Electrosonic celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and to mark the milestone the company is publishing “Electrosonic – 50 Years on the Audio-Visual Front Line,” which celebrates five decades of achievements in the AV community.
The story of Electrosonic from its founding in 1964 to the present day spans the analog to digital revolution, the move to HD and 4K, and innovations in display technology. The book tells this story in a series of chapters covering key aspects of the company’s first 50 years.
Electrosonic began as a two-room startup in London’s Greenwich vegetable market. The book’s first chapter, “A Short History,” tells how the fledgling firm became a multimillion-dollar international business with headquarters in Burbank, CA and offices worldwide. Parallel stories chart changes of ownership, subsidiaries, related companies and acquisitions.
Chapter two, “Products and Technology,” reviews the many industry changes and challenges faced by Electrosonic in its 50 years in business. From the era of slide projectors and overhead projectors to 4K projection and network technology, Electrosonic has maintained a leadership position and developed many unique products. It was among the first to exploit the emerging technologies of electronic lighting control, multi-image slide projection and videowalls. From the start, Electrosonic combined the manufacturing and selling of products with the building of complete engineered systems. The product and systems portions of the business continued together through 2010 when the products side of the business, which by then represented a small portion of overall revenue, was sold.
Chapter three, “Projects,” reviews some of Electrosonic’s global projects, including multi-image spectaculars in 1970’s Iran, the world’s biggest videowall in Seville, Spain, in 1992, and massive projection displays at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. These projects and more reveal how the company pushed the envelope in applying new technology, whether it was pushing 70mm film to the limit, implementing multi-channel dynamic sound systems, or achieving huge 3D images with the latest electronic projectors. The importance of long-term relationships with designers, suppliers and customers is also discussed.
Electrosonic has created new business units to support the changing needs of AV users across five decades and chapter four, “Service,” examines these developments from the early days when the principal service was “pulsing” (programming magnetic tapes) and then making “show copies”, to the more recent on-site staff support of major installations.
Electrosonic’s success in business is a testament to its “People” who are recognized in chapter five. In 55 profiles of the company’s talented staff members, the book salutes the different personalities and skills, which have contributed to 50 years of growth, innovation and outstanding customer support.
The final chapter, “Contribution to the AV Industry,” details how Electrosonic has supported the development of the AV business by example, sponsorship and participation in trade events. It features a look at the company’s current ownership and governance.
Robert Simpson, one of the co-founders of Electrosonic, authored “Electrosonic - 50 Years on the Audio-Visual Front Line.” A graduate of Trinity College, Oxford and the former Chairman of Electrosonic Ltd., he is a frequent writer and lecturer on AV and lighting control topics and has several other books to his credit. Robert is a member of many professional organizations and the recipient of the 2008 InfoComm Distinguished Achievement Award.