Dolby Acquires Cinea

Dolby Laboratories has acquired Cinea, a start-up content production and anti-piracy technology company based in Reston, Va.

The acquisition is Dolby's second video-related acquisition this year. In April, the San Francisco-based audio company purchased DemoGraFX, a leading developer of digital video signal processing and image coding technology.

Cinea, which is led by Robert Schumann, who worked for Divx, the defunct Richmond, Va.-based company that attempted to market self-encrypted DVD's in the late 90's, currently develops technology that encrypts video for airlines and hotels. Cinea received a $2 million grant from NIST last year to create a system that distorts images taken by camcorders. The goal of the technology is to discourage pirating of theater-shown films.

Cinea will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby, with Cinea personnel and offices remaining in Virginia. Cinea CEO and founder Schumann, becomes head of the subsidiary, reporting to Tim Partridge, vice president of Dolby's Professional Division.