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ETC upgrades networking with Response Mk2 DMX Gateways

Modern luminaires and networked controls allow users to take lighting to more places than ever before. ETC’s new Response Mk2 DMX Gateways ensure DMX and RDM get there, too. The Response Mk2 DMX Gateways flawlessly translate DMX/RDM to and from sACN, allowing users to put control exactly where they need it – saving money and time.

Available in 1-, 2-, and 4-port models, Response Mk2 DMX Gateways provide DMX and RDM data distribution, taking advantage of the reliability and interoperability of industry-standard protocols such as ANSI E1.31 (sACN) and ANSI E1.20 (RDM). With wall-mount, portable, and DIN rail form factors, users can always find the perfect fit for your application. And every model – even the 1-port! – now features a crisp OLED screen and four-button interface to clearly display (and modify) configuration and status.

Response Mk2 DMX Gateways make it easy to deal with the headaches of networks, too. With increased processing, each Gateway can support 256 RDM devices. Plus, all Gateways can be monitored and configured from a central location with ETC’s powerful Concert software, letting users change network status and DMX/RDM settings. And when you want to be more hands-on, the easy user interface on each Gateway ensures you can configure it exactly as you want it – right at the Gateway itself. 

Response Mk2 DMX Gateways offer powerful integration into ETC’s Paradigm, Echo, or Mosaic architectural lighting control systems and of course they pair perfectly with ETC’s entertainment controls.

Something’s Brewing in Randburg

Take one of South Africa’s most dynamic television studios, mix it with a healthy expansion project, and throw in the need for cutting edge lighting infrastructure technology and what do you get? The answer is Urban Brew’s new Studio premises at Ferndale on Republic, formally known as Brightwater Commons.

When Urban Brew made the decision to move from their old home to their bright and shiny new one, they made the commitment to upgrade their Television Studio infrastructure and technology as well, with the explicit intention that it would put them ahead of any other Television studio complex of their kind in the country. Not only this, but the solution needed to be robust enough to serve them properly for at least the next 10 to 15 years.

When it came to the lighting portion of the project the logical solution was a control and networking infrastructure by ETC. Based on similar system architectures that have been employed at the BBC and Sky in the United Kingdom, the ETC system was designed to be able to control any studio from any control room. The initial phase of the installation incorporated Studios 1, 3, 6 and 9 which all came online during last year. Further expansion with new studios is planned throughout this year as well.

But having the right solution is only half of the equation. It still needs to be installed, commissioned and handed over and the tight deadlines on this project made that an even more pressing task. Taking on the challenge was Protea Technology who were awarded the tender for the entire project. To assist Protea with the lighting portion, Prosound was commissioned, the Prosound Projects and Installation Team was headed by David Butcher, David’s task was to oversee the lighting portion of the project which included no less than four studios’ worth of lighting control, networking infrastructure and power distribution.

A particularly interesting feature of the project was the idea that any Studio could be controlled from any Control room at any given time. This meant there was always going to be a heavy reliance on networked IP based systems running through a central switch. Hard-line DMX was not an option for the project and neither was placing bulky external processing units all around the complex. Fortunately, because ETC’s Eos family of consoles do all their processing on board, all that is then required is the distribution of that signal around the facility. For that there are the ETC Gateway Nodes which can be clamped to the overhead grid where they convert sACN signal to DMX before sending the signal along its way to the fixtures. That makes the rig versatile as you can have any port be any universe you choose, at any point in the rig you would like.

But the challenges didn’t stop there. Urban Brew’s fixture inventory represented a mix of LED, Tungsten and Halogen Moving Lights meaning simple dimmers were not going to cut it. The answer, once again, came from ETC in the form of their ColorSource ThruPower units which can switch between dimming, relay and constant current circuits, all via RDM or at the rack itself. Each studio was installed with 4 x ColorSource 24 circuit Wall units except for studio 9 which received 8 x ColorSource 24 circuit Wall units.

That’s a total of 480 circuits, across four studios and control rooms, each with their own console and over fifty gateway nodes to distribute DMX. It’s no wonder that David Butcher’s eyes tear up a little when you say the phrase ‘Urban Brew’ near him.

The Urban Brew Studios project represents a massive leap forward in the South African broadcasting space. It is the biggest installation of its kind outside of the SABC which was built in the 1970s. It is easily the most modern facility of its kind in the country and plays host to productions which range from the National Lottery Draw to YoTV and The Voice South Africa.

