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Vizrt, short for Visualization in Real-Time or Visual Artist, is a Norwegian company that creates content production, management and distribution tools for the digital media industry. Its products include applications that create real-time 3D graphics and maps, visualized sports analysis, media asset management and single workflow solutions for the digital broadcast industry.
Vizrt has a customer base in more than 100 countries and some 600 employees distributed at 40 offices worldwide.
Viz software include the tools Viz Pilot and Viz One, aimed at news organizations and digital broadcasters. Intended users include journalists whose traditional role as a pure news-gatherer is extended to control the flow of their story from a single point.
Vizrt products connect to newsroom control system like iNews, ENPS, Dalet, aQ Broadcast, Octopus, Annova Systems]]. The software allows users to edit graphic templates, locate and edit archived video content, build playlists for on-air use as well as distribute online content and maintain content on social media sites.
Vizrt customers are typically broadcasters and publishing houses. These include: Network Ten, Television New Zealand, CNEB NEWS, Aljazeera, CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, BSkyB, Sky Italia, Mediaset, ITN, N24, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, SVT, TV Today, CCTV, NHK, antena3, GMA, Todo Noticias, 24 horas Chile, TVN.cl, ProSiebenSat.1 and Rede Bandeirantes de Rádio e Televisão. Other customers include the New York and London Stock Exchanges.
Vizrt is a privately owned company by Nordic Capital Fund VIII.
TV 2 Norway needed a solution for creating graphics in the newsroom for journalists. A spin-off company called Pilot Broadcast Systems AS was established in 1997 where the first template-based graphics system was created.
In 1999, Norway-based Pilot Broadcast Systems AS merged with the Austrian company, Peak Software Technologies GmbH (founded by Christian Huber, Karl-Heinz Klotz and Hubert Oehm), to form Peak Broadcast Systems. Peak Software was a developer of software for real-time 3D graphics and animation, virtual sets and playback control systems. The business fusion Peak Broadcast Systems, could now offer software for real-time 3D graphics creation and virtual sets, together with playout control.
The following year marked the formation of Vizrt when Peak Broadcast Systems merged with RT-SET (Real Time Synthesized Entertainment Technology) Ltd, an Israeli virtual studio system developer. RT-SET, founded in 1994, utilized flight simulation technology originally developed for the Israeli Air Force, transforming it to a virtual set and on-air graphics systems that could benefit the television broadcast industry. In 1999, RT-SET had an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, raising $48 million. The combined company continued to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (under ticker symbol VIZ), until 2009 when it delisted its shares.
In 2005, the company acquired London-based Curious Software, developers of 2D and 3D animated maps for broadcast television, corporate presentations and online applications. The same year Vizrt listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange
Later in 2005, Vizrt acquired 19 percent of Adactus AS, a Norwegian company specializing in the transportation of content to mobile phone platforms. Together, Vizrt and Adactus developed Viz 3G, a graphics motor for mobile telephones and other mobile devices. Based on Vizrt’s Viz Engine renderer and Adactus’ MPEG-21 standards-based multimedia delivery platform, it was the first integration of a graphics engine for mobile phone video viewing applications. Vizrt acquired the rest of the shares in the company in 2010.
In 2006, Vizrt acquired Ardendo, a digital asset management company serving the television broadcast industry, based in Sweden.
In 2008, Vizrt acquired Escenic, a Norwegian developer of content management software for digital media publishing. Escenic technologies are used by many news media websites, including The Globe and Mail, [Times Online], The Telegraph and [Welt Online].
In October 2010, Vizrt formalized its strategic collaboration with [Stergen Hi-Tech Ltd.], a developer of 2D to stereoscopic 3D video conversion software. Stergen develops 2D to 3D video conversion technologies for the TV sports market.
In November 2010, Vizrt entered into a terms sheet with Swiss company [LiberoVision AG], a global leader in the field of virtual sports enhancements. Vizrt fully acquired LiberoVision in 2012. Liberovision was then rebranded to Viz Libero. The CEP of LiberoVision, Stephan Würmlin Stadler, was appointed EVP Sports, managing Vizrt's sports production tools.
On November 13, 2013, Vizrt announced plans to sell its online production tools, formerly Escenic, to CCI of Denmark. As of January 7, 2014, Vizrt has completed sale of 75.5 percent of Escenic's outstanding share capital.
On the same day, November 13, 2013, Vizrt announced intentions to acquire Mosart Medialab from TV 2 Norway. The acquisition brought the Mosart control room automation system into the Vizrt product line. The system was renamed Viz Mosart and facilitated the creation of the Viz Opus control room in a box system.
On 10 November 2014, the Company entered into a merger agreement with Nordic Capital. The Merger was approved by an extraordinary general meeting of the Company on 18 December 2014. On 19 March 2015, it was announced that all pre-closing conditions set out in the Merger Agreement had been fulfilled, and the Merger was subsequently consummated on 19 March 2015. The acquisition removed Vizrt from the Oslo stock exchange.
Vizrt’s Viz Virtual Studio software and Viz Engine renderer were an integral part of the success of the first remote “holographic” live interviews conducted by CNN during the 2008 U.S presidential election. Tracking data from the cameras in CNN’s Election Center was processed by Viz Virtual Studio software. From the images captured, a specially developed Viz Engine plug-in, created a full 3D representation of the person. CNN also uses Vizrt for its award-winning MAM system, for broadcast graphics and for streaming to mobile.
Also in 2008, Vizrt technology powered a play-along version of “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,” which aired on TV2 Norway. The show featured web-interactive elements. Viz Multi Platform Suite delivered real-time 3D graphics to the show’s online participants. PGA Tour Productions selected Viz Ardome media asset management software to manage its HD and SD content in 2009. Also in 2009, ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), one of two large public broadcasters in Germany began broadcasting from two virtual studios using Viz Virtual Studio and broadcast graphics solutions from Vizrt. ZDF now broadcasts from Europe’s largest and most advanced virtual studio.
In 2011, Escenic and Sveriges Television (SVT) demonstrated the world's first professional website using on responsive design in the Escenic Content Engine.
In 2012 Vizrt provided graphic, video and online tools for three major events; the London Olympic Games, Euro2012 and the U.S. Presidential Election. For the U.S. Presidential Election, Vizrt graphics and video tools were used by almost all of the major U.S. broadcasters including ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, Univision. Global Broadcasters using Vizrt to cover the election included BBC, Sky News, CBC, Al Jazeera and many others.
In 2014 Vizrt provided virtual graphics and on-air graphics for Fox Sport's coverage of the Super Bowl and Daytona 500. Vizrt also provided graphics systems for the Olympics in Sochi for customers such as TV 2 Norway, Viasat in Sweden and Sky Italia as well as provided Viz World customers access to satellite imagery that were continuously being collected during the games.
- "RT-SET, Peak to merge". Digital Broadcasting.com. July 5, 2000.
- "RT-SET Raises $48 Mln in Frankfurt". Globes. November 7, 1999.
- "Digital media co Vizrt to delist from Frankfurt Vizrt will continue to be listed on the Oslo Stock Market.". Globes. May 17, 2009.
- "Vizrt to acquire Curious Software". Broadcast Engineering. Jun 20, 2005.
- "Vizrt to list on Oslo Stock Exchange". Globes. April 11, 2005.
- acquired Ardendo
- sell its online production tools
- acquire Mosart Medialab
- Chen, Jason (November 4, 2008). "How the CNN Holographic Interview System Works". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
CNN's holographic election coverage is fancy pantsy, but how did they manage to send 3D 360 degree footage of virtual correspondent Jessica Yellin from Chicago all the way to the station's election center in NY? As Arthur C. Clarke says, Magic. A magic made possible from technology Vizrt and SportVu with the help of forty-four HD cameras and twenty computers. Here are the details.