A Great Relationship Built Through Light
LD Mike Flack and Engineer Skip Glasco work with Philips Strand Lighting at HSN
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
by Philips Strand Lighting

HSN is an interactive multi-channel retailer delivering an assortment of exclusive products, and broadcasting live to over 96 million homes 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, 364 days-a-year. In an environment that only takes one day off, any lighting system would be put to the true test. So when Lighting Designer Mike Flack and Lighting Engineer Skip Glasco decided it was time for a system upgrade, they could have chosen products from any company they desired. What they chose was a C21 Dimming System, Palette Control Consoles, and PL3 LED Wash luminaires from Philips Strand Lighting; along with VL3500 Spot and VL3500 Wash luminaires from Philips Vari-Lite.

“We have 7 studios at HSN and when I first made the decision to upgrade the dimming racks, I went with a Strand dimming system because it’s very reliable,” began Glasco. “The C21 Dimmer system is an upgrade from the previous CD80 Dimmer System, so now Studios A, B, C, F and G all have two C21 racks, and Studios D and E each have one C21 rack. Running 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, the Strand dimming systems are always there, and as far as being dependable, that’s precisely what I have to be able to rely upon.”

Now turning his attention to the control consoles that would be used for both the studio productions and the newly expanded Special Events programming at HSN, Glasco knew that with a 16-member crew focusing on 2-4 shows per day, the consoles had to be user-friendly, and that’s exactly why he chose the Palette family.

"HSN has lighting grips with different skill sets in any given 24 hour period of time working in all the studios, so I have found it more practical to keep everything as user-friendly as possible,” added Glasco. “If you know how to use one Palette console, you know how to use them all. That’s why we have 10 Palette consoles total, including two Palette VL, three Palette Live, four Palette 200, and one Palette Classic. I have worked with a lot of various manufacturers’ equipment over the years, and to me the Palette control consoles are definitely the most user-friendly.”

While there has always been Special Events programming at HSN like its Spring and Fall Fashion Series presented by ELLE, the innovative retailer has recently expanded its productions to include HSN Live concerts from such artists as Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Randy Travis and Josh Turner. Using 7-10 cameras during the broadcasts, each production must have its own individually branded look, which includes highly dynamic lighting designs to keep the HSN costumer engaged.

“When developing full set designs for the numerous brand partners we have at HSN, we also take into consideration how the lighting design can best complement the brand and how to make the product look its best on air within its newly created set environment,” explained Flack. “To help us do that, we recently purchased five PL3 LED Luminaires to be used with our event lighting package. I like to use them mostly as an overall effect shooting through haze to create aerial graphics, and we also use them as back light kickers for bands during an HSN Live concert. Flack continued, “Another characteristic of the PL3 LED that we enjoy is the aesthetics of the lens and how it looks shooting into the camera lens. They give us a fantastic set element when designed into a set piece. But the best part is definitely the color saturation; their flexibility of color is a true blessing.”

As work continues at HSN, both Glasco and Flack are excited about their new lighting system from Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon. In needing the system to be dependable and user-friendly, while also giving them the ability to develop distinctively unique lighting designs, they have found the Philips Strand Lighting equipment gives them a great deal of flexibility.

Glasco concluded, “When you turn on your TV or watch HSN via one of its live streams on or HSN mobile, you are seeing it in a live 24-hour broadcast. That means it has to perform 24/7/364 days a year. With the dimming and control equipment from Philips Strand Lighting, you do not have to be concerned. Their dependability and user-friendly interfaces are above many of the industry counterparts, and to us that makes all the difference.”

Flack agreed, “At HSN we have a team of very talented lighting professionals that are passionate about making every lighting design look its best while paving the way in the TV industry. We strive to not only provide the highest production value possible for our on-air hosts and guests, but also allow for the product to be viewed in a well-lit environment. Our lighting designs must always have the ‘wow’ factor to keep the viewers engaged and the Phillips umbrella has helped give HSN the tools to do just that. It’s resulted in a great relationship between Philips Strand Lighting and HSN.”

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