Clearly a facility of this calibre deserves nothing but the best. With their new ETC infrastructure, backed up by the potent partnership between Prosound and Protea Technology, they can rest assured that they’ve got exactly that.

ETC Controls Midwest Landmark

As the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building define their home cities, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is arguably the Midwest’s most important icon. While the Arch gets all the visual attention, the national park it occupies is equally impressive. The 91-acre grounds of the Gateway Arch National Park recently underwent an extensive landscape re-design, including the removal of an existing parking garage, the creation of an elevated walkway, and several new walking and biking paths. And as part of this re-design, local company Randy Burkett Lighting Design created a complete new park lighting system, utilizing ETC’s Mosaic family of products.

The scope of the design was as large as the park: everything was to receive new lighting. This included the historic “allées” (tree-lined paths throughout the park), new paths on the park border, accessible walkways connecting the park to the riverfront, and a new section of park named the “North Gateway,” which includes an elevated walkway and the historic Eads Bridge’s south embankment abutment.

“The primary goal for the project lighting design was to support the programmatic nature of the pathway system from day through the evening,” says Richard Fisher of RBLD. “A simple, modern form was selected along the border pathways, while a stylized unit was deployed in a formal arrangement along the historic tree allées.” Other goals included the reduction of glare and uplight (pedestrian-scaled fixtures were cut-off units), and improvement of visual comfort at night for park visitors. Maintaining and enhancing the major views was also a key consideration.

The control system was designed to support a variety of operational needs – from normal days to special events such as stargazing and a large festival over the Independence Day holiday. The system communicates via a DALI network using individually-addressed fixtures with dimmable drivers. Fixtures are balanced to create a unified appearance and rhythm of light. Given the size of the park it was also important that the control system also provide fixture monitoring, notifying park management of fixture operation and hours of operation for long-term maintenance.

The allées and border path lighting utilized pedestrian-scaled poles and fixtures. For the allées, RBLD developed a custom fixture that was derived from a monumental unit designed during the Arch’s construction but never manufactured. Allées and border path fixtures were controlled with a DALI network using the Mosaic controllers.

The Tech Specs

The lighting controls system for the park utilized a number of different ETC components, but at the head of everything is a Mosaic Show Controller. The MSC was chosen because it can handle a number of different protocols and is known for its reliability. Two of the main elements under Mosaic’s control are a pair of ETC DMX-enabled relay cabinets for switching the non-dim fixtures across the park – one for each of the north and south halves. After that, the MSC connects to and controls a DALI network for all pole-based pathway lighting. Due to the park size, cable-run length limitations, and device limitations associated with the DALI protocol, the MSC is connected to a series of distributed control hubs via a fiber optic network. These hubs, located throughout the park, are then connected to another layer of distribution equipment before connecting to the fixtures.

The Challenges

One of the obvious challenges was park size, and how that impacted protocol requirements like cable length and the number of devices on a loop. Another challenge was that DALI is simply not that common within the US. But Fisher made that choice because he felt that the robustness of the protocol – in terms of wire and wiring – would be advantages across such a large site.

The last challenge was that the site-distributed control equipment could not be housed in above-ground cabinets. As a national park, the design direction was that the site should appear as natural as possible with as few support elements as possible visible. Oversized hand holes, drainage, NEMA-rated cabinets, and waterproof connections were specified to try and minimize possible ingress problems.

One final challenge for the install was managing the complexity of working with four separate electrical contractors, each on different times and schedules. “One of the ways we tried to combat this was to specify a lighting integration specialist as part of the control system scope. In this case, Candela Controls was the selected vendor (working as a sub-contractor to one of the ECs) and they helped bring application knowledge as well as becoming the point person for all things control-related with the electrical contractors,” says Fisher. “They were a huge asset and a key to the success of this project”

St. Louis was the gateway to the West, and ETC is now the gateway to a bright new future for its park. 

High End Systems & ETC Lighting Upgrades ATG Venues

ETC dealer, White Light Ltd has supplied Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) venues with an LED upgrade using High End Systems and ETC lighting equipment.

Two theatres – Aylesbury Waterside and the Grand Opera House York were upgraded with brand new LED packages consisting of High End Systems’ SolaFrame 1000, SHAPESHIFTER, ETC’s ColorSource PAR and ColorSource Spot.

High End Systems’ SolaFrame 1000 was selected as the central fixture of the new rig. ATG opted for the High CRI version which offers a more refined quality of light with a CRI of 90+, as well as 16,000-lumen output. It has an extensive feature list including full-curtain framing shutters, rotating and fixed gobo wheels, animation as well as CMY colour mixing; while at the same time remaining extremely quiet and weighing just 32kg.

