Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Motorola to Acquire Modulus Video for MPEG4-AVC Encoding

Motorola will acquire Modulus Video, a supplier of video encoding systems, for an undisclosed sum. The companies have partners for the past two years on several key accounts.

Modulus Video specializes in MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) compression systems designed for delivery of high value video content in the IPTV, cable, broadcast and satellite marketplace. Its product line includes dedicated HD/SD MPEG-4 AVC video encoders, including one recently introduced model that eliminates the need for external demodulator, receiver and decoder systems by providing built-in reception functions.

Upon completion of the transaction, Modulus Video will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola and will be integrated into the Motorola Home and Networks Mobility business. Motorola intends to maintain Modulus Video operations in Sunnyvale, California.

"Motorola is committed to offering an integrated, end-to-end video portfolio designed to meet the current and next-generation requirements of operators," said Dan Moloney, President, Home and Networks Mobility business, Motorola.

The deal adds to a string of recent acquisition by Motorola, including:

  • Broadbus (July 2006) -- a start-up that developed a solid-state server architecture that enables the distribution of on-demand content to consumers through multiple devices. The company's technology leverages intelligent configuration and management of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). Motorola said the acquisition would enable it to extend its video delivery platform with new content management and distribution capabilities that address growing market opportunities such as mobile video, video on-demand (VOD), time-shifted TV, network-based digital video recording (nDVR), on-demand ad insertion (ODAI) and switched digital video (SDV).

  • Kreatel (January 2006) -- a start-up that developed a Linux-based IPTV set-top box supporting a broad set of middleware solutions. Kreatel's customer base included Telefonica (Spain), TeliaSonera (Sweden), and KPN (The Netherlands).

  • Tut Systems (December 2006) -- provided carrier-class end-to-end digital video encoding, processing and distribution products. Tut's solutions support MPEG-2 and MPEG- 4 AVC video compression, local ad insertion, forward error correction, and real-time conditioning of video and audio. Tut Systems' customer list included more than 160 service providers worldwide. Acquired for $39 million.

  • Netopia (November 2006) -- a supplier of broadband (DSL) customer premise equipment (CPE). Netopia had supply arrangements with AT&T, BellSouth, Covad Communications, eircom, Swisscom, and Verizon. The acquisition was valued at $208 million.
  • In November 2006, Modulus Video unveiled a real-time, MPEG-4 AVC encoding solution for both SD and HD designed to meet the growing demand for video on demand (VOD) movies and local content delivered over IPTV networks. The Modulus VODxchange system can convert content from virtually any video format and encode it into MPEG-4 AVC at bit rates specifically optimized for IP networks. It includes advanced features like bandwidth optimizing Constrained Fidelity-Constant Bit Rate (CF-CBR) mode, digital program insertion triggers and integrated low resolution stream output. The solution set includes the MPEG-4AVC encoder, video file transcoding, VTR control, quality control and monitoring and an integrated RAID storage subsystem.

  • Modulus Video was co-founded by Robert S. Robinett (CTO) and Mark Magee (VP Technology & Chief Architect). Robinett previously co-founded SkyStream Networks in 1996, serving as President, VP Engineering and VP Business Development. Magee previously was VP of Engineering for DiviCom (acquired by Harmonic, Inc.) He was the architect of the DiviCom MPEG-2 encoder and multiplexer and helped define and develop other DiviCom core products.

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