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Pathport: Redefining the Entertainment Lighting Industry for 20 Years

Stage Directions • Tools of the Trade • June 8, 2021

Pathway Connectivity celebrates 20 years since the Pathport product launch and the impact it has made to the industry. In the spring of 2001, Pathway Connectivity sent out the first shipment of what is now considered one of the most recognized and regarded Pathway products ‐ Pathport. This product marked a new beginning in entertainment lighting technology, launching into the market as one of the very first of its kind.

The company created a short documentary on the Pathport. In the video, employees (past and present) talk about the development and history of the product and a bit about the company that created it:

Pathway Connectivity, previously known as Gray Interfaces, was well known, and respected in the industry as leaders in DMX interface and distribution. Though the portfolio included systems for larger scale DMX distribution, the founder and president at the time, David Higgins, recognized an emerging market trend to Ethernet and the opportunity for the DMX512 product to add this capability. Soon after, the DMX over Ethernet Gateway was launched.

At the time of the release, Higgins is quoted saying, “Pathport is a vital bridge between the DMX and Ethernet worlds. It gives facility designers an affordable way to lay the foundation for the Ethernet future, while at the same time expanding the functionality and life of existing DMX equipment. Pathport will allow facilities to migrate to the new protocol without changing hardware.”

Pathport quickly achieved recognition as a low‐cost smart data port allowing legacy DMX equipment to utilize Ethernet data transport methods. In addition to being one of the first DMX/Ethernet Gateways, the Pathport introduced the market to distinctive patching features and PoE capabilities that other gateways did not possess.

Pathport made its debut at LDI 2000 in Las Vegas and won Best Software Product of the Year. This time also marked a name change for the company and Gray Interfaces was rebranded as Pathway Connectivity. The company was at a turning point and the name change marked an adherence to the path ahead, a commitment to moving towards advanced lighting networking.

In the last 20 years, Pathway has expanded on Pathport and extending the product line to include an array of control and networking products, creating complete system solutions. The company and the people of Pathway continue to serve the industry with their knowledge and customer focus. Today you will find Pathport products in systems throughout the world – theatres, touring shows, cruise ships, and houses of worship.

20 years later, Pathport remains the solution for DMX Ethernet lighting systems and Pathway Connectivity continues to lead the way in entertainment lighting.

Further information from Pathway Connectivity: https://www.pathwayconnect.com

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