Ross Video announced at NAB 2014 that it has acquired Unreel LLC, a augmented reality (AR) and virtual set (VS) solutions provider based in Massachusetts. The acquisition makes Ross Video the only company in the broadcast industry that’s able to offer a single-vendor turnkey AR/VS studio solution.
“Cost and complexity have, in the past, confined the virtual-set and augmented-reality market primarily to the largest national broadcasters,” says David Ross, CEO of Ross Video. “At Ross, we saw there was a need to not only be able to deliver network quality AR and VS solutions cost-effectively to any broadcast customer, but also open the door to a powerful new revenue opportunity: virtual advertising. Unreel, which has more than two decades’ experience in the AR/VS solutions market, an enviable list of clients that includes CBS, CNBC, ESPN, NBC, NESN, NASDAQ, Reuters, the Pentagon and the Social Security Administration, and multiple feature-film credits to its name, has groundbreaking technology and an innovative creative model that we’re excited to be building upon to create the Studio of the Future.”
Ross Video will use Unreel’s UX AR/VS control software and UX design services, alongside multiple Ross Video products, including the XPression Real Time Motion Graphics System, Ross robotic camera systems, Inception social-media management, production switchers and UltraChrome™ chroma keyer, to deliver turnkey AR/VS solutions that are easy to create, install and use.
“We believe the acquisition of Unreel by Ross Video brings AR/VS cost, technology and ease-of-use to the point where virtual sets and augmented reality can be readily accessible to all broadcasters,” says Paul Lacombe, Creative Director of Ross Video AR/VS solutions. “The market is already shifting its focus to high-quality designs and creative uses of virtual sets, and now Ross Video has the technology to make that a reality.”
Ross Video will offer incomparable AR/VS solutions because it provides a complete set of all the necessary tools, which have been designed to work together. Additionally, Ross Video’s AR/VS solutions can also coexist with existing third-party keying, rendering, camera tracking, production control, social media and other non-Ross product providers. The Ross Video AR/VS solution will integrate with partners and competitors to ensure complete customer satisfaction. To this end, Ross Video will continue to work with and, in some cases, resell best-of-breed third-party products to ensure its solutions continue to meet customer needs.
“At Unreel, our goal is to enhance the ability of broadcasters to tell compelling stories using VS and AR, deliver new ways to generate in-program revenue using virtual advertising, and increase programming flexibility at lower cost,” says Dave Larson, General Manager of Ross Video AR/VS solutions. “Joining Ross will enable us to continue to work with our current technology and design partners, and establish new partnerships to accelerate the growth of the AR/VS market.”