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Haivision Network Video gets in the “TV everywhere” game

Haivision Network Video, a provider of video networking, digital signage and IP video distribution solutions, continues to reshape the company for the new rapidly changing media delivery landscape. With the newly announced acquisition of two tech companies, it has formed a new Internet Media division to help broadcasters and other media content owners launch new types of over-the-top Internet-based TV services that require the complex distribution of content to multiple platforms and thousands of simultaneous users. The goal is to enable the creation, distribution and management of media assets for organizations regardless of user location.

To get there, Haivision has acquired KulaByte and MontiVision Imaging Technologies, which have jointly developed H.264 encoding technology, service oriented architecture (SOA) workflow software systems and cloud-based file transcoding to form the new division.

“[This move] is not only about the technology; we could have added this new streaming technology a long time ago,” said Peter Maag, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Haivision. “It’s about Kulabyte’s knowledge of the industry and how to move media around in the cloud or over the Internet in the most efficient and reliable way. Everybody is becoming a broadcaster in some sense, and we've been very careful to navigate into markets that are non-broadcast, such as the military, medical and education, in order to solve complex content distribution problems.”

Maag added that the new acquisitions would also help its digital signage business, enabling customers to deliver and display media on any device, anywhere on the planet.

“We could not do that before this acquisition,” he said. “All industries are beginning to realize that they have to support more sources than ever before and they need a cost-effective way to do it.”

KulaByte, based in San Marcos, Texas, and MontiVision Imaging Technologies, in Germany, have previously worked closely together in developing new types of cloud-based signal processing and delivery systems. They are now part of Haivision Network Video’s Internet Media division and, according to Haivision, will help drive it — without outside VC investment — towards $50 million revenue by the end of 2012. (Without providing details, Haivision said it has been profitable for many years, experiencing more than 50-percent growth for the last five years.)

Mirko Wicha, president and CEO of Haivision Network Video, said the two new coinciding acquisitions would allow content distributors to cost-effectively launch new services that offer live and on-demand HD media experience, regardless of the network or platform they are supporting. The new division will also support social media networks.

KulaByte’s H.264 encoding software and systems deliver high-quality Internet streaming of HD content for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and other platforms. Founded in 2004, KulaByte has developed HyperStream, a live cloud-based video transcoding service that automatically concerts live video source streams into all of the many formats and data rates required to distribute live video via the Internet. The company says it supports every screen, regardless of device, player, screen size or bandwidth. HyperStream leverages remotely located servers and computing processing engines to transcode source streams into multiple formats and bit rates needed for diverse media distribution.

HyperStream is available as a cloud-based service, a managed server within the cloud or a stand-alone server appliance. KulaByte encoders and cloud transcoders were used to help broadcast the Masters golf tournament earlier this year.

MontiVision Imaging Technologies, founded in 2003, specializes in delivering technologies for video acquisition, machine vision, surveillance, and medical imaging applications. The MontiVision Development Kit allows next-generation media solutions to be built rapidly.

The new Internet media division will be led by Chafye Nemri as executive vice president and KulaByte CEO Peter Forman as vice president. Forman, who will work from his office in Austin, TX, will be responsible for developing the division’s cloud services.

Based in Montreal Canada, with offices in Chicago, Haivision employs 150 people. In an effort to reshape the company from a provider of IP video distribution and digital signage technology (using MPEG-4 processing) to target Internet streaming, Haivision has now acquired four companies in just over two years. It acquired Video Furnace, located in Chicago, and its IP video distribution business in May 2009 and CoolSign, a digital signage company in Beaverton, OR, in November 2010.