“Seeing the SolaFrame in-situ, it became clear that this was the perfect fixture for both venues. They are extremely versatile and ultimately will be the workhorse for the rig. They also have a five-year warranty for the LED array, which is obviously a huge bonus”. White Light Business Development Manager, Jonathan Haynes

Implementing an LED upgrade in both venues ensured that ATG could provide support for its diverse range of productions while also presenting an environmentally friendly installation. White Light established an LED upgrade package accordingly which substituted the tungsten rig with LED and replaced overhead and cyc lighting.

In addition to the SolaFrame 1000s, there were 48 ETC ColorSource PARs, 42 ColorSource Spots (complete with a mix of profile and fresnel lenses) and 8 High End Systems’ SHAPESHIFTERS. The fixtures have now been fitted into both venues and have immediately been used on a host of shows.

“It was important for us to find the right company which could offer us industry-recognised products and the full back-up and support required for such a large-scale transition from tungsten to LED.” Jonathan adds: “ETC and High End offer some of the longest warranty periods on their fixtures and all brands are represented and supported in the UK. It is fantastic to work so closely with an organisation as established as ATG to begin improving and modernising their offerings with the latest lighting technology and make them stand out in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace”. ATG’s Head of Technical Operations, Stuart Graham

ETC gets set for Stage|Set|Scenery 2019

ETC returns to international trade fair and conference, Stage|Set|Scenery with a host of new and exciting products for 2019. The exhibition for theatre, film and entertainment technology will take place at Messe Berlin from June 18-20.

This year, ETC has three stands: Stand 340 and 240 in Hall 20 and Stand 301 in Hall 21.

Showcasing its extensive range of lighting technology on Stand 340, Hall 20, ETC will present Augment3d – its first integrated 3D programming environment. Live demonstrations of the Eos v3.0 tool will take place during the trade fair, displaying how users can control and design in a three dimensional space whilst interacting with their fixtures through augmented reality. Augment3d will be shown on the leading Eos Ti and Gio @5 consoles during the three day exhibition.

Further products on Stand 340 include the latest lighting fixtures and architectural systems. Relevé Spot is the first member of a new product family for ETC – an automated fixture specifically designed for the theatre. It boasts a calibrated four-color additive mixing system and a unique Ani-gobo wheel. Alongside this, there will be the acclaimed Source Four LED fixtures, ArcSystem family of LED products and ETC’s EchoTouch controller.

On Stand 301, Hall 21, ETC will present its complete package of Upper Stage Machinery. Live demonstrations of installing the Prodigy P2 hoist will take place at 11:15 and 15:15 each day during the tradeshow. The P2’s advanced features and compact size makes installations a quick and easy process. Attendees to the stand can watch just how fast and simple the setup of a full hoist system which includes control, distribution and fixtures, can be.  

Visitors will be introduced to ColorSource Raceway, a lightweight power and data distribution system perfect for small venues and an ideal partner to Prodigy P2.

ETC will also showcase its intuitive user-friendly controllers on the stand, including QuickTouch Preset, QuickTouch+ and Foundation HD. Simple and straightforward to use, the controllers and the budget-friendly P2 system are suitable for all venues.

Product specialists will be on all stands, including on Stand 240, Hall 20 where visitors can ask any questions and find out more about the full product range.

ETC & High End Systems return to ABTT 2019

ETC and High End Systems prepare to showcase the latest line up of products at the 2019 ABTT Theatre Show on stands R1 and S1.

ETC will display its first integrated 3D programming environment: Augment3d on stand R1. The new and exciting Eos tool lets users control and design in a three dimensional space as well as interact with their fixtures through augmented reality. Visitors are welcome to attend in-depth presentations on Augment3d which will be held at 2.30pm on the 5th June and 2pm on 6th June in the Londesborough Room. Eos v3.0 will be available for use with all Win7 Eos family consoles, and will be shown at ABTT on the flagship Eos Ti and Gio @5.

High End Systems’ leading Hog 4-18 console will be on stand S1 during the tradeshow. The powerful console uses the very latest technology and is designed for the largest stadium shows, theme parks, concert tours and more.

The newest addition to the SolaFrame family – SolaFrame 1000 – will be on the booth for visitors to explore. Boasting a 20,000 lumen output, full framing shutters, rotating and fixed gobo wheels, multiple color systems and much more. Alongside this will be the SolaFrame Theatre, the industry’s first and only fanless automated LED luminaire that operates completely silently. It features a special high-CRI Bright White LED engine and is a natural fit for theatres or similar venues where fixture noise is not an option.

