Blackmagic Acquires EchoLab

Two and a half months after going out of business, EchoLab, a Billerica, Mass.-based provider of broadcast switchers, has been acquired by Blackmagic Design.

Blackmagic said the transaction has been completed and that the Blackmagic/EchoLab products will be shown at Blackmagic Designs’ booth at IBC in Amsterdam next month.

EchoLab has gone through several incarnations since it launched in 1974. For years, it developed and sold switchers to the broadcast industry until about 10 years ago, it made an ill-fated strategic redirection towards the Internet video streaming market. About five years ago, the company returned to marketing and developing switcher products for the professional broadcast market and in 2009, it launched its ATEM production switcher and had been concentrating its efforts on marketing the product before closing its doors in May.

The EchoLab sale represents Blackmagic’s second acquisition in a year, following its purchase of DaVinci color correction technology in 2009. Since launching nearly 10 years ago, the company has gained a reputation in the industry for offering innovative, low-cost video processing and transport gear.

“I have been using live production switchers since I was in school where we covered local theater, sports, racing and bands. I think it’s the most exciting way to do production because it’s all live and thousands of people are watching what you are doing! Production switchers need to be powerful while also being familiar and easy to operate. I think the ATEM switchers from EchoLab are the most exciting switchers I have ever seen, and it’s incredibly exciting to add these products and intellectual property to the Blackmagic Design family”, said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “The ATEM switcher is a fantastic creative tool, and it includes powerful features not found in any other product. Since the acquisition, we have already dramatically expanded the engineering team working on ATEM. This fresh engineering team, which is a combination of new as well as experienced EchoLab staff, will allow us to move faster in adding new features to the ATEM product. It’s so exciting, I cannot sleep!”