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Ericsson goes big on TV with $125m Envivio acquisition and new broadcast partnerships

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Infrastructure giant Ericsson has kicked off the IBC broadcasting trade show with a raft of TV-related announcements, including the acquisition of video technology company Envivio for $125 million.

Ericsson is positioning the acquisition as a strengthening of its video compression offering, as well as augmenting its cloud-based video processing. Envivio customers include Comcast, Liberty Global, Sky and Telstra, and it had revenues of $43 million in 2014.

“Our consumer research clearly shows that viewers are demanding TV on their terms on any device, and expecting experiences that continually evolve,” said Per Borgklint, Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson. “We are committed to offering our customers a clear path towards fully agile cloud agnostic platforms that delight TV consumers. I look forward to welcoming the market leader in pure software-defined video encoding, processing, and packaging into Ericsson. The combination will strengthen our encoding position with both custom silicon and pure software encoding, delivering performance and flexibility.”

“The uniting of Envivio’s pioneering software solutions and Ericsson’s strength in the marketplace is a great combination for our customers and stockholders,” said Julien Signès, founder and CEO of Envivio. “Ericsson shares a similar vision for the future of video processing and shift to software defined and virtualized encoding solutions. Ericsson brings tremendous resources, a broad product and solutions portfolio and reach that will accelerate the adoption of Envivio’s software-based video solutions.”

On top of that news, Ericsson has also announced deals with Swisscom, Intelsat, Channel 5 and AT&T. Swisscom has deployed Ericsson’s Video Storage and Processing Platform to power all of the time-shifted and cloud DVR features of its TV 2.0 offering. Meanwhile Ericsson and Intelsat have joined forces, claiming to be the first companies in the world to showcase an HD contribution feed in HDR (High Dynamic Range).

UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5, which is owned by Viacom has signed a multi-year broadcast and media services deal with Ericsson, which includes playout, media management, metadata, access services (captioning, audio description and sign language interpretation) and business continuity services for four channels.

Paul Dunthorne, Chief Operating Officer at Channel 5, said: “Ericsson showed a clear understanding of our complex playout requirements, including the extra demands of live and fast-turnaround shows, such as Big Brother, which are a crucial part of our schedule,” said Paul Dunthorne, COO of Channel 5. “And they promise to offer us the robust and flexible support we need as we continue to roll out our highly popular Demand 5 player, which is already available across more than 25 different video-on-demand platforms in the UK. We look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

The AT&T news is more of a development partnership, in which the two companies will combine their resources to develop AT&T’s TV experience platform. “By collaborating with Ericsson, AT&T will be able to enhance its service offerings across its networks,” said Enrique Rodriguez, CTO of AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services. “Combining these technologies together uniquely positions AT&T to offer consumers an unparalleled bundled video entertainment, mobile and broadband experience.”


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