began as a grassroots venture in Austin, TX between a musician, a DJ, and a photographer.
Our mission? To provide quality lighting products with great service. But we soon far exceeded that goal. In fact, we went on to become a global industry leader and innovative force by introducing a series of ground-breaking new technologies that helped define the industry.
1988, The Color Pro color-changing luminaire with dichroic glass filters offered a longer-lasting, color-rich alternative to traditional gels. Our dichroic lab was created specifically to maintain strict color tolerances for this and other products to come.
1989, Our automated Intellabeam moving mirror fixture arrived and soon became an industry standard. Its use on Dire Straits' 1991 tour propelled us into the concert touring industry.
1994, The Cyberlight automated luminaire answered the industry call for more power and reliability. It offered many new advanced features, as well as unprecedented accuracy and manageability in a moving mirror fixture. The Cyberlight also featured the first LithoPatterns, a ground-breaking advancement in optical film from our own optical lab.
1996, The Studio Color 575 became the first moving-yoke wash fixture widely available for purchase. Its versatility, power and quiet operation made it a touring favorite but also appealed to new markets, such as television, film and theatre.
1999, The award-winning Wholehog lighting control system family became part of the High End Systems product line with the acquisition of Flying Pig Systems. This gave customers a completely integrated lighting and control solution.
2000, High End Systems rolled out its Studio Spot 575, a hard-edge projection companion to the Studio Color. Soon after came the Studio Beam, offering an innovative pebble-convex lens.
2001, The x.Spot made a dramatic entrance.
2002, High End Systems blazed new trails into the world of digital lighting, introducing the Catalyst Media Server.
2003, The DL.1 digital light engine was introduced to complement the Catalyst Media Server and offered lighting designers an unprecedented level of creativity, flexibility and efficiency. For the theatre market, High End Systems introduced two gel-free products: ColorCommand dichroic color-mixing wash luminaire and the ColorMerge dichroic color mixing accessory for the ETC Source Four, both providing color that never fades.
2004, The DL.2 digital light engine was introduced. With its integrated media server, lighting designers were offered an efficient and more powerful tool for creativity.
2005, High End Systems surprised the industry by debuting a new automated wash luminaire, the Studio Command 700. The industry's first hybrid console, Hog iPC, was unveiled to popular acclaim, allowing programmers to use two different software platforms on one console.
2006, The highly-anticipated Hog3PC was released, offering programmers even more control choices. Catalyst v4 Media Server and Software was also introduced, adding even more features and effects to what has become an industry-standard media server for digital content. Studio Command H, the Halogen version, and Studio Command 1200 debuted to offer professionals even more choices in automated wash luminaires. The Axon Media Server also answered a need, offering the graphics engine of the DL.2 but in a rack-mount version.
2007, A new breed of Hog, the Road Hog console, debuted in spring to offer powerful control for smaller shows and at a price that's just right. The Hog family continues to grow... Meanwhile in June, HES unveiled the SHOWGUN, a hybrid automated luminaire that offers hard edge and soft edge wash beams, all in one compact unit. An LED Tracking System encircling the lens gives the fixture a unique look. The year ended with the launch of the Road Hog Full Boar console, offering users more expandability.
2008, DL.3 takes digital lighting to the next level with a higher output and new features. Plus, a new product category is born: Pixelation Luminaires. The first LED product in this category debuted as SHOWPIX, with a smaller version, StudioPix, joining it a few months later. SHOWGUN 2.5 also debuted, offering 30 percent more photonic output than its predecessor.
In June 2008, High End Systems was acquired by Belgium-based Barco Inc. High End Sysems remains close to its roots, developing new technology in tandem with experts in the field. We remain dedicated to serving the industry as well as shaping its future.
In March 2017, High End Systems was acquired by Wisconsin based ETC. High End and ETC share many core company values including a focus on customer service and product innovation. With ETC, High End gains an expanded platform of creativity and forward thinking. We promise to use our new resources to bring you great new live-event tools in the future.