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It’s Official, High End Systems is an ETC Company Now

Just heard the news — ETC has officially acquired High End Systems, so now High End Systems is an ETC company.  I’ve heard lots of rumors and speculation about the future, but none of it is bad, all of it is good for High End Systems.  Richard Belliveau and his team have innovated our industry very far, and I would argue that we have him to thank, among others of course, for what we have to call an industry today.

From the news room at ETC:

High End Systems, an ETC Company

ETC acquires High End Systems

Middleton, WI (31 March 2017) – ETC and High End Systems announce today they are joining forces as ETC completes the acquisition of the Austin, TX based company from Barco Inc. “We welcome the High End team to the ETC family. ETC will provide a strong support structure for High End to continue to innovate and make great products for the industry,” says ETC CEO Fred Foster.

High End is known for dynamic products such as the Sola family of all-LED automated fixtures, and Wholehog consoles. David Lincecum, VP of Marketing at ETC says, “We value the High End products and plan to expand work on their portfolio. We want customers to know that ETC will protect your investment in High End products through strengthened service, support, and development.”

The addition of High End enables ETC, a current market leader in the theatrical, broadcast and architectural markets, to broaden its strategic focus and pursue additional desired areas of technology growth. High End gains the oversight of an experienced lighting industry management team to help the company better realize its full potential as a market leader in event lighting.

ETC will operate High End as a separate company located in its current Austin, TX facility. High End customers will continue to contact the Austin office for sales and service, and sales distribution channels worldwide remain the same for the foreseeable future.

And there we have it!

BARCO’s Talking to ETC About Buying High End Systems

Well, we’ve all been wondering who was sniffing, now we know — BARCO is in talks with Electronic Theatre Controls (yes, THAT ETC) about putting High End Systems somewhere within the ETC line.  It’s not a secret that the Revolution didn’t quite hit the rental market like they liked (although it is a fine moving head for its application), and this is a brilliant move for a manufacturer already in a good place with the conventional market, high quality LED markets, and theatrical lighting control market.

We here at JimOnLight.com always have a place in our heart for the High End brand, and I personally am always glad for people to get to continue to reap the creations that come from Richard Belliveau’s big ol’ brain.  Awesome, ETC and High End!

From an email from High End’s marketing department:

Barco and ETC announced today that they are in the midst of serious discussions wherein ETC would acquire High End Systems, Barco’s lighting activities, part of the Entertainment division. While the timeline for the completion of this acquisition is still unknown, both parties are committed to moving forward with a successful transaction.

Wim Buyens, senior vice president of Barco’s Entertainment division, commented, “For Barco, the envisioned divestment of its lighting activities is in line with its strategy to sharpen the focus on its core activities. We believe joining forces with ETC would enable High End Systems to realize its full business potential, while providing ongoing support and opportunity development for its customers, and we appreciate ETC’s commitment to maintain High End’s operations in Austin and fully support the development of High End’s products.”

Fred Foster, ETC CEO commented today, “ETC has been executing a strategy to grow our company. We want to offer our employee-owners opportunities for greater personal success and continue to give our customers innovative products and services. We see adding HES to the ETC family as an opportunity for both of those things. Our plan is to continue High End operations from their current location in Austin, TX. High End products like the Sola family of LED automated fixtures, Wholehog consoles, and Axon media servers are innovative tools for the live-events industry. Our intention is to make the investments needed in order to restore these products and the High End brand to market-leader status.”

Foster continues, “We place a high value in not only the High End products, but also the employees that will join our ETC family with the completion of this acquisition. Both companies have similar core values when it comes to innovation and I know working together will be a great success.”

More information will be announced in the coming weeks as it becomes available.

From the ETC Press Ninjas, Rachel Frederick in particular:

Middleton, WI (01, March, 2017) – ETC and Barco announced today that they are in the midst of serious discussions wherein ETC would acquire High End Systems. While the timeline for the completion of this acquisition is still unknown, both parties are committed to moving forward with a successful transaction.

Wim Buyens, senior vice president of Barco’s Entertainment division, commented, “For Barco, the divestment of its lighting activities is in line with its strategy to sharpen the focus on its core activities. We believe joining forces with ETC would enable High End Systems to realize its full business potential while providing ongoing support and opportunity development for its customers, and we appreciate ETC’s commitment to maintain High End’s operations in Austin and fully support the development of High End’s products.”

Fred Foster, ETC CEO commented today, “ETC has been executing a strategy to grow our company. We want to offer our employee-owners opportunities for greater personal success and continue to give our customers innovative products and services. We see adding HES to the ETC family as an opportunity for both of those things. Our plan is to continue High End operations from their current location in Austin, TX. High End products like the Sola family of LED automated fixtures, Wholehog consoles, and Axon media servers are innovative tools for the live-events industry. Our intention is to make the investments needed in order to restore these products and the High End brand to market-leader status.”

Foster continues, “We place a high value in not only the High End products, but also the employees that will join our ETC family with the completion of this acquisition. Both companies have similar core values when it comes to innovation and I know working together will be a great success.”

More information will be announced in the coming weeks, once the acquisition reaches final stages.

BARCO’s stock is kinda kicking some booty — here’s the last year to date:

BARCO’s one year stock performance

 

Keep kicking the photons, High End Systems!!  Nothing but love for you!!

Fun Trivia: Hide and Seek Hopper in ETC’s HQ

Electronic Theatre Controls’ headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin is generally accepted as unbelievably awesome. ETC won In Business Magazine’s “Commercial Designs of the Decade” award for best development in a large building. Amongst the tangle of storefronts, theaters, and towers; its own “town square” buzzing with inspiration and creation, is a replica of a very famous diner–American realist painter Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” Some cool trivia many do not realize is–quite a few more of Edward Hopper’s paintings influenced ETC’s Town Square. The storefronts were influenced by “Early Sunday Morning” and the bank entrance at the headquarters which houses the finances department with “New York Pavements” and “Summertime.” Characters from Hopper paintings are also visible, including:

• From “Four Lane Road” an older man in a chair, located across from ETC’s deli

• Also from “Four Lane Road” the woman is seen leaning out a window above the Habberdashery (the clothing and swag shop) • “Girl at a Sewing Machine” is also across from the deli, but closer to Manufacturing

• The man from “Pennsylvania Coal Town” is seen by the Century Theatre’s ever-changing marquee

• From “New York Office,” a woman seen above the bank

• From “Room In Brooklyn” the girl sitting with her back to the window

Edward Hopper was a fabulous painter and printmaker. His works portray all the light our eyes harvest from the world magnificently, and it is really fantastic that Electronic Theatre Controls’ headquarters holds such clever tributes to Mr. Hopper. Without light, there is nothing for a painter to portray.

 

 

 

Nighthawks reception photo by John Jacobsen.

Bill Klages Teaches Television Lighting at ETC’s Summer Camp

I finally got through ALL of my Bill Klages shots – last week at ETC’s Summer Camp in Middleton (at the ETC Mothership!) I got to listen to Bill Klages talk about setting up shots for film and broadcast.  You know who Bill Klages is, right?  He’s only the father of modern television lighting and all.

It was pretty amazing to get to see him work and teach the audience.  The man knows light, and it is so obvious how much skill he has developed over the course of his career.  I snapped a ton of shots of Bill while he was giving his seminar, and I’ve listed a gallery view below.  Click on one, and you’re transported to a mystical gallery place of images, like MAGIC!

I just loved this shot – the model is Marina, who was a champ and a good sport for the demo.

Fred Foster, ETC‘s CEO, introducing Mr. Klages.

Fred Foster giving Bill Klages his “HD” hat.

Gallery below!

A Tour of ETC’s Amazing Factory – Also Known as “The Mothership”

While I was in Middleton this last weekend for the ETC Summer Camp, I was lucky enough to get a grand tour of the place where all Source Fours, Sensor dimmers, ETC consoles, and other ETC lighting lines are created, manufactured, and repaired when necessary.  This was a pretty cool experience, quite frankly!  I have a metric ton of images for you all here – along with some narration for most of them.

*Deep breath*

I’ve put these images into a gallery with descriptions and titles – click on the one on the top left below here and the gallery pages will load up, and you can step through each images by clicking on the icons underneath each large image.  Simplicity!

JimOnLight.com Covers ETC’s Dealer and Rep Summer Camp

I had a great time this last weekend at Electronic Theatre Controls‘ 2010 Summer Camp – the great folks at ETC had me up to experience their Dealer/Rep Summer Camp Conference, where ETC dealers and representatives across the world learn about new products, existing products, talk to people working in the major leagues with their products, and generally have a good time.  The first night I was there, I had a day of learning about Selador LEDs, Unison systems, Sensor dimming, and seeing a shootout of ETC products against other products in the industry.

I mean, who hasn’t ever used an ETC product?  I can say that it certainly isn’t me – my career started out on a Microvision FX, and ETC stuff has been in my career since then.  It was pretty great to meet everyone, see people I knew, and meet new people that I will know from now on.  The factory is pretty awesome – I’ve got a post all about that on its own, as well as a post with Bill Klages’ lecture about television and film lighting!

