Electronic Theatre Controls

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.
IndustryTheatrical and studio lighting equipment
FoundedMadison, Wisconsin, U.S. (1975)[1]
FounderFred Foster[2]
Middleton, Wisconsin
Area served
Key people
Fred Foster, CEO
Dick Titus, President
ProductsLighting control systems
Stage lighting instruments
Fixture dimming
Stage rigging Automated Rigging Systems
Power distribution systems

Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) is a privately held corporation with global headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin, United States. ETC produces lighting fixtures, lighting control consoles, dimming equipment, power distribution, networking equipment, and rigging systems.


In 1975, Bill Foster and his younger brother Fred founded ETC while students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Bill Foster was the first president and Fred Foster is the current chief executive officer. During its first decade, the company established itself as a manufacturer of microprocessor-based lighting control consoles.

By 1990, ETC had acquired Lighting Methods, Inc., a Rochester, New York-based manufacturer of entertainment dimming systems. Soon, ETC had offices in Middleton, Wisconsin; Orlando, Florida; Rochester and Hollywood.

In 1995, they acquired the lighting control division of London-based distributor ARRI GB. Also that year, they opened an office in Hong Kong. In 1997, the firm opened a marketing office in Copenhagen, and a year later opened an office in Rome.

In 2002 the company acquired Transtechnik Lichtsysteme of Holzkirchen, Germany. The next year it took an equity position in AVAB Transtechnik, Paris. They acquired Dutch sine wave-dimming manufacturer IES in 2004, including its industrial weighing and measuring division Penko Engineering BV, both located in Ede, Netherlands.

In March 2005, all formerly separate operations of ETC in Europe were rebranded under the common corporate name of ETC. Headquarters were located in Middleton, Wisconsin.

In 2017, ETC acquired High End Systems, a company that produces the Hog line of lighting control consoles as well as media servers and intelligent lighting equipment.


In 1982, ETC releases its first console: Concept

In 1987, ETC releases a console called Expression

In 1992, it introduced the Source Four ellipsoidal spotlight and the Obsession lighting console.[3]

In 1995, it introduced the Source Four PAR which is meant to replicate the performance of PAR cans while lessening the disadvantages involved with traditional PAR cans.

In 1999, it introduced an alternative to Fresnel lanterns.

In 2002, it introduced a multiple PAR as an alternative to striplights.

In 2004, it introduced a moving fixture which was awarded both the EDDY and ABTT awards.[4] The Revolution has a filament structure, as opposed to most other moving lights, which use arc lamps. Also, the product uses a gel string color scroller instead of the typical color wheel, thus allowing lighting designers to use familiar gel choices.

In 2006, it introduced a lighting control system: Eos[5]

In 2007, it introduced a lighting control console: Ion[6]

In February 2009 it acquired an LED performance set of lighting fixtures based on X7 technology.[7]

In 2012, it introduced a new branch of its products completely lit with LEDs. They were made to reduce energy use and produce less heat. One of them can change colors.

In 2017, ETC acquired High End Systems.

In 2018, ETC announced they would be acquiring the ArcSystem, BluesSystem, and CueSystem product lines from GDS.[8]

In 2019, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ETC, Fred Foster, passed away on the 8th of February


  1. ^ http://www.etcconnect.com/About/Company-History-and-Awards.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.etcconnect.com/About/Company-History-and-Awards.aspx
  3. ^ "http://www.etcconnect.com/About/Company-History-and-Awards.aspx". ETC. February 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ "2004 Awards Presented at ABTT in London". Live Design. July 2004.
  5. ^ "http://www.etcconnect.com/About/Company-History-and-Awards.aspx". ETC. February 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  6. ^ "http://www.etcconnect.com/About/Company-History-and-Awards.aspx". ETC. February 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-04-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ETC press release about the Selador takeover^¸
  8. ^ "https://www.etcconnect.com/About/News/ETC-and-GDS-announce-new-partnership-details.aspx". ETC. December 2018. External link in |title= (help)