ETC’s first automated fixture in over a decade will be on show at ABTT. Specifically designed for the theatrical lighting designer, ETC’s Relevé Spot boasts a calibrated four-color additive mixing system and a unique Ani-gobo wheel.

Product experts will be on the stand to talk about ETC’s Stage Technology solutions including Prodigy P2 hoist. The complete package hoist is easy and fast to install and suitable to fit any venue’s needs.

Visitors can discover further highlights on stand R1 including the ArcSystem family of high-quality LED products, ColorSource CYC and Irideon.

This year’s exhibition will take place at Alexandra Palace, London on the 5th and 6th June. 

ETC names new CEO

Continuing the 40+ year tradition of strong company leadership, the ETC board of directors has appointed Dick Titus as President/CEO of ETC.

The company is dedicated to maintaining the legacy of its co-founder Fred Foster who passed away earlier this year. As ETC continues to grow and develop, Fred’s people-focused and high quality leadership perseveres. The company remains privately held with an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that helps to secure the business as an independent company for the future.

ETC’s objective to continue providing the most innovative products, services and solutions to its markets remains upheld with its new President/CEO.  Titus has led the management team at ETC for 17 years as President and five years before that as COO. He started with the company in 1990.

“It’s an honor to lead the executive staff,” Titus says. “Together we have a vast amount of experience serving the people of ETC and our customers. We have a unique culture, and I’m committed to building that for years to come. We have always been a company built on a model of personal responsibility. Our path of consistent growth continues to come from the wide variety of talents of our dedicated staff around the world.”

With a diverse market from architectural to entertainment and rigging systems, ETC achieved stellar revenue growth between 2014 and 2018.. In 2017 ETC acquired entertainment lighting company, High End Systems. In 2018 they grew their commercial sales division by completing the acquisition of EchoFlex Solutions and earlier this year, they increased their presence in France when they acquired former partner, Avab Transtechnik France and added a corporate office in Paris. This summer, distribution of the ArcSystem, BluesSystem, and CueSystem products completes the acquisition of these product lines from the UK-based company, GDS.

ApexPro invites you to the ETC / High End Systems Open Day

20 – 21 May 2019

ApexPro, in conjunction with Jeremy Roberts from ETC, will be hosting dedicated sessions for all new and existing ETC/High End dealers in order to provide skills and knowledge for all those on the ground selling and supporting this excellent brand.

As a valuable member of the ETC/High End family in South Africa, we would like to formally invite you to join us so that you can be empowered to make a success of your dealership.

Sessions will include presentations on ETC and High End, as well as product overviews and a chance to meet face-to-face with the ApexPro ETC team.

As ApexPro, we are here to provide the necessary support to help you and we encourage you to make the most of this opportunity as future discount structures will be influenced by attendance.

We look forward to seeing you there as we forge ahead in growing the ETC/High End brand in South Africa.

There are four available sessions for you to choose from:
Monday 20 May: 10h00-13h00 | 14h00-17h00
Tuesday 21 May: 10h00-13h00 | 14h00-17h00

Venue: ApexPro Offices, Unit 39 Hillfox Centre (lower level), Weltevreden Park, JHB
*light lunch time snacks will be served

We look forward to personally welcoming you to the South African ETC family as we help grow this fantastic brand together!

RSVP: rsvp@apexpro.co.za

ETCNOMAD USB Key Unlocks the Power of HOG 4 PC

With the High End Systems release of Hog 4 OS 3.12, the ETCnomad USB key will now support Hog 4 PC. All existing ETCnomad USB key users, including those with the Education Package, will have access to Hog 4 PC software as a direct controller.

ETC’s VP of Marketing David Lincecum commented, “Thousands of existing ETCnomad users just gained access to the PC version of the best live event console in the world — the Hog 4. We hope they enjoy learning and using Hog 4 PC on their next event.”

The ETCnomad USB key gives users access to Eos Family, Cobalt, and now Hog 4 PC software on laptop and desktop computers. The device has been especially successful in the education market through the Education Package, which offers students and educators special discount pricing. More details about the products are available online at www.etcconnect.com/etcnomad

“We’re very excited to bring Hog 4 PC to the ETCnomad family,” console product manager Sarah Clausen commented, “Users of our Educational Package will now have yet another control system option to expand their horizons. Professional users will enjoy the new options for data distribution using Hog 4 PC and the ETCnomad USB key.”