One of the absolute highlights for me at this conference was listening to Pete Weigland and Nick Gonsman give a demo on integrating wireless devices with the EOS console.  Nick and Pete gave so much information on wireless devices in general that my mind was absolutely full of information on wifi, and happy to be so full.  Thanks, Nick and Pete!

Check out some images, won’tcha?

Me and Lowell Olcott rocking a few bottles of the Spotted Cow…  YUM!

My favorite shot of John Kuehl, ETC’s web and social media genius

David Lincecum, Jim Hutchison, Bill Klages (the father of modern TV lighting), and ETC’s Pres, Fred Foster

David Hilton and Novella Smith talking about Selador LED fixtures

The Sons of Sunset jamming in front of the ETC Mothership!

Here’s a ton more shots – in gallery format!  Click one and flip through them all!

Thanks for having me, ETC!

RIP Jody Hanson from ETC

Oh wow.  What a bummer of a thing to read.

ETC‘s long time Promo and Ad Manager, Jody Hanson, passed away this last weekend.  I just found out about it.  That lady was awesome – a hard driving deal maker with a respect and knowledge of the lighting industry that we all call home.  Jody understood how important the world of blogging and Social Media was to the industry, and she was supportive of people like myself in the beginning of our careers.

We’ll miss you, Jody.

From ETC’s press release about Jody’s passing:

Middleton, WI (2 June 2010) — A mainstay of ETC’s Marketing department for over 13 years as the company’s Promotions and Advertising Manager, Jody Hanson passed away on Sunday, May 30, 2010. The global family of ETC grieves the loss.

From January 1997, when Jody started at ETC, she brought her passion for professionalism to the ETC Marketing team, locally and globally. Entrusted with ETC’s representation to the promotional media, Jody was well known and respected in the industry. She led countless successful promotional campaigns and projects for ETC — on every new product since the introduction of the Obsession® II lighting control console.

As Electronic Theatre Controls’ Chief Executive Officer Fred Foster reflects, “Jody gathered together a truly creative team of people who produced more than 100 trade shows, hundreds of media placements, and uncountable hits on our website. They all followed her professional lead to produce a precise and complete image for ETC. We all miss Jody, but her impact on our lives will never fade.”

ETC Vice President of Marketing Bill Gallinghouse concurs: “Jody had a unique ability to break down the largest and most complex objectives into manageable parts and guide them perfectly to fruition.”

Born on January 10th, 1954, Jody was a Wisconsinite who made the Madison area her home for the last 14 years. She is survived by her husband John, and her daughter Emily.

A memorial will take place for Jody on Saturday, June 5th, 2010, in her hometown of Columbus, Wisconsin, at St. Jerome’s Church, 1550 Farnham St., starting at 8:30 a.m., followed by a memorial mass of burial at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people make donations to or volunteer time with their favorite charity.

Please use Cornerstone Funeral Services’ online guestbook to express condolences to the family:
www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/tribute.cfm?o_id=626959&fh_id=11053&s_id=B7DF14561337816249238C23C057EAAB

Five Decades of Lighting – USITT 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – Consoles Edition

One of the more awesome things I saw this year at USITT was the Lighting Commission’s exhibit on lighting equipment history – “Five Decades of Lighting.”  Todd Proffitt (@tm204) and Josh Williamson (@joshwilliamson) were involved with this exhibit, and I think they did an outstanding freaking job of putting it together.  I’m sure I’m not including many people who worked to make the thing happen, but nice exhibit!  I broke this up into two posts:  one on consoles, and another post tomorrow on fixtures and other equipment.

You might notice that these images of lighting control surfaces is not in any kind of chronological order – this is actually intentional.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the characteristics of the various consoles over the course of the years.

The “Five Decades of Lighting” exhibit had fixtures, dimming, and consoles from the last five decades.  It was pretty great to actually get my hands on an old Light Palette Two – what nice wood detail work!  Can I order a Hog III with the cherry and maple inlay?

Also, it was awesome meeting Fred Foster from ETC and hearing him tell stories about the first consoles he designed, and the funny little tidbits he was sharing.  You’re pretty cool, Fred Foster!

Check out a quick video I made of the console section, followed by a ton of images.  Literally.

