the Lustr Series 2 output perform extremely well. We are very happy to have them in our studios and look forward to investing in more in the future,” commented Safwan Harcouss, Lighting Manager at Al Arabiya.

ETC’s signature Eos lighting console was the ultimate choice for Al Arabiya for several reasons. The product’s features were key: the Eos operating system’s powerful magic sheets conveniently allows the TV company to coordinate multiple studios at a time and the built-in blind mode makes it easy and practical to work with. The training offered by Oasis Enterprises to staff at Al Arabiya was also extremely valuable and beneficial for the new employees that the firm regularly hires.

Going forwards, the TV company plans to network the entire building that they are currently in, using the Eos Ti control desk. The team will set up the desk in ‘The Gallery’, a central space in the broadcasting area, ensuring ultimate lighting control across all studios.  

“As the console is in constant use for the 24-hour news channel, the reliability of the system is crucial,” commented Karim Abdel Massih, Lighting Systems Manager at Oasis Enterprises. “Al Arabiya is live on air around-the-clock so it can be challenging from a maintenance perspective, however, ETC’s equipment continues to deliver at a high standard.”

ETC and Avab head to JTSE 2018 with a special reveal

On November 27-28, ETC will be teaming up with Avab Transtechnik France at JTSE, and this year an exciting announcement will be made exclusively at the show. High End Systems will also be exhibiting at the annual tradeshow which takes place at Porte de la Chapelle in Paris.

Visitors to the stand – 140-141 / 162-163, Dock Pullman – will gain an overview of the product range including the latest innovations and lighting solutions by ETC and High End Systems. In Dock Eiffel, in-depth product presentations will also be available in JTSE’s Black Boxes, an area dedicated to demonstrating lighting equipment in optimal conditions.

Amongst the products on display and available for demonstrations are ETC’s Eos family of consoles – Eos Ti, Gio @5 and Ion Xe; ETC’s newly launched Relevé Spot fixture and High End Systems’ SolaFrame 3000, SolaFrame 750 fixtures and Hog 4-18 console.

Relevé Spot

The first member of a new product family for ETC – an automated fixture specifically designed for the theatre. The fixture boasts a calibrated four-colour additive mixing system and a unique Ani-gobo wheel which is paired with a dynamic customisable five-position rotating gobo wheel.

Eos

ETC’s Eos family of consoles brings award-winning colour tools and advanced, granular control of your whole rig. Flagship console Eos Ti, as well Gio @5 and Ion Xe will be available for demonstrations at the show this year.

EchoTouch

ETC’s EchoTouch controller offers compact, stylish and intuitive touchscreen control of lighting in architectural and smaller entertainment spaces. It can operate as a standalone controller giving direct control of DMX/RDM and sACN fixtures and devices, or be integrated into a larger Unison Echo control system. Users can locally program zones, presets, and sequences to control their devices.

SolaFrame

High End Systems SolaFrame series features the most advanced and complete line of LED frame fixtures on the market. The SolaFrame 3000 will be on display at JTSE. It is the flagship luminaire in the Sola Series range, boasting more than 37,000 lumen output on the wall and a 1000 Watt Ultra-Brite White LED engine.

The SolaFrame 750 will also be available, and is the most compact framing fixture in High End System’s family of automated tools, featuring a 6-50 degree zoom, rotating gobo wheel and fully continuous animation. Alongside this, the SolaFrame Theatre fixture, Hedgehog console and the latest Hog 4-18 console will be on site during the two-day tradeshow.

The Black Box No 14 will provide demonstrations of several of ETC’s acclaimed luminaires including Source Four LED Series 2, ColorSource CYC, ColorSource Spot and ColorSource PAR. Specialists from ETC, High End Systems and Avab Transtechnik France will be on the stand for visitors to talk to and ask any questions. The exclusive announcement will be made on the first day of the show so be sure to visit the stands (140-141 / 162-163) to find out what the big reveal is.

ETC and High End Systems unite at LDI 2018

At the 2018 LDI tradeshow, ETC and High End Systems will join forces in one large-scale, combined booth to showcase lighting solutions for every show and venue. In addition to new fixtures, controls and rigging options, both companies will debut new moving lights on the tradeshow floor.

The booth showcases several new automated fixtures this year, among them are Relevé Spot fixtures, a mover that combines nearly a decade of LED optical engineering with forty years of theatrical experience. This affordable automated fixture includes impressive colour mixing capabilities, a perfectly subtle theatrical frost, and a unique Ani-gobo wheel that was designed with your theatre in mind.

The latest and brightest additions to the Sola Series, SolaSpot 3000 and SolaFrame 3000 will light up High End’s side of the booth. For a more compact frame option, the SolaFrame 1000 will be shown in the HES booth.

Also showing for the first time at LDI will be the flagship Hog 4-18 console, which features 18.5” touchscreens and a refreshed design with accessory arm mounts on each side. For advanced backstage communications, CueSystem will be in booth with new large outstation options that add even more flexibility to the cue light system.

ETC’s new Prodigy FlyPipe and QuickTouch Preset rigging solutions will also be featured in the ETC booth. The easy-to-install, easy-to-use hoist and controller fit into cafeterias, lobbies, museums, and churches that would not otherwise be able to accommodate rigging technology because of limitations of architecture, structural engineering, or budget. Perfect for use with FlyPipe, the new ColorSource Raceway will be on display as well. The lightweight and configurable distribution raceway was designed for rigs in smaller, budget-conscious facilities.

Those looking for compact and intuitive touchscreen control solutions for architectural lighting in entertainment spaces can interact with EchoTouch at LDI. Additional new architectural products at the LDI show include the Foundry line of DMX-controlled distributed power control products.

Visitors can also check out the latest additions to the ArcSystem line which include new fixture types, expanded colour temperature options, and hardwired DMX/RDM versions.

LDI attendees will be able to see many of these new products working live during a light show that will take place across the booths throughout the conference. Attendees will gather in Room N251 on October 20 for the annual Student Session led by field project coordinator Nick Gonsman.

Learn more about ETC’s LDI plans at www.etcconnect.com/LDI.