Miranda buys OmniBus

Announced at the opening of IBC2010, Miranda has acquired OmniBus Systems in a cash purchase of CDN $48.7 million. Best known for its software-based playout and automation system, iTX, the OmniBus product line will be integrated with Miranda’s line of branding, master control and playout products.

In the multichannel world, OPEX has changed radically. In 1993 it cost about $2 million to run a single channel of playout. In 2008 that had reduced to $150,000 for a multichannel facility. The target for 2014 is $60,000 per channel, with a typical facility running by then an average of 40 channels. At the IBC press conference, Miranda CTO Michel Proulx said, “These levels of cost require extreme measures.”

Miranda believes that the only way to reach this target is to simplify systems. This is something the company has already done in the Densité range, integrating several processes into a single module. OmniBus’ iTX takes a similar approach but in software.

Proulx explained how iTX goes a long way to achieving that goal, but the opportunity for the combined resources of the two companies is to automate the promotion and scheduling functions, which is still a labor-intensive processes.

OmniBus CEO Mike Oldfield added that OmniBus is set to become a product brand within the Miranda portfolio. He confirmed that Miranda will continue to support the Colossus and OPUS products. ITX meets the branding needs for most channels, but where sophisticated 3-D graphics are required, Miranda can add the Vertigo XG graphics processor to the mix.

Speaking later to Miranda CEO Strath Goodship, he said that Miranda already has a strong software element. “Vertigo and iControl are software platforms, and Kaleido is 90 percent software. Two-thirds of our R&D team is software engineers.”

The acquisition of OmniBus also brings to Miranda expertise in content management, with the OPUS product, strengthening the company’s playout systems offerings.