LiveDesign LiveBlog

New Technology Breakfast: Lighting

8:15 And we're off! The famed Lighting New Technology breakfast is underway. Four minutes to pitch your products to a yawning crowd. We're also out of coffee. Suppressing the urge to panic, we solider on.

8:20 A 24 channel dimmer you can hold in one hand? Nicely done. 100 watts/per channel and TINY. So glad to see someone moving beyond the form factor of the “dimmer” we all of know. It's time for a change, and while this product isn't meant for heavy duty use I think having options is invaluable.

8:24 City Theatrical takes the stage. First off, LW5. It's talkin' to Vectorworks and apparently they get along nicely. Finally! The lighting world thanks you all. The PDS-750 is also evolving (we're seeing the THX version now) and making things easier for us. Is this the story? Gear is getting simpler? Anything that increases install efficiency is golden because you're saving a ton of reoccurring costs.

8:28 Interactive Technologies' Figment DMX … a really cool software suite used with your iPhone. Other phones coming soon maybe? Who did a dimmer check at 30,000 feet on their iPad? These guys did! Networking networking networking. It's becoming critical.

8:33 Enttec takes the stage to talk about their cool products. We all know they just make gear work. Nice GUI for in their new Datagate. It's web based. Definitely making our lives easier, especially those who are visually oriented. Also, job sites are becoming about data management. Here is a company that's making that data accessible. Critical in a cost conscious world.

8:38 Pathway Connectivity's making the longevity and quality pitch. Much of their gear is still in service all these years later. That speaks to a longer view you don't see very often. They are showcasing the Pathport Via, a managed ethernet switch. Pretty robust, with a ton of cool stuff going on inside the box I know nothing about. I love the bandwidth allocation feature, making sure streaming media stays streaming. Maybe the Las Vegas Convention Center could use them?

8:44 PRG wants to talk about the Ohm Light -- an LED solution for film and television -- and put to bed the traditional tungsten space light. They're talking about some really neat options: lower power, greater safety, variable color temperature. But will it really replace the old, dumb, and bright fixtures everyone knows and loves? That's gonna depend on labor's compliance and price before super nifty features.

8:49 iLuminate's first year at LDI! Welcome. They want to light up performers and dancers. And we're gonna see it in action too! Will this make LDs even greater divas? Now they have EVEN MORE fixtures … I mean people … to use in their arsenal.

8:53 LEX takes the stage. I'm sitting here trying to imagine life without LEX. It's not pretty. Ever need one more dimmer? Just one more? Well, they've got it. Lots of options you'd expect. And printing on cables to make cable management easier? I've got to see this to believe it.

8:58 Apollo's up. (Can I just say how much I love perforated gel?) We're seeing a vid of their new product. (Joel's pic could use some Photoshop lovin'.) We're talking about an LED Zoom (12 to 50 degrees). Has potential. But what does the dimming curve look like? What are some of the options? We're gonna need to check it out on the floor.

9:08 The Black Tank. They're new this year! ( Their Brickblaster Pro promises to be one helluva unit. Scalable, bright, light weight, customizable, controllable, and very field serviceable. Did technicians, the people who actually make gear work, get together and make a product they could be proud of? It would seem so.

9:12 PRG is now talking about The Bad Boy CMY. Lots of options, lots of wheels, lots of power. You know, for times when you need photons to blow an audience away!

9:19 PRG takes the stage … again. What more could they possibly talk about?? With so many great products, what's left? Ohhhh … control. They want to show you the V476 console. I got some brief time on this board during The Production Master Classes. It's got some nifty features and is really approachable. It runs Mac OSX, one of the only operating systems I would trust a show with. It's got a lot going for it, but one thing it doesn't: PRG doesn't always play nicely with other NY shops.

9:26 BCI starts with an apology about last year. Ha! They've have a new and improved Pocket Console which runs on a smart phone or iPads.

9:32 Midiator has a “new generation of visual and live show control.” Another piece of gear meant to simplify and consolidate. It can trigger consoles, media servers, etc. I also think the paring down of information to what's actually needed is really useful. Anybody can create a desk that's complicated, hard to use, and spits out a boat load of information. Designing an interface that works takes skill. Has Midiator breached the gap?

9:37 Light Converse continues to make inroads in the pre-viz biz. He's talking about a lot of numbers, which are all going over my head. Still, pre-viz is becoming part of our world.

9:42 Cast is up next. (That's not weird at all, since WYSIWYG and Light Converse are competitors.) After a little grand friendly banter, they got right to the point: BlackTrax, a box that tracks people automatically using infra-red LEDs. Is this the solution for moving away from a rigid cue structure which hinders spontaneity, clipping the very thing that makes live performance great? Kudos to them for creating a product that plays well with other people too. Looking forward to seeing this in action. 

9:53 Another year's breakfast comes to a close. Phew. The show floor will soon be officially open soon. The room empties. Probably the smoothest year in terms of production -- great switching and teching a variety of presenters' media.

I'm looking forward to seeing what gear is making life simpler for labor and designers. Time is precious, and we should celebrate the gear that understands it.


Lance Darcy is a Lighting Director and Director of Photography.  He writes the mostly bi-weekly column LD On The DL, here on the Live Blog.  

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