Vizrt acquires NewTek and releases Viz Engine 4

Published 11.04.2019
It was called one of the biggest disruptive moves in decades, when the news about Vizrt's acquisition of NewTek broke just in time for NAB 2019. With NewTek onboard, Vizrt is now creating the largest company in the broadcast space dedicated to enabling IT-based video production.
(Photo: Anthony Quintano, Broadcast Beat)

At the press conference the day before the opening of NAB, Chris Black, Head of Communications and Content, also impressed the crowd with yet another important release by Vizrt – Viz Engine 4.

Viz Engine revamped
Vizrt, Media City Bergen Cluster Member and the world’s leading provider of visual storytelling tools for media content creators, aims to keep the lead in the Augmented Reality/Visual Studio space with this latest iteration of Viz Engine – the most powerful render engine and real-time compositor for live media workflows.

Essential in advancing augmented reality and virtual studios are the Reality Fusion and Fusion keyer solutions, adding realistic lighting, reflections and shadows and a seamless blend of the virtual and the real. Most importantly, you will keep the existing pipelines the industry relies on for production, supporting the scenes from earlier versions, while adding virtualization of render engines and a built-for-IP core. Viz Engine 4 also supports third party render engines, e.g. Unreal.

Ryan Salazar from Broadcast Beat moderated a panel where CIO and Founder of Vizrt, Petter Ole Jakobsen, talked about where the industry is heading and also elaborated on the Vizrt acquisition of NewTek. Also on the panel were CEO of Celebro group, Wesley Dodd and TV Production high school teacher, Steve Vinton. (Photo: Anthony Quintano, Broadcast Beat)

Taking the lead in software based video
Vizrt and NewTek has complementary software-based technology, now giving a complete end-to-end workflow. Software based video production, and network technology have revolutionized the way stories are told worldwide, allowing anyone to create and share a show. Both companies are also truly innovation led, with a vision of providing the software-based video technology that is the future of the media industry.

– With aligned missions in storytelling, this merger makes incredible sense, says Michael Hallén, President and CEO of Vizrt.

The co-operation between the two companies was initiated by the creative minds of Petter Ole Jakobsen, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder of Vizrt, and Dr. Andrew Cross, President and CEO of NewTek, many years ago.

– There is a cultural fit between these companies, whose tools have fueled the video revolution, says Dr. Cross.

From left: Petter Ole Jakobsen, Founder and CIO of Vizrt, and panel moderator Ryan Salazar from Broadcast Beat. (Photo: Anthony Quintano, Broadcast Beat)

NewTek, from San Antonio in Texas, is famous for extracting real-time video performance from commodity IT devices, and for creating the renowned NDI protocol – a complete network environment for real-time production. NDI delivers video over IP for both professional broadcast, video production and the A/V space. NDI already has hundreds of partners, and is soon adopted by all major providers of hardware and software. It is also making the way for a horde of innovators following cost effective ways of using existing network infrastructure, with a compressed but almost lossless quality, and virtualization of control systems.

The combined companies will focus on the transition to IP video for live production with NDI and SMPTE 2110, with software-based products and services for media, sports, entertainment, education, enterprise, and esports.

Michael Hallén will lead the business and Dr. Andrew Cross will assume the role as President of Research & Development of the combined company.