Harris Broadcast Becomes Imagine Communications and GatesAir
Under the new corporate structure, the Harris Broadcast portfolio of radio and TV broadcast transmission products are now part of GatesAir, and the rest of the company’s product line-up are part of Imagine Communications. The split is effective immediately, and the companies will have separate booths at the upcoming NAB 2014 tradeshow.
Although the announcement marks the end of the Harris name of the broadcast industry after more than half a century, it also marks the re-entrance of the Gates name. Founded in 1922, Gates Radio was acquired by Harris Corporation in 1957, and became the Harris transmission division. With the use of the Gates name for its new company, the Harris Broadcast transmission business has come full-circle. The grandson of Gates Radio founder Parker Gates was on hand at the event and said the family was pleased by the news.
Imagine Communications will be headquartered in Dallas, with Centers of Excellence in Denver, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Beijing. The company’s five decades of media software and networking innovation has secured more than 3,000 customers spanning 185 countries, with more than 3 million products deployed that support over half of the world’s video channels, along with a rich portfolio of patents.
GatesAir will be headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with its state-of-art manufacturing, supply chain and fulfillment center in Quincy, Illinois. GatesAir has been pioneering over-the-air TV and radio transmission innovation for nearly 100 years.
“With vibrant new identities and focus, Imagine Communications and GatesAir are well-positioned to serve our industry and customers,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications and GatesAir. “Our vision, product direction and strategy further align Imagine Communications and GatesAir with today’s transformational trends, the networks of the future and our customers and partners. We have created two laser-focused companies that are innovating across different ends of the technology spectrum. Imagine Communications will lead the media and entertainment markets to a future defined by IP, software, the cloud, and TV Everywhere, with an architecture vision for delivering and monetizing multiscreen content. Likewise, GatesAir will continue to lead the next-generation TV and Radio over-the-air market, with a focus on providing wireless innovations that reduce power consumption and carbon footprint, while leveraging the growth in digital radio and TV transmission across the globe.”
Traditional industry models are changing rapidly due to multiple factors including the increasing availability of broadband, multiple new devices, and nontraditional media content, as well as an Internet model that is substantially changing viewing habits. This creates new opportunities for media companies to expand their customer reach and leverage their content and branding beyond traditional distribution methods. These changes are also impacting advertising and monetization models, forcing media companies across the globe to simplify and accelerate their next generation workflows and virtualize their resources across geographies and markets.
“Our industry is moving rapidly to a place where media companies no longer want to deploy and manage proprietary technology,” said Mr. Vogt. “They have been burdened over the years by costly, legacy infrastructure that limits their expansion options and flexibility to transition to new models. Our customers, channels and business partners around the world are enthusiastically embracing our new paradigm of service-oriented, software-based architectures that utilize commercial off-the-shelf technology and the virtualization of network functions.”
Consistent with this vision, a new media platform is being introduced. “Imagine Communications MediaCentral is the industry’s first integrated, end-to-end ad sales, traffic, scheduling, automation and playout platform that virtualizes key capabilities in the cloud, which were previously provided only in distinct, separate, and often premises-based platforms,” said Steve Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer at Imagine Communications. “A reflection of our company’s unique ability to combine the best capabilities of our end-to-end portfolio, it creates an underlying architecture of modular, IP-based services that can fully support the integration of media and playout functions, such as live log integration, simplifying operations and providing advanced service velocity for operators.”
Imagine Communications is also introducing Software Defined Workflows (SDW), a capability enabled by the Company’s MultiService SDN™ architecture. Media companies currently operate in a hybrid environment of both baseband and IP workflows. SDW dramatically improves the way video is managed through broadcast facilities by allowing the entire workflow to be software defined, bringing all media into the IP layer and separating the media content components from control. Additionally, significant investments in TV Everywhere will leverage Imagine Communications MediaCentral and Multiservice SDN frameworks, further reducing the infrastructure required to allow for the multiple formats of the evolving multiscreen world – from the largest Ultra High Definition screens down to the smallest screens of smart phones and wearable devices. By optimizing the highest quality video stream for delivery over the variety of bandwidth users consume, Imagine Communications’ TV Everywhere solutions will enable all networks to dynamically adapt to the amount of available bandwidth.
“The central theme behind our technology vision unveiled today is to enable our customers to begin migrating towards software defined, IP-based, virtualized networks for both intraplant and interplant, without having to forklift their current networks and make significant new investments,” said Mr. Reynolds. “Imagine Communications is uniquely positioned to deliver this transformation because of the breadth of our technology, solutions and intellectual property.”
With its long history of innovation, GatesAir leads the industry in driving down the cost and power required to operate over-the-air technology. The company is ideally prepared to guide broadcasters in effectively navigating major technology evolutions, such as digital conversions, new use of spectrum and licenses in many countries, and spectrum auctions and TV band repacking. From breakthroughs in digital modulation to patent-pending amplifier technology, GatesAir delivers the most cost-, energy- and space-efficient solutions and is dedicated to a customer-first focus in re-architecting networks for the future.
“We are thrilled to bring back the positive market heritage associated with the name Gates,” said Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer, GatesAir. “We gain the best of both worlds by empowering our expert teams, technology and customer base, while also gaining exclusive focus and entrepreneurial autonomy to best serve the over-the-air radio and TV market. Today, we are better positioned than ever in our history to build best-of-breed, over-the-air solutions that take advantage of the latest breakthroughs and changes that will occur over the next decade in content delivery and distribution across the globe. With spectrum reallocation on the horizon in the US and similar dynamic changes around the world, our customers are highly focused on staying ahead of the technology curve, and we are ideally suited to support their new requirements and cutting edge deployments.”
Imagine Communications will be releasing additional details on numerous initiatives in the coming weeks leading up to and at 2014 NAB Show. To experience demonstrations of MediaCentral, TV Everywhere and Multiservice SDN/SDW, visit the Imagine Communications’ Booth N2503.
GatesAir will also be releasing additional details on its portfolio and roadmap in the coming weeks. To see firsthand GatesAir’s suite of solutions, visit the GatesAir Booth N609.
About Imagine Communications
Leveraging more than five decades of innovation, Imagine Communications is a world-leading provider of media software and networking solutions to more than 3,000 media, broadcast, service provider, government and enterprise customers spanning 185 countries. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse through more than 3 million of our products deployed around the world. With a bold vision and commitment to IP and cloud-based, software-defined networks and workflows, Imagine Communications is delivering billions of moments around the world anywhere, anytime and on any device.
GatesAir provides complete solutions for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting, leveraging wireless spectrum to maximize performance for multichannel, mission-critical services. Powering over-the-air networks worldwide with unparalleled reliability for nearly 100 years, GatesAir’s turnkey solutions enable broadcasters to create, transport and transmit radio and TV content. With customers in more than 150 countries, the company leads the industry in innovation and design breakthroughs, improving efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership.
About The Gores Group
The Gores Group, LLC is a global investment firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. The Gores Group, which was founded in 1987 by Alec E. Gores, has become a leading investor having demonstrated over time a reliable track record of creating value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, CO, and London.