Insider Reporter

Insider Report

news and views on broadcast and professional video/audio sectors, worldwide

w/e August 18, 2010 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2010


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Technicolor 3D Surpasses 250 Screens in North America

Further supporting the successful launch of Technicolor 3D, the 35mm 3D solution, Technicolor announced it has installed its Technicolor 3D system on more than 250 screens in North America just four months after its initial debut in theatres. This milestone demonstrates the continued industry demand for 3D and exhibitor confidence in the Technicolor 3D format as a high-quality, affordable 3D solution.

“Technicolor 3D allows us to deliver high quality 3D to a greater number of theatres and a wider audience”

Technicolor 3D was launched in theatres on March 26 with How to Train Your Dragon, followed by Clash of the Titans, Shrek Forever After, The Last Airbender, Despicable Me, and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Next up for the format will be Piranha 3D from The Weinstein Company on August 20.

“We’re thrilled to have surpassed 250 screens in just a few months,” said Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor’s Creative Services division. “Exhibitor feedback has been great from both a theatre operations and audience satisfaction perspective. We’re glad to be able to provide a technology solution that helps to bridge the gap to solve the current shortage of digital 3D screens, and bring 3D to audiences in markets of all sizes.”

“Technicolor 3D allows us to deliver high quality 3D to a greater number of theatres and a wider audience,” said Clyde Cornell, chief operating officer for Portland-based Hollywood Theaters. “The technology gives our patrons the opportunity to view motion pictures as never before, combining the highest levels of resolution, contrast and image quality to produce precise, life-like images in vibrant colors.”

"We have installed Technicolor 3D on 14 screens to date, and plan to add another six," said Tom Hutchinson, president of Edmonton, Alberta-based Magic Lantern Theatres. "Operation has been trouble-free, our customers are happy, and since the first picture, every installation has made money for us."

"Technicolor 3D has provided us with an excellent, cost-effective 3D solution, allowing us to remain competitive in our markets while we wait for an accessible digital plan to develop," said Bill Banowsky, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Carolina Cinemas. "We now have at least one Technicolor 3D system at each of our locations, and will likely add more before the end of the year.”

"We are pleased with our decision to utilize Technicolor 3D," said Paul Wenger, vice president, Flagship Cinemas. ”It’s is a high quality, cost-effective product, which provides a superior 3D presentation for our audiences. Its affordability allows us the power to enhance the movie-going experience at our theatres and remain competitive in this digital age."

Technicolor 3D recently launched in international territories with Shrek Forever After from DreamWorks Animation. Other studios indicating support for the format internationally include: Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company and Warner Bros. Countries included in the international launch are the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany and Japan.

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Online Video Advertising Forecast at $2.7 Billion in '10

Strengthened by transaction transparency, ad networks, marketplace auctions, expanding premium inventories, innovative formats, lower CPMs, unambiguous campaign performance benchmarking, ROI and accountability metrics, combined with broadcast buying scale, online video advertising and related media spend is forecast at $2.7 billion in 2010, according to a report by AccuStream Research.

The report, Online Video Advertising and Media Spend: 2010 - 2012 shows in-banner video spend surpassed pre roll in dollar value in 2005, and the versatile format is expected to continue to lead the market through 2012, though at a declining rate.

The pre roll avail--which heretofore has primarily been sold against premium content--is gaining more publisher adherents online.

Pre roll video is now regularly bought against partner channel content nested inside hosted network sites such as YouTube, and for the first time on highly-produced adult sites in 2010, buying patterns expected to continue and accelerate going forward.

In-banner video media spend is forecast to make up 53.7% of the market's total dollar value in 2010, while pre roll captures a 27.5% share of the gross.

However, the report's extensive data indicate media spending trends are evolving, and viral campaigns, search, auctions (pre roll), overlay executions and performance based buys (CPE/CPC) are growing. Mobile video spend is expected to make up .1% of the market in 2010, increasing to .5% in 2012.

