Ross Video Acquires FX-Motion Robotic Camera Systems - Broadcasting & Cable

Ross Video Acquires FX-Motion Robotic Camera Systems

Will demonstrate applications with virtual sets and augmented realities for news and TV production at NAB
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Ross Video has acquired FX-Motion, a robotic camera
systems company based in Brussels, Belgium, and is planning to use the
company's technology to offer systems that could significantly improve
the production quality of newscasts and live TV productions.

Terms
of the deal were not disclosed. FX-Motion has been renamed Ross
Robotics and it will continue to operate as a division of Ross Video out
of their office in Belgium with its current staff. Stijn Vanorbeek, CEO
of FX-Motion, will continue as president of Ross Robotics.

In
a lengthy interview on the acquisition, Ross Video CEO David Ross noted
that FX-Motion's technology will allow them to offer significant
improvements in the way newscasts are produced and that they expect to
be demonstrating a system showing virtual sets and augmented realities
using their OverDrive automated production control system, production
switchers, XPression Graphics systems and robotic cameras at NAB.

The
FX-Motion technology, which was developed by Vanorbeek, uses a
rail-based system for their robotic cameras rather than the pedestal
systems almost universally used, Ross notes.

That
allows them to offer much more complex shots, producing a more
cinematic look, because the camera can pan, tilt and zoom while moving,
something that is difficult or impossible with pedestal cameras, he
explains.

The rail system also
makes the positioning of the cameras extremely accurate, which means
these images can be tightly integrated with virtual sets and augmented
reality systems.

The FX-Motion
technology has been used on Eurovision Song Contest, So You Think You
Can Dance
and in augmented reality productions like the VGA awards.

The Eurovision Song Contest, for example, included virtual graphics that were laid over a variety of those.

These
were extremely expensive productions, but Ross Video executives believe
the technology can be adapted to the much lower-cost news and live TV
production environments. "The Furio camera systems cost about the same
as other camera systems if not less," Ross notes. "You can imagine the
possibilities of taking news and taking them to a whole new level" with
more sophisticated shots, graphics and and virtual sets.

Such technologies could be particularly appealing during this year's election cycle, he believes.

The
system is available in 2 variants - Furio Robo (Full Robotics System)
and Furio RC (Remote Control System)-and is designed for live television
production studio use with a single operator controling multiple
cameras.

The system consists of a
Pan-Tilt-Zoom Head (PTZ), Rail Based Dolly System with Elevator and a
IP based control system. It can be configured as a simple PTZ head on a
fixed tripod or expanded to a full multi-camera rail system.

"I
and the rest of the FX-Motion team are very happy to be joining Ross
Video and adding Robotics to a combined live production product
portfolio," added Vanorbeek in a statement. "Together we are able to
create compelling, integrated production solutions and Furio will
benefit greatly from Ross' global market reach and excellent customer
support organization."

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