Masstech to Acquire PlayBox Server Assets

Toronto, Canada-based Masstech Group, makers of asset management and transcoding solutions for file-based production and playout environments, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the products and technology of PlayBox Technology, a provider of channel-in-a-box solutions, for an undisclosed amount of money. The deal is expected to be complete in May.

Solutions from the two companies will be jointly displayed at the NAB Show, April 7-10, in booths #N5506 (Masstech) and #5434 (Playbox Technology).

Playbox CEO Vassil Lefterov (left) seals the deal with Masstech CEO Joe French. Masstech CEO Joe French said, "The success of Masstech's solutions and the dynamic changes being driven by consolidation in the broadcast market signaled to our shareholders, who represent some of the largest Venture Capital and Private Equity firms in Canada, that now is the right time to make strategic additions to the Masstech product portfolio."

Since being founded in Bulgaria in 1999, PlayBox Technology has deployed more than 14,000 playout and branding channels in over 120 countries. The company develops technology and services for a wide range of television applications; including start-up TV channels, remote playout TV channels, DVB (ASI/IP) TV channels, ad insertion, interactive TV, music channels, film channels, disaster recovery, satellite broadcasters, IPTV, SMS2TV, Internet TV, webcasters as well as local, regional, national and international broadcasters.

Under terms of the purchase, PlayBox Technology management—led by founder and CEO Vassil Lefterov—and its employees will continue to own and operate Playbox' system integration, support center and worldwide distribution through its eight offices in Europe, Asia and the United States (Princeton, NJ), and their associated reseller networks.

Masstech will now integrate its hardware and software with Playbox Tchnology's servers to offer a Masstech-branded solution that will enable assets to be managed by an open platform across the entire broadcast chain, including ingest, production, and transmission, and embracing legacy infrastructure across all popular editing, automation and playout systems.

"Adding PlayBox enables us to extend the Masstech platform to create the first fully integrated broadcast environment that includes playout and graphics within the asset management system," said French. "Our partnership with PlayBox will also significantly expand the worldwide distribution of Masstech's products and solutions through the PlayBox network.

"We at Masstech believe that controlling all of the component technologies is the key to enabling both a fully integrated solution and a price point that aligns with and supports the business models being adopted by forward thinking broadcasters," French said. "This agreement springboards us past the inherent inefficiencies of fragmented, multi-vendor products and creates a single source solution that best matches the needs of our end users."

PlayBox Technology's CEO Vassil Lefterov said it has been looking for a strategic partner for a long time and they see a lot of synergies between the two brands. "This is a very exciting opportunity for our business that we believe will have an important impact on the broadcast industry, while also expanding our product offering for managing our customer's media assets. Our partnership with Masstech will allow us to take the next step in our company's evolution."