USITT’s 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – 5 Decades of Lighting – Consoles from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Strand 300 Series lighting console (I’m a big fan of the Strand 520i from back in the day):

the Obsession I (before it became the Obsession II):

a Luxtrol autotransformer unit.  Come on, you’ve seen these, yeah?  We always had one in undergrad powering the tech table lighting:

“That’s not a lighting desk.  THIS is a lighting desk!”  (the Light Palette Two).  I mean, literally a desk.  You can also fly the Starship Enterprise with that console:

Light Palette Two built-in keyboard:

The Light Palette Two, front side:

Lighting Methods, Inc’s little two-scene preset:

The Kliegl Performer – yes, that’s a cassette tape:

an old Kliegl Bros 2-scene preset, and a Century Lighting Edkotron controller:

Everybody knows the Express series – here’s a 250:

The ETC Vision – also see the Microvision FX, which wasn’t at the show, but you could hear the jubilant cries of “MICROVISION FX!” from the conventiongoers:

The ETC Idea – another of the early ETC desks that people came to know and love:

The ETC Eos – so sleek!

This thing – this is amazing.  This is the ETC ELC (Entertainment Lighting Control)

Thanks to JimOnLight.com Sponsors – January 2010

Folks, the readers of JimOnLight.com have been called a lot of wonderful things – “the most dedicated readership in the lighting industry,” “a very engaged group,” and my personal favorite, “the most supportive group of readers that a website could be fortunate enough to have.”

Yeah, that’s right, you guys rock.

Advertisements on JimOnLight.com are hand-picked.  I keep reputable companies on the site because you all deserve to have relevant ads supporting JimOnLight.com.  If it weren’t for the great companies that advertise on JimOnLight.com, I wouldn’t be able to write every day for all of you.

If your company is interested in being a part of this awesome community, check out the advertising page.

January Sponsors:



Electronic Theatre Controls – you might know them as ETC – is a great company that is known for their Source Four line of luminaires and their outstanding lines of lighting control consoles.  ETC has also entered the rigging market with their Prodigy line of hoists, and the LED market with the Selador line of fixtures.  Check them out if you haven’t – it’s worth your while!

Genielux is the new rental and sales locator for lighting, audio, video, staging, and entertainment production gear.  Using your iPhone, you can find out who has 300 star strobes in Stickney, Illinois when you’re in a pinch or find out who’s got your Meyer cabinets in Tookus, Nebraska.  For suppliers, it costs you a couple of bucks a month to get your information into Genielux and help people in a pinch.  Oh yeah – and for users, the Genielux iPhone app is completely free!  How much better does it get to help out the industry?

I gotta believe that everybody knows Mike Zinman and Zinman Software – he started out rocking AutoCAD with AutoBlock back in the day – now he rocks the iPhone software market with great software like ML Finder PRO, PocketLD, GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and Portfolio.  Check out his stuff – it’s a time saver!

From color scrollers to LED fixtures, dichroic color-changing fixtures to feedback control, Wybron has been around for a long time.  Wybron’s Coloram scrollers have been in thousands of shows across the globe; their InfoTrace system has gotten tons of press for its feedback prowess; and the Nexera and Cygnus lines of fixtures are making their mark in the industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to every JimOnLight.com reader on the planet!

Joe Cox’s Color Wall Needs Its Switch Turned On

Murals_p1_3-Light-Mural_cropped_lo-res

You know, it isn’t often when you see something that is a “shame.”  You know, like “aww, man – it’s a shame that 21 million people have no health coverage,” or “aww, man – they tore down that stem cell research drive through clinic and put up a Taco Shack, that’s a shame.”  You know, one of those really sorrowful that actually makes you think about the future.

This isn’t quite that bad, but it sucks in its own right.  On a comparative scale, this obviously doesn’t compete with health insurance and our disregard for stem cell research.  However, it is a shame that money and art seem to live so closely together, which is why this story is a shame.

In Raleigh, NC there is a light art installation that was born in 1972 called The Color Wall – the product of an artist named Joe Cox at North Carolina State University.  It’s a 12 foot by 36 foot panel that has colored light shining on it, changing by means of a mechanical system that the artist designed himself, all mechanical.  The Color Wall’s system changed the lights about 32 times every 2 minutes.  It’s been called the most significant work of public art in Raleigh.

Unfortunately, the system that Cox had designed has died a few times over the last few years, and finally took the final bow sometime in 2007 after two decades of mediocre if not failing operation.  There is a proposal into the school to change its control system to something more modern (ETC’s Smart Switch Relay) and, well, functioning, so that the Color Wall can keep inspiring the public and, well, actually lighting up and functioning like the artist initially designed.  What sucks about that is the system is about $6200 bucks (as of the last quote), and they are halfway there.

Feeling generous?  You can certainly donate to the cause of keeping this long-lived piece of light art alive.  Some Raleigh bloggers have also started a site all about the wall, and tracking the progress of restoration.  It’s not stem cell research or health coverage, but it is enrichment, which is also important.

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