Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lightman02, Nov 18, 2008.
I posted this on the High End Forum; but figured I'd post here to see what you guys think??
Here is my feeling on this one, High End is getting out of the "standard" moving light business. Especially with the buy out by Barco, they are going to be moving more to digital lighting then anything. They are, and will be the force when it comes to digital lighting. I think they basically gave up on the conventional movers because it was to hard of a market to compete in. VL, Martin, Robe, Clay Pakey, and Elation to name a few are battling it out over who has the best _______ watt fixture. I think high end basically took a step back and decided that they have a product that has very little competition and that they can really inovate on. The DL line has been very successful. The Catalyst and now the Axon servers are great. The hogIII line is also expanding. They are coming out with technologys that few others have.
I do think the days of complete rigs of high end gear are dead. The studio spot and studio color are both great fixtures, but at the same time they were absolete years ago. High end now makes the "toys" of the rig, not the rig itself.
Agreed and it begs the question "What about the Hogs ?".
Most manufacturers like to have a complete product line, or if not possible, a "nitch" product that nobody else wants to bother with or can compete with. ETC is an example of complete product line - fixtures, dimmers, control. Strand and Colortran attempting the same. GrandMA could be called Nitch as the consoles are their product. Jands as well, with Vista. Now both MA and Jands sell other gear, but in small numbers for local markets in their local area (Germany and Australia), so on a global scale, the stuff is Nitch.
Certainly Martin has an attempt at complete with a full fixture line, movement into LED's, and consoles. No dimmers cause dimmers aren't needed with their fixtures. Robe and Elation do very well just with ML's as they are cost effective due to low production costs, with the Chinese soon to be a huge powerhouse in this area.
High End is indeed not innovating or competing and I'm surprised that anyone buys the Studio series anymore as there is so much better stuff at the same price, so what then happens to the Hog consoles ?. Are they a "nitch" product ?, the Hog line is, but there's a ton of competition from ETC, MA, Martin, Jands, and others. Is the Hog line going to evolve into controls that include the digital imaging ?. If not, then the entire line may well get the rug pulled along with the fixtures. Question is when ?.
High End is becoming just that, High End. They are only handling very high end products now. The problem with this however, is that once you move up market, the amount of sales goes down. True that you make more money per sale, but since your products cost so much, not many can afford them. So what happens when all the big players have all your toys and you can't sell anymore?
Look at Maybach. Absolutely amazing cars. World sales are only something like 1000 a year. So few, that Benz has thought about closing down the division more then once. Hopefully this doesn't happen to High End, especially now that Barco has taken them over.
Hopefully they keep up with the Hog III line as well. I would hate to see them go away since they still are a great console for a lot of the things I do. Support is starting to fall off though. The fixture libraries are almost 6 months old, and none of the colors are calibrated except for some High End fixtures and the Mac 2ks minus the xB. The console version is also just as old now, which is fine because I can hardly get the thing to crash anymore, but I would still like to see some of the updates that were talked/asked about on the forums over at High End. As for other consoles, Vista is great and all, but don't like it for busking one bit. I never really cared for the MA for some reason, not quite sure why. Still use it from time to time to keep up on it though. I have never seen a Maxxyz and doubt I ever will.
Very good point, same thing happend to Vari*lite, even though they are still around they almost went bankrupt. They had the whole market as they were the market at one time and as other manufatures stepped up they fell way behind and almost didn't make it back.
No, I have met with the folks at HES and i don't think they have dropped the ball. i think that what they will end up doing and the current state of the live video projection/ mixing fit hand in hand, but it is no shame to change your product lineup to meet a need.
Here is an interesting but subtle message from LDI. This is a picture I took of the HES/Barco booth at LDI.
If you look in the lower left corner you see the Barco logo permanently on the info desk. The main screen alternated between all kinds of cool graphics and the Barco logo. The small screen in front showed pictures of HES products (like the Hog3 in this shot). I never once saw a HES logo on any screen or anywhere in the booth. If you were casually walking past and didn't know to look for the Barco/HES connection there would be nothing that tells you they sell HES products. Furthermore, (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) but I think the only Hog in the building was the one running the video on the big screen. This unit was behind the counter and not available for any sort of demo use. So yes things are changing, but it's not the good old bunch from High End Systems that have "dropped the ball". It is a strategic decision on the part of new ownership from Barco. Where are they going and will it work? Too soon to tell.
On the flip side what barco products do you see? Video is done by DL3's and I see a plethora of show guns and pix.
Sure, but do you know how easy it is to just slap a Barco brand plate on a DL3 and then it is the Barco DL3 and not the HES DL3. It could be exactly the same technology. May not happen today, but the possibility is there. It happens when companies get bought out.
As long as it is the same product and the same company it doesn't really matter to me how the thing is labeled, though I would miss the big ol' High End Logo on the DL cases...
We will have to see what happens, but from what i can tell Barco needs to respect HES's brand and in terms of what is strategic it wold seem more practicle to phase out the barco name and call it all HES, a name we trust easily.
If I remember right there was a separate booth just for Barco projectors on the other side of that video screen.
But the point is all the gear in that booth is HES. It was all developed and most in production before Barco owned HES. Now just because Barco owns HES doesn't mean that it is the HES that we are use to anymore. Barco could have completely changed and restructure HES, which seems to be the case as shown by the complete stripping of any and all HES logos and replaced with Barco.
It means from here on out, it is Barco product, not HES product. Though the current product is simply re-badged, who knows what new product will be like.
I guess it's more that I really like the High End products and not that Martin isn't good, their customer support is nothing like High End's is. With High End you can call talk to a tech discuss your issues and they will help you and you can even order the parts direct. As for Martin it's always go to the dealer, which is the same reason it took me 3 weeks to get a part for my Martin Hazer. With High End I can get the part in two or three days ground shipping. I'm a smaller business so I don't have means for DL3's or even the Showguns right now, plus 240volts in alot of places that I deal with is a long shot. I just wish High End still had the more common lights and not the 20k deals all the time. I get they want to be into the higher end market but looks like if you want a more conventinal type you need to go to Martin. As far as Elation, well I wouldn't consider it as I never thought of AMDJ too highly. I guess if your not lighting an arena, your not going to get much sympathy from many of these companies. Well I hope High End does do well as they do put out some great stuff in the past and I guess in the new digital age future. Also I refuse to call High End's stuff Barco, they should def keep the High End name.
Then why do you use/consider Martin products? Only reason I ask is because Martin started out the same way as Elation did, doing stuff for DJs. They then moved on into the concert level. In AMDJ's case, different branches were started, Elation, Antari, Global Truss, etc. So to say a Design Spot 250 and an Accu Spot 250 are the same is far from the truth in all aspects.
Are they the same company? Yes. Are they the same product? Just click the links and you can see from the pictures build quality on the DS250s are leaps and bounds above the AS250s, not to mention functions. /off topic rant
I have a Martin hazer which I have had to fix 5 times. Also have a couple of Roboscan 918s which have been good to me though. As far as Elation I cannot see the build quality on a light just by looking at a picture. If I'm going to spend 8k on an Elation I rather go with 8k on and actual light used in the pro field. I mean Elation may not be horrible but they are not used in any pro rig because of obvious reasons, I dont want to get into an argument but they are just not the same grade as light you would see on a stage. They are great for DJ's and high end party type of lighting, however you wont see many on a stage most likely. And I'm sorry no pro light for 8k thats really a higher end unit would have a built in microphone!!!
Just you wait, lightman, give it a few years and you will be seeing them more and more as they cycle into inventories. Just a month ago I saw a concert with a rig made up of only Robe moving heads, who had even heard of that brand a couple of years ago.
I think you are letting your preconceived notions of the AMDJ brand play too large into judging elation fixtures, lights which is sounds like you have never used first hand.
First of all don't get offended it's just my thoughts and as far as Robe goes well they look like some pretty serious lights so I would not be surprised about seeing more of them in the future. However all I'm saying is Elation would have a long way to go to even be considered I would say. And yes I have used the elation stuff before in a bind, I was not happy with it as the optics pretty much suck, good luck getting parts as well.
Which light and how long ago? I have done side by sides with a Power Spot 700 CMY and a Mac 700. For price, I am taking the PS700. Although I am not sure who will want that anymore when their new DS1200 lists for $400 more then the CMY version. The best bang for the buck I think is a DS575. It has all the features of a Mac 700 with a 575w lamp, costs less then a Mac 550.
Elation lights on tour and in a lot of major installs around the country as well. WWE has a bunch of Elation fixtures on tour with them, and no one does as many tour shows a year as they do.
As for parts, no problem there either. Stuff overnighted and a non issue with supply. Though I did just order a few more movers today and took the last ones they had in stock apparently, 350 more on the way I was told. That is moving a lot of product then, so someone likes them and are buying them besides me.
I myself thought I would never be using Elation products (VL guy), until I started seeing demos of them. Price/performance wise, they are one of the best right now and haven't had an issue with quality yet, minus the Proton Color strobes. The fact I can do more for less for clients is a big time plus for me and my company as well as companies I work for.
Highend has been continuing support for the Hog line, soon comming out the the DP8000, which has slowed down their console development, working the kinks out. It will give you 16 universes of dmx and artnet. Also there is a new fixture in the works because there are some large holes in their product line. Also they have come out with the studio pix which should be released soon, which is a baby brother to the show pix. Barco has their own version of the DL 3, called the DML-1200 which which uses a scaled down version of the Hippo media server, that has been developed all by barco over the years, highend will continue their own development of the DL series and Axon media servers.
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