Artistic Licence at PLASA Focus Leeds 2014

April 15, 2014






Artistic Licence, the lighting control specialist, invites visitors to learn of some exciting developments in Ethernet-based lighting control on stand N-B23 at this year’s PLASA Focus Leeds.

In addition to the product based news and demonstrations available at the stand, Artistic Licence CEO and company founder, Wayne Howell, will be giving an intriguing presentation on DALI for the Seminar Programme at 11.30am on Tuesday 29th (more details about which below).

Headlining the products on show, Cata-Lynx O/P – a 1U rack-mounted Ethernet-to-DMX512 converter – takes pride of place as the first Artistic Licence product to support the sACN standard.

Cata-Lynx OP-600pix

Many in the industry will be familiar with Art-Net, the public domain protocol invented by Artistic Licence to enable DMX512 lighting control data to be transferred over Ethernet with massive bandwidth. The recent sACN standard offers users an alternative option in an arena that, excepting Art-Net, has been historically dominated by proprietary technology.

Cata-Lynx O/P is capable of converting 2 Art-Net Universes to DMX512 & RDM, or or 2 sACN Universes to DMX512. Each Universe has two DMX512 outputs, courtesy of an internal splitter, with all data connections, activity indicators and configuration switches located on the front of the unit.

Users of Ethernet lighting protocols will also be pleased to hear that Art-Net 3 (the current version, released in 2011) now supports DHCP. Many lighting consoles contain DHCP servers, facilitating the automatic allocation of IP addresses to devices on the network. Art-Net 3 allows users to take advantage of this extremely handy feature, which complements its native support for bidirectional DMX/RDM communications. With a maximum capacity of 32,768 Universes (or 32 ‘Kiloverses’) of DMX lighting control and efficient unicast operation, Art-Net 3 is ready for the challenges of a bigger and brighter future. All existing Art-Net I and II devices will operate seamlessly with Art-Net 3.

Art-Net Master Logo 200pix

In other product news, the Artistic Licence digital video-to-network converter, dVnet, and the sophisticated Colour-Tramp lighting controller have just undergone significant firmware revisions. dVnet offers a highly-functional, user-friendly alternative to conventional media servers, while Colour-Tramp embodies a powerful combination of lighting controller and spatial visualisation tool. Both products are available in rack-mount PC or software versions.

CT & dVnet 600pix

For visitors wishing to explore territory beyond the conventional boundaries of entertainment technology control, Wayne Howell’s seminar, “When DMX Gets Surreal – Bringing DALI into the Picture” is a must-see. The seminar will take place at 11.30am on Tuesday 29 April at the Bury Theatre.

Having driven the diversification of Artistic Licence from the entertainment sector into architectural and commercial lighting, Wayne Howell has an unusually broad knowledge of control protocols. In this talk, he will focus on the crossover between DMX512 and DALI. The former is the workhorse of the entertainment lighting industry, while the latter was developed with fluorescent ballasts in mind – as such, it is commonly found in the commercial/retail sectors. However, the frequency with which DMX and DALI systems are being used together is increasing, and it is therefore important to understand the strengths and limitations of each.

Issues that will be covered include the differing speeds, cable topology and functionalities of the two protocols. Solutions for converting between DMX and DALI will be discussed, along with tips for avoiding some common pitfalls.


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