"Online video advertising is highly elastic," noted AccuStream research director Paul A. Palumbo. "Lower CPMs, aligned with desirable inventory--plus granular targeting capabilities--has created a durable foundation for continued market growth."

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Blackmagic Design Acquires EchoLab Inc.’s Assets

Blackmagic Design announced the acquisition of all assets of EchoLab Inc., a leading designers and manufacturer of production switchers. EchoLab has over 35 years of experience in designing and building production switchers since 1974. This experience has culminated in the latest ATEM range of production switchers that include cutting edge technology for world leading features such as up conversion on inputs, multilayer SuperSource™ input, Stinger™ transitions, and built in multi-view monitoring, all in a familiar and affordable, fully digital M/E style design.

“I have been using live production switchers since I was in school where we covered local theater, sports, racing and bands. I think it’s the most exciting way to do production because it’s all live and thousands of people are watching what you are doing! Production switchers need to be powerful while also being familiar and easy to operate. I think the ATEM switchers from EchoLab are the most exciting switchers I have ever seen, and it’s incredibly exciting to add these products and intellectual property to the Blackmagic Design family,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “The ATEM switcher is a fantastic creative tool, and it includes powerful features not found in any other product. Since the acquisition, we have already dramatically expanded the engineering team working on ATEM. This fresh engineering team, which is a combination of new as well as experienced EchoLab staff, will allow us to move faster in adding new features to the ATEM product. It’s so exciting, I cannot sleep!”

ATEM is currently being retooled for production and will be available late 2010 for US$19,995 for the 10 input 1 M/E model, and US$51,995 for the 18 input 2 M/E model from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Ross Video to Acquire Norpak Corporation

Ross Video Limited announced that Ross Video has entered into an agreement to acquire Norpak Corporation, which is majority owned by Rovi Corporation. The sale is scheduled for completion on September 17, 2010.

Norpak is well known as the manufacturer of Nielsen encoders and Closed Captioning Inserters as well as VBI, VANC and transport stream data insertion products. Norpak has been an openGear partner for the past 3 years and offers a range of openGear compliant data insertion products.

Ross Video plans to integrate Norpak operations and personnel into Ross' Ottawa Research and Development Center and Iroquois Manufacturing Facility. Ross will continue to sell and service the Norpak product portfolio, which will transition to the Ross brand.

"We are excited to expand our corporate capabilities deeply into the data insertion technology area," said David Ross, CEO, Ross Video, "Norpak's product portfolio and experience in broadcast data insertion will help Ross provide more complete customer solutions and will be a significant benefit to our openGear and other product lines as we move forward."

"We believe that this transition will be great for Norpak customers. Ross is a terrific home for Norpak" said Michael Dobson, President of Norpak.

Telestream Aquires Anystream Division

Telestream announced the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire the business operations of the Anystream division of Grab Networks.

Founded ten years ago, Anystream pioneered a solution for media companies looking to produce and transcode video to publish on the web with the introduction of their Agility® products. The company grew to become a leading provider of automated multi-platform media publishing solutions, and its solutions are used by over 600 of the leading media companies in 38 countries around the world.

“This is a great opportunity for Telestream to accelerate its momentum helping media and entertainment companies unleash the promise of their media assets through next-generation enterprise-class solutions designed for complex multi-format workflows. Anystream’s customer base will benefit not only from Telestream’s broad end-to-end digital media tools and workflow solutions, but also from its strategic focus on transcoding,” said Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream. “This transaction is very synergistic and truly a win-win for customers, employees, and partners alike.”

“This transaction further helps the company leverage a growing market,” remarked Michelle Abraham, principal analyst with In-Stat. In-Stat expects the worldwide multiformat transcoding market to grow from $117 million to $297 million in 2014, according to the report “Worldwide Market for Enterprise-Class Multiformat Transcoders" issued August 3, 2010. The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed as both companies are closely-held private entities.

