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Harris Broadcast the media software, networking and over-the-air solutions specialist serving the global media and entertainment markets, has revealed two new corporate entities – Imagine Communications and GatesAir – at its inaugural MediaDay held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Charlie Vogt, erstwhile CEO of Harris Broadcast, said the move to create two world-class, standalone companies that innovate across different ends of the technology spectrum was a decisive step toward aligning the businesses with today’s industry trends, the networks of the future and the requirements of our customers and partners.
Imagine Communications will lead the media and entertainment markets to a future defined by IP, software, the cloud and TV Everywhere, with an architecture vision for delivering and monetising multiscreen content. GatesAir will continue to lead the next-generation TV and Radio over-the-air market, with a focus on providing wireless innovations that reduce power consumption and carbon footprint, while leveraging the growth in digital transmission across the globe.
For both companies, this move represents the freedom to pursue their respective ambitions and maintain the laser focus needed to develop solutions based on market demands. Most importantly, it allows each business to create a structure that will drive improved customer intimacy.
Imagine Communications will be headquartered in Dallas, with Centres of Excellence in Denver, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Beijing. The company’s five decades of media software and networking innovation has secured more than 3,000 customers spanning 185 countries, with more than 3 million products deployed that support over half of the world’s video channels, along with a rich portfolio of patents.
GatesAir will be headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with its state-of-art manufacturing, supply chain and fulfilment centre in Quincy, Illinois. GatesAir has been pioneering over-the-air TV and radio transmission innovation for nearly 100 years.
“With vibrant new identities and focus, Imagine Communications and GatesAir are well-positioned to serve our industry and customers,” said Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications and GatesAir. “Our vision, product direction and strategy further align Imagine Communications and GatesAir with today’s transformational trends, the networks of the future and our customers and partners. We have created two laser-focused companies that are innovating across different ends of the technology spectrum. Imagine Communications will lead the media and entertainment markets to a future defined by IP, software, the cloud, and TV Everywhere, with an architecture vision for delivering and monetising multiscreen content. Likewise, GatesAir will continue to lead the next-generation TV and Radio over-the-air market, with a focus on providing wireless innovations that reduce power consumption and carbon footprint, while leveraging the growth in digital radio and TV transmission across the globe.”
“Our industry is moving rapidly to a place where media companies no longer want to deploy and manage proprietary technology,” said Vogt. “They have been burdened over the years by costly, legacy infrastructure that limits their expansion options and flexibility to transition to new models. Our customers, channels and business partners around the world are enthusiastically embracing our new paradigm of service-oriented, software-based architectures that utilise commercial off-the-shelf technology and the virtualisation of network functions.”
Consistent with this vision, a new media platform is being introduced. “Imagine Communications MediaCentral is the industry’s first integrated, end-to-end ad sales, traffic, scheduling, automation and playout platform that virtualises key capabilities in the cloud, which were previously provided only in distinct, separate, and often premises-based platforms,” said Steve Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer at Imagine Communications. “A reflection of our company’s unique ability to combine the best capabilities of our end-to-end portfolio, it creates an underlying architecture of modular, IP-based services that can fully support the integration of media and playout functions, such as live log integration, simplifying operations and providing advanced service velocity for operators.”
Imagine Communications is also introducing Software Defined Workflows (SDW), a capability enabled by the Company’s MultiService SDN architecture. Media companies currently operate in a hybrid environment of both baseband and IP workflows. SDW dramatically improves the way video is managed through broadcast facilities by allowing the entire workflow to be software defined, bringing all media into the IP layer and separating the media content components from control. Additionally, significant investments in TV Everywhere will leverage Imagine Communications MediaCentral and Multiservice SDN frameworks, further reducing the infrastructure required to allow for the multiple formats of the evolving multiscreen world – from the largest Ultra High Definition screens down to the smallest screens of smart phones and wearable devices. By optimising the highest quality video stream for delivery over the variety of bandwidth users consume, Imagine Communications’ TV Everywhere solutions will enable all networks to dynamically adapt to the amount of available bandwidth.
“The central theme behind our technology vision unveiled today is to enable our customers to begin migrating towards software defined, IP-based, virtualised networks for both intraplant and interplant, without having to forklift their current networks and make significant new investments,” said Reynolds. “Imagine Communications is uniquely positioned to deliver this transformation because of the breadth of our technology, solutions and intellectual property.”
With its long history of innovation, GatesAir leads the industry in driving down the cost and power required to operate over-the-air technology. The company is ideally prepared to guide broadcasters in effectively navigating major technology evolutions, such as digital conversions, new use of spectrum and licences in many countries, and spectrum auctions and TV band repacking. From breakthroughs in digital modulation to patent-pending amplifier technology, GatesAir delivers the most cost-, energy- and space-efficient solutions and is dedicated to a customer-first focus in re-architecting networks for the future.
“We are thrilled to bring back the positive market heritage associated with the name Gates,” said Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer, GatesAir. “We gain the best of both worlds by empowering our expert teams, technology and customer base, while also gaining exclusive focus and entrepreneurial autonomy to best serve the over-the-air radio and TV market. Today, we are better positioned than ever in our history to build best-of-breed, over-the-air solutions that take advantage of the latest breakthroughs and changes that will occur over the next decade in content delivery and distribution across the globe. With spectrum reallocation on the horizon in the US and similar dynamic changes around the world, our customers are highly focused on staying ahead of the technology curve, and we are ideally suited to support their new requirements and cutting edge deployments.”