Blackmagic Design said at IBC that it had acquired Chatsworth, CA, broadcast compositing technology maker Ultimatte and Sydney, CA, pro audio vendor Fairlight.
That's right — Blackmagic is now firmly in the pro audio business. Ultimatte had not telegraphed that a sale was in its future, but Fairlight had announced in July that it was looking for a buyer for its audio technology.
The move seems likely to put Blackmagic back in the zone as an industry disruptor after a relatively quiet 2015-2016. There was no immediate word on what the acquisition would mean for the existing product lines of both companies, such as the just-introduced Ultimatte 12 hardware, but if previous Blackmagic takeovers (such as its 2011 Teranex acquisition) provide any direction, it will involve a streamlining of offerings along with substantial price cuts.
As far as future product focus, Blackmagic may have provided some hints. In an email blast to customers early today, Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty specifically cited Ultimatte's development of virtual set technology and Fairlight's work with delivery of object-oriented "3D audio" formats such as Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos and DTS MDA. Expect more news to come out at NAB 2017.
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