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Haivision Acquires KulaByte and MontiVision

by Kirsten Nelson


Montreal, Canada—Haivision Network Video has made its third and fourth acquisitions in just over two years, combining IP video distribution, digital signage, and now internet streaming expertise with its own H.264 hardware technology. Now adding KulaByte Corporation of San Marcos, TX, and Germany’s MontiVision Imaging Technologies to its roster, Haivision has combined these two new entities to form a new Internet Media Division.

The Internet Media Division will develop technologies to deliver OTT media and to power enterprise social media networks. Haivision has appointed Chafye Nemri as executive vice president of this new division and KulaByte CEO Peter Forman as vice president of internet media, responsible for developing the division's cloud services. Key initiatives of the division will enable the creation, distribution, and management of media assets for organizations regardless of user location.

“It's a really exciting time for the company and I believe that these two acquisitions are the most significant development in our seven-year history,” enthused Mirko Wicha, CEO and president of Haivision during a press conference webinar this morning. “We've been managing to fly under the radar in a lot of cases, and I don't think that's going to be possible anymore given these new announcements.”

KulaByte Corporation provides live software-based encoding and transcoding technologies. “We are known for very high quality at low bandwidth,” Forman explained. “Typically, we webcast our HD 720 streams at between two and two-and-a-half megabits. We also are becoming known for delivering turnkey solutions that have higher density than anyone else in the market. We have a 1RU server that can take 8HD-SDI inputs.” KulaByte has also developed a web-based control console that gives customers the ability to manage hundreds of encoders from a single web page.

Perhaps most interestingly, KulaByte's HyperStream is one of the world's first live cloud-based video transcoding services. So the cloud is part of the future of these combined entities. “We really have been the pioneers of cloud-based transcoding and have done a large number of cloud-based events,” Forman said. “This isn't a work in progress, this isn't a R&D project, it's proven technology. It's been used in the market repeatedly by KulaByte and KulaByte customers over the past few quarters.”

You’re likely to have seen one of these cloud-based transcoding events, as the CBS news feed of the Royal Wedding was done with KulaByte’s HyperStream technology, and when the BBC’s own encoders went down, their back-up was a KulaByte integration partner.

KulaByte’s development partner, the eight-year-old company MontiVision, is Haivision’s other acquisition in this deal. MontiVision delivers technologies for video acquisition, machine vision, surveillance, and medical imaging applications. “They have a stellar list of customers—major universities all over Europe,” Forman noted, “and they have a well-known workbench that's used for video development. Their team developed key pieces of the KulaByte engine.”

So what does all this mean for Haivision? Peter Maag, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Haivision, tackled that question. “For Haivision it brings a lot of internet streaming expertise. The KulaByte organization has a massive knowledge of the work flows within internet streaming, along with knowledge of the relationships, the ecosystem, and the community. It also brings optimized software encoding.”

On KulaByte’s part, Forman said, “We see this union as being about combining enterprise expertise with internet expertise, and doing that in such a way that we really create an end-to-end media solution that's based on customer workflow. For the past two years, Haivision has had customers come to them and ask for internet solutions, and our customers have been coming to us and asking us for private network solutions. We really haven't had an answer for them, and neither did Haivision. Now we have the answer, and we're really excited about it.”