Many devices around us, which we use every day, require a software update once in a while. Smartphones often get updated overnight and computers also beg for updates (often leading to frustration :)).
Lighting fixtures aren’t any different. At regular intervals, manufacturers like HARMAN issue new firmware for lighting fixtures. This firmware might include some bug fixes, extra built-in effect macros or even completely new functionalities.
While some lighting fixtures include a USB port to facilitate memory stick firmware upgrades, many do not. And when you need to update the firmware for many fixtures at once, or for fixtures hanging in the air, individual memory stick installs isn’t very convenient. This is why all Martin lighting fixtures can also be updated via their DMX or network cable, eliminating the need to physically access the fixture and enabling multiple fixture updates.
DMX cable fixture firmware upgrades require an update app and some sort of USB-to-DMX hardware interface. As the Martin product portfolio is diverse and spans a period of over 30 years, not all products are based on the same architecture. This means that not all Martin lighting fixtures would use the same update app and USB-to-DMX hardware interface. To ensure coverage of all Martin fixtures, you would need seven different USB-to-DMX boxes or cables and 7 different “update apps” installed on your computer. This isn’t different with other lighting fixture manufacturers, as all lighting manufacturers have products with similar varying architectures.
However, with Martin Companion, HARMAN changed the game. All different “fixture firmware update apps” were merged into one single application that covers them all. At the same time, a new and affordable USB-to-DMX hardware interface, the Martin Companion Cable, was developed, supporting the Martin Companion app in updating firmware to ANY Martin lighting fixture.
Gone are the days where a lighting technician had to drag around seven different boxes or cables. Just having the Martin Companion Cable enables he or she to get the job done. In total, Martin Companion supports 135 different Martin products in the MAC, ERA, ELP, RUSH and Exterior ranges. And more new and legacy products are being added on a regular basis. Martin Companion even supports products as old as the MAC 500, launched in 1997.
An additional feature offered by the Martin Companion App is the automatic download of new fixture firmware files from the HARMAN Fixture Firmware Server, which eliminates the need to browse Martin web pages to download the latest firmware files. The Martin Companion App is constantly synchronizing its database with the server. So, when you get on the job site, you can be sure that Martin Companion is always loaded with the latest Martin lighting fixture firmware.
Learn more about and download Martin Companion to see how much it can simplify your life as a lighting technician.
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