Adam j

Post USITT Post

Well last week was pretty crazy.

I got to sit down with several colleagues I haven’t seen in years (before, after & late into the night after the conference)

I sat in on multiple commission meetings where I picked up a few new side projects & pitched a few session ideas.

I spoke about using a media server to project digital scenery during a session put on by Apollo Friday morning, after which I talked about BlueKaos for another 45 minutes to an unexpectedly large crowd. (I’ll post a picture when I get a copy).


I went to a lot of different types of sessions, some good, a few very bad and two that really stood out: they were informative, educational and had information ranging from the basic to advanced to keep the entire audience engaged.

Digital Portfolios – Do’s and Don’ts

Chaired by Michael M. Harvey

I have a fundamental disagreement with Mr. Harvey’s online (website) philosophy that being said this was a great session. It covered several different methods and ideas for creating fairly simple and very complex digital portfolios. There was a good discussion of the types of problems and challenges you may encounter in the process and when presenting digitally plus constructive feedback on questions/comments.

Creating a Digital Presence

Chaired by Todd Profitt with Jacob Coakley & Justin Lang

I was first made aware of this session by reading about it on twitter (multiple times, in multiple places). It caught my attention because if you’ve been to the learning section of this site you’re well aware that it’s hard to simply explain these topics in writing with adequate detail (I’m currently failing/temporarily given up on it). These gentlemen were well prepared for the session, they presented a wide range of options for getting started online, reminded everyone of some of the obvious pitfalls that get overlooked, and were excellent in their Q&A responses. You can see the static slide portion of the presentation here and links to various software and site examples here.

Additionally Todd and I have since been tweeting back and forth I will be adding to his website example list and adding his examples into my list of links.

 Stage Expo Floor

I’ve worked at and been to dozens of trade shows so I really don’t need anymore swag, yet I still ended up getting a t-shirt (someone was so insistent I just took it so I could move on). I like wander fairly calmly across the show floor preferably while sessions are going on so you can actually talk to the sales reps more in depth about products. For some things that just doesn’t happen, the ETC booth for example was always swamped with people looking at the new Source 4 LED fixtures.

Things on the floor that stuck out to me this year (in a good way)

New Source 4 & LEDs everywhere (again?): I missed USITT last year but it seems that the number of LED fixtures being shown has again exponentially increased. Not everything shown was a great product and even the ETC Source 4 (which are high quality) fixtures are still not quite ready to entirely replace your traditional stage lighting but they are getting much closer. At this point supplementing a portion of your Source 4 inventory with the 7 color (Lustr+) LED version is a more viable and financially sound idea. List price on all of the new LED source 4′s is $2575.00. See ETC LED Source 4 for more

Low cost LED wash fixtures: I will swear by the Apollo HP5-70 (5 color RGBAW) and the HP3-90 (RGB) for $600 list I couldn’t find a better comparably priced product, I’ve purchased 8 for a tour and will likely be buying myself 10-12 of them this spring. Again to supplement not to replace my existing inventory.

LED House Lights: I got to spend some time with the guys from Philips (Strand) and talk about the Selecon PL House Light LED Luminaire. Very impressive 4 color (RGBW) single chip system with adjustable color temp and a high light output (equivalent to a 70W metal halide). Currently this fixture is still in preliminary spec with an estimated list at $1,400. It’s high price for a house light but if you were looking at redoing houselights plus dimmer control, (which I am in 2013) the price becomes more within the range of possibilities. I am also a big fan of being able to change house light colors to set a different tone for the room for every events.

Green Go – Digital Intercom over Ethernet: I literally just stumbled upon this on my way out of the conference one day. It’s a fairly new product so there are still parts in development but the available digital beltpacks which run on your existing PoE network are available now. They had a wide range of new (for intercom) and useful features including the ability to be used as a call light system, speak to one/all, and built in individual pack multi-channel. The only thing really missing currently is the abilty to connect to your existing com system but that is suppose to be coming early this fall. The product is currently distributed in the US by StageLight but I have not seen it on their website, the cut sheet puts list price at $985 per beltpack.

PVC Bendit: (I may have seen this before but it is particularly relevant to one of my current projects). The name says it all, it’s a tool for bending PVC pipe up to 3″ in diameter. The product starts at $200 and most expensive version (18′ for up to 2″ PVC) is around $630. Optional accessory sleeves can add up to an additional $100 to the cost but allow for even larger diameter pipes. If you have a project that requires a lot of bends I think this product would be invaluable and significantly faster than any other method or tool that I’m aware of.


That’s it for now see you next year in Milwaukee.

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