IBC: Blackmagic Design Picks Up Ultimatte, Fairlight

Complete Coverage: IBC 2016

Broadcast and feature film hardware company Blackmagic Design announced a pair of acquisitions at IBC, including Ultimatte, which specializes in blue and green screen removal tech for broadcasts, marketers and studios, and Fairlight, a manufacturer of digital audio products for live broadcast and TV post production.

Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

“Ultimatte’s real-time blue and green screen compositing solutions have been the standard for 40 years,” said Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty in a statement. “Ultimatte has been used by virtually every major broadcast network in the world. We are thrilled to bring Ultimatte and Blackmagic Design together, and are excited about continuing to build innovative products for our customers.”

Ultimatte’s main draw for Blackmagic was the company’s ability to make virtual sets nearly impossible to distinguish from real sets, and to do so in real time. Ultimatte has been compositing reporters, talk show hosts and anchors in front of virtual sets for decades and uses 4:4:4:4 image processing and enhanced matte controls for its work. The company was founded in 1976 and has both Emmys and Oscars under its belt.

As for Fairlight, Blackmagic saw another hardware company after its own heart, one that manufactures integrated audio control surfaces and consoles designed for on-air and live productions. Fairlight also creates desktop audio post systems and audio engines that manage up to 1,000 tracks.

“Fairlight creates the world’s most powerful digital audio software and hardware for video production,” Petty said. “The exciting part about this acquisition is that it will add incredibly high end professional audio technology to Blackmagic Design’s amazing video products.”