New Zealand’s theatres, venues and hire companies have enthusiastically embraced the High End Systems Hog platform, with multiple units installed around the country by NW Group. The latest addition, a Road Hog 4 in Auckland’s SKYCITY Theatre, joins a flagship Hog 4 in Tauranga’s Baycourt Theatre, a Road Hog 4 in Auckland’s Bruce Mason Theatre, multiple Hog models across the seven council-run Positively Wellington Venues, and Hogs for hire across the country.
The 700 seat SKYCITY Theatre has had the same lighting desk since it opened in the late 1990s – a Hog 2. With the console at the end of its working life, it was more than ready for replacement. “SKYCITY Theatre is a flexible, multipurpose theatre that’s doing everything from bingo, to theatre, to comedy acts,” explains Simon Garrett, General Manager of Lighting at NW Group. “They do a lot of ‘one-day-wonders’, often with extra equipment bought in. The beauty of the Road Hog 4 is that it can meet any rider on specs, it patches really quickly, and it’s easy for operators to ‘busk’ on it. That’s what they were looking for.”
Despite its compact dimensions, the Road Hog 4 is a powerful beast. Its 22” inch multi-touch display, 10 faders, 12 user keys and four encoders allow fast and efficient access to every facet of the operating system. Run off a dependable solid-state drive, the Road Hog 4 come s with fixed universes of DMX 512 and up to eight universes of DMX 512 over ArtNet or sACN, plus the ability to run an unlimited number of DMX channels, Art-Net and sACN universes via Ethernet DPs.
“The thing with the Road Hog 4 is that it is as powerful as the old Full Boar 3,” adds Simon. “It’s very cost effective. The SKYCITY team looked at competing products from Philips Strand, Martin Lighting and LSC, but the Road Hog 4 is unbeatable in terms of features per dollar. It’s incredibly powerful.”
Meanwhile, down on South Island, the Hog operating platform has been enthusiastically adopted across the production and dry-hire sectors. Christchurch based AC Lighting, The Light Site and Hang-Up Entertainment Services all have Hog 4s in their inventory. TomTom Productions rock Nano Hog 4 from their Queenstown HQ, while Southern Lights and Services keep the lights on in Dunedin with another Nano 4 system.
As with all High End Systems products, New Zealand’s Hogs are serviced and supported by High End distributor Lexair Entertainment. “Lexair are great to do business with,” reports Simon. “They’re knowledgeable, and they treat us very, very well. They are always supportive with training, and regularly make the trip over from Australia. I’d recommend them to anyone – we’re a customer of theirs for life.”
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