Best Tablet For Lighting

Hello all!

I have recently come into a space as the resident lighting supervisor. I've been here for about a month, and I have been identifying some capitol improvements I would like to make. The first one that is currently feasible for us to make is a new remote system for use with iRFR and Alien Stagecraft systems. In the past, I have worked mostly with iPads and old iPod touches. However, over the Summer, I worked with an LD who utilized a different device. I can't seem to get in contact with him, but the device he had was much cheaper than an Apple product and was more reliable. I was curious what experience the people here have with alternative tablets and what sort of recommendations you have in regards to the purchase of a new one? I am currently working with a budget of $150 in an ideal world, but that budget can very easily be expanded if needbe. Any input is appreciated.


  • I like the iPad personally.  For the theatre, I purchased three "No Contract" Android phones (Motorola Q(?)) and just didn't activate the phones' service.  The Android phone gave me a convenient form factor, and I thought the non-coolness of the device would keep it from disappearing.  I also bought three CHEAP Android tablets for a larger form factor.   For $300, I had six remotes of which five are still going strong five years later. For my personal system, I use an old Android phone or my iPad.

    Was the LD using a Microsoft Surface with a Nomad dongle?  I have heard of people using that system.  I am not a fan of the Surface or using Nomad over WiFi.  I will stick to my "burner" phones and aRFR.

    Good luck!

  • That system sounds really effective. 

    I'm not sure what the LD was using, but it wasn't as nice as a Surface. It was some kind of low end tablet utilizing Alien Stagecraft software to control the overall system - maybe it was just that software that I liked.

    I'm thinking I might spec it out as an iPad based on what I'm hearing and seeing though. Might be better to be certain we'll continue to get ETC support if Alien Stagecraft goes under at some point.

  • Alien Stagecraft uses the OSC commands built into EOS similar to several other DJ, AV or remote trigger software so it should run pretty smooth on any budget friendly Android based tablet and will ultimately rely on the stability of the hardware itself and the quality of your wireless network in transmitting the commands consistently.

    While some techs do use the Nomad software on a surface device, it's not advised to use an EOS console though WIFI because of the amount of network traffic required to consistently keep all clients in sync so you're headed down the right path for a reliable set of feature rich focus remotes.  I do advise you take a look at the aRFR (android remote focus remote) as well as this would be supported by ETC if you had any issues but open source/configurable 3rd party software is always nice allowing you to modify the remote to your liking.

  • Personally for me the best tablet is iPad and I wil lexplain why.

    1. Passive cooling
    Apple tablets have no moving cooling elements. This solution makes the device not only more reliable, but also silent.

    2. Autonomy
    iPads have always been known for their battery life, getting thinner every year with a smaller battery, but still maintaining the same battery life.

    3. Performance
    The mobile operating system, along with the powerful hardware of the iPad Pro, provides excellent performance to the gadget.

    4 Apple Pencil
    It is impossible to consider iPad Pro without this accessory. Only a stylus can unleash the potential of the big screen, especially for those who like to draw. To create creative content on a laptop, you will have to acquire specialized equipment.