ViewCast Revenue Up

ViewCast Corporation, a developer of industry-leading solutions for the transformation, management and delivery of digital media over enterprise, broadband, and mobile networks, reported double digit year-over-year and sequential revenue growth for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010.

The Company reported that revenue growth accelerated in the second quarter, marking its third straight quarter of sequential growth and returning to year-over-year top line increases. The quarterly growth was principally driven by Niagara and OEM partner appliance sales to both new and established customers.

ViewCast President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Stoner said, "Results from the second quarter - especially the interest from new and significant corporate customers and potential resellers – has the organization energized and working hard to meet demand. We are seeing good traction from the migration to high definition and PCI Express that we had prepared for last year. Additionally, new sales and marketing programs, such as the one launched by IBM last month for our VMp products, have begun to produce leads for our integrated platform as well. Once again, we believe the work we did during the economic downturn of 2009, including product development and cost cutting, has positioned us for significant growth and improved financial results.

Vizrt Q2 Revenue Up

Broadcast graphics and asset management provider Vizrt announced its Q2 and 1H results.

Revenue for the quarter was $24.2m, an increase of 17% versus the same period last year. Revenue for the first half of 2010 was $48m, an increase of 26% versus 1H 2009.

Gross margins for the quarter were 65%, well ahead of the 58% that the company achieved during the same period a year ago.

Broadcast graphics accounted for 72% of the company’s total revenues in 1H 2010. According to the company, Vizrt’s graphics business is up 33% y/y

Media Asset Management (MAM) revenues for 1H 2010 were $9.4m (20% of 1H), up 31% versus 1H 2009. For the quarter, MAM revenues were up 23% versus the same period a year ago. The company attributed the increase in MAM revenue to “the general improvement of the market conditions, a growth in RFPs related to strategic investments, our ability to convert a large part of the outstanding RFPs into business for Vizrt and our improved capacity to deliver projects.”

Company CEO Martin Burkhalter said that “top line results for the second quarter could have been even better, bar for three developments in the market: Firstly, the strong recovery of the US Dollar compared to other currencies and especially the Euro had a significant impact on our top line. Secondly, the effects of the Vulcano eruption in Iceland earlier this year delayed certain sales efforts, affecting our Q2 top line. Finally, the political instability in Thailand, currently one of our more important markets in Asia Pacific and also used as a hub for the region, had a clear negative impact on revenue development in this area.”

The company issued a relatively upbeat forecast, saying “The positive trends we signaled in our previous results releases continue to hold true. Improvements in the general market conditions, combined with technology driven change, such as the migration to HD and to file based workflows, contributed to the strong growth we posted. Our efforts to strengthen and integrate our operations at the regional level are also starting to pay dividend. For the remainder of this year we therefore expect this development to continue, especially in Broadcast Graphics and MAM.”

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2010-2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Macro Industry Overview Report:

88 page report of analysis and information on the state-of-the-industry compiled from secondary online research sources including industry news sites, manufacturers sites, as well as SCRI's own weekly online News Briefs and Insider Reports.

2010-2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Micro Quantitative Product Data Report:

30-page report containing quantitative data tables, for all six verical end-user markets, as well as in total, plus a 6 page summary analysis of the quantitative data tables

2010 - 2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Product Reports (25):

Video Camcorders; ;Video Cameras; Camera Mounting Systems; Character Generators; Clip / Still Stores; Composite/Component Encoders; Digital Effects Processors; Graphics & Effects Software; Graphics & Effects Workstations; Master Control Switchers; Non-Linear Editing Systems; Production/Post Switchers; RAID Video Storage; Routing Switchers; Standards / Formats Convertors; TBC's / Frame Synchronizers; Telecine Equipment; Terminal Equipment; Up/Down Converters; Video Compression Encoders; Video Disk Recorders; Video Monitors; Video Servers; Video Test & Measurement; VTRs

Contact for more information.

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