NAB: Ross Video Acquires Unreal LLC

Ross Video has acquired Massachusetts-based Unreel LLC, an augmented reality (AR) and virtual set (VS) technology provider. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. It was the fourth acquisition announced by vendors on April 6 right before the NAB exhibits open on April 7 in Las Vegas.

Ross has been expanding its offering in that area over the last few years with deals for robotics companies and improvements in its graphics and virtual set offering. The deal provides Ross with a turnkey AR/VS studio solution. The company will be demoing the technology for what it is calling the “Studio of the Future” at NAB 2014.

“Cost and complexity have, in the past, confined the virtual-set and augmented-reality market primarily to the largest national broadcasters,” said David Ross, CEO of Ross Video in a statement. “At Ross, we saw there was a need to not only to 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, the company explained in announcing the deal.