IBC 2016 has seen the announcement of several interesting investments, acquisitions and strategic partnerships by vendors eager to improve their existing offerings, attack new markets or do a little of both.
Among the announcements:
Eutelsat Communications — The satellite communications operator has taken a minority stake in video compression expert V-Nova. A Eutelsat spokesman at the show in Amsterdam said the company invested in V-Nova to roll the Perseus compression engine into its offer.
Doing so will help Eutelsat “accelerate the adoption of high-quality video services” by customers.
“We believe that V-Nova technologies can be instrumental for facilitating the migrations to HD [and] Ultra HD services,” the spokesman said.
In July, Italian broadcaster Rai Italia selected both Eutelsat and V-Nova to work together to carry live the final games of EUFA Euro 2016 (the European 2016 football championship).
The stake in V-Nova will help Eutelsat with its DTH distribution of HD and UHD service as well as improve the “entire value chain,” i.e., TV quality.
Eutelsat also will be finalizing a commercial agreement over the next couple of weeks with V-Nova to begin selling the company’s solutions in the markets it serves, the spokesman said.
Telestream — The Nevada City, Calif.-based firm, which specializes in digital media tools and workflow solutions, has executed a privately funded acquisition of U.K.-based Vidcheck for an undisclosed sum.
Focused on quality control technology, Vidcheck has developed automated QC for file-based production workflows. It counts ITV, BBC and CBS among its customers.
The company’s product portfolio and workforce align well with Telestream’s “area of expertise,” said Telestream CEO Dan Castles.
According to Thomas Dove, CEO of Vidcheck, the companies two technologies are highly complementary.
Vidchecker automated QC with correction product is a “perfect fit” with Telestream’s Vantage media processing platform, he said.
Ross Video — The latest acquisition by Ross Video pairs the technology of veteran broadcast technology specialist Abekas with the company’s existing video production offerings.
At IBC 2016, Ross Video CEO David Ross announced the acquisition of Abekas, a winner of seven technical Emmys. Financial details were not disclosed.
The move adds the Abekas video server, replay and profanity delay technology to Ross Video’s existing product portfolio.
Core Abekas products include the Mira replay server, Mira and Tria production servers and AirCleaner profanity elimination delay system.
Ross Video will integrate the Abekas server products into its production system portfolio.
At IBC 2016, Ross launched Streamline Play, a MAM and MOS workflow for the Mira production server in news applications. It is the first product to reflect the synergies of the acquisition.
ChyronHego — At its IBC 2016 press conference, ChyronHego announced it has completed the acquisition of Paris-based Hybrid, a developer of virtual reality and robotics solutions for the television and digital media industries.
Hybrid offers a virtual studio tracking system that delivers precise camera motion in 2- and 3-D computer-generated environments.
ChyronHego President-CEO Johan Apel, said the acquisition of Hybrid means his company can now offer “best-of-breed technologies” to build realistic-looking virtual sets.
At the 2016 NAB Show, ChyronHego unveiled its Camio Universe integrated news content creation, production and playout system.
The product integrates multiple functions, including news and weather graphics, in a way that is approachable by TV journalists. It also integrates Hybrid augmented and virtual reality components, in a manner reporters, news producers and other newsroom personnel can use.
“Hybrid’s solutions are a perfect fit with ChyronHego’s CAMIO Universe ecosystem of integrated, software-based tools to support producer-driven content creation,” said Hybrid CEO Olivier Cohen.
Besides its precise motion-tracking robotic camera support, Hybrid also offers a trackless virtual set using fixed cameras and a green screen as well augmented reality.
ChyronHego also is highlighting during the IBC convention its acquisition in July of Sound & Video Creations, which develops content management and delivery systems for display on the wide range of presentation technology deployed at stadiums and arenas.
The acquisition gives the company greater entry into the arena and stadium market and strengthens the Sound & Video Creations Click Effects product offer with ChyronHego’s portfolio of technology.
NewTek and Wowza Media Systems — At IBC, both companies have announced the collaborative development and rollout of MDS, a real-time media encoding and live streaming video delivery platform.
MDS combines NewTek’s live production technology with Wowza’s streaming software in a 1RU device.
The new product enables a direct link between a producer creating content and viewers consuming it.
From NewTek’s tech stable, MDS draws on processing for four video channels. Input sources can be SDI, IP or a hybrid of both, and they can come via a direct physical connection, over IP using NewTek’s NDI protocol or from TCP/IP, webcams and USB capture devices.
Content can be delivered to mobile devices, the desktop or OTT device via the Wowza Cloud, Wowza CDN and Wowza Player.
The product was “born out of a relationship between NewTek and Wowza Media Systems,” said Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek.
JüngerAudio and Minnetonka Software — Digital audio specialist Jünger Audio and Minnetonka Audio, a Telos Alliance Co., announced Sept. 10 at IBC 2016 that the two companies had partnered to offer Jünger Audio’s Level Magic loudness management algorithm as a module supported by Minnetonka Audio Software’s AudioTools Server enterprise software system for file-based workflows.
The collaboration makes Level Magic available in a file-based domain for the first time.
The AudioTools Server toolset delivers the ability to manage and process linear PCM, Dolby E, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus content, as well as the audio essence in MXF and QuickTime clips.
With the new module for AudioTools Server, the broadcast industry can continue its move towards file-based workflows and minimize the possibility of surprise audio level changes when switch between sources and loudness changes when unattended, the companies said.
Fade to Black
These acquisitions, investments and partnerships don’t even touch on the massive collaborative effort ongoing in the industry and evident around the IBC 2016 exhibition floor in the area of interoperability among the IP-based distribution, production and playout backed by various vendors.
At the show, at least 35 companies developing IP-based media technology adhering to the AIMS Alliance road map (SMPTE 2022-6, AES67, VSF TR-03 and TR-04) are demonstrating how their products, indeed, can communicate with each other.
The ASPEN Community, as well, is demonstrating interoperability at IBC 2015 with at least a dozen of its member, including Evertz, Hitachi, Ross and others, showing the ability to move content via SMPTE RDD37:2016.
NewTek, too, is featuring the ongoing collaboration of companies offering products with support for its NDI Network Device Interface protocol. At least 1,000 companies have downloaded the NDI software development kit, and many are demoing their ability to play nicely with one another in an NDI ecosystem at IBC 2016.