Astera Titan Tubes
We have been stocking the AX1 tubes from Astera for a while now and they have proved to be one of those “annoyingly popular” items in our inventory. Please don’t misunderstand me, its great that they are popular and so they should be as they are a fantastic piece of kit it’s just that we never seemed to have quite enough to satisfy all the requests we receive for them and as a booker that’s frustrating at times. We have been holding off getting more until the latest model became available and I’m glad to say that they now are, and we are amongst the first to stock them, so let me introduce the rather natty new Titan tubes from Astera, they are certainly well worth the wait.
So, what has changed from the AX1 tubes to the Titans? Well quite a bit actually they are, brighter, more user friendly and now have board controls. What won’t have changed is how popular they will be.
The Titans are a step up from the AX1’s in many respects and I’m sure you will all appreciate the improvements Astera have made, let me tell you a little just to whet your appetite.
Firstly, the Titans are brighter, with white light up to 2.8 times brighter in fact when compared to the AX1’s. A boost mode allows for this extra oomph for almost 2 hours. Talking of white light, the Titans are adjustable from 1750 to 20,000 K but if you stay within the range of 3200 to 6500 K then TLCI and CRI ratings are both equal to or greater than 96 and that’s plenty accurate enough in my book.
I have to say that the inclusion of new onboard controls is a real bonus in my opinion, I’m a simple old fashioned sort of guy and like my kit to have simple old fashioned controls, yes you can control the Titans with a smart phone app or via wireless or wired DMX but I like buttons, unless we are talking about jeans and then I prefer a zip lol. Astea have named this control panel a “backside display” and that’s just asking for me to make some veiled reference to mooning but I will resist going any further with that than I just did.
Regarding the DMX, Astera have included a wireless DMX module by LuminRadio being the most reliable wireless system available and its totally compatible with both CRMX and W-DMX standards. If you are not into wireless, then a hard-wired option is available using a clever shared power and data cable.
For those of you that are smarter than the phone in your pocket (unlike me) then the Astera App will be of interest, it offers fast and intuitive control of the Titans, the ability to change DMX settings and monitor the lights from a distance and a swage of other control features.
One feature being a security system, if someone moves one of the Titans during your shoot then it will “inform the App” and alert you, also the tube will emit both audio and visual alarms itself. It’s almost worth someone trying to knock one off to see them trying to hide a 4 ft flashing and screaming tube down the leg of their trousers as they try and run off and with the App alerting you in time to film it all for You Tube, I think this is an excellent idea.
The clever ideas don’t stop with the anti-theft feature, how about programable stand by times so your Titans will automatically go to sleep at the end of your shoot and wake up again ready when you are about to start again thus saving battery time (not that you need to with a 20h run time anyway). Or emergency lighting, automatically switching to full power white light when Ac power unexpectantly fails allowing for safe evacuation of the venue etc (what a very clever idea) and lastly an auto BPM feature for the DJ’s of the world so the Titans can flash in time to the music, great stuff, now if only I as a human could have that built in I may be able to dance a bit better.
Flicker free operation is standard so no worries for film makers and IP65 rating makes the Titans safe for use outdoors even in sunny old England.
But in my humble opinion the best feature by far is the powerbox, used for mains supply in “hard wired” applications but also designed to charge the Titans while they are still in the case, now why doesn’t everyone do that its pure genius especially for us in the rental industry thanks Astea what a great idea.
So, in short, the Titans are a definite improvement over the already excellent AX1’s it’s going to be as much of a pleasure to hire them as it will be for you to use them, they are a solid 10 out of 10 for my coolness rating. The one thing I can’t figure out is why Titan? Are they named after the largest moon of Saturn, the Greek Mythology deities or that ear munching boxer who knows and who cares anyway they are a knockout!