Light Reading

Harris Broadcast Does the Splits

Alan Breznick

Seeking to make a new name or two for itself, Harris Broadcast has split into two parts and shed its old corporate moniker. In a splashy media day presentation at New York's Madison Square Garden Monday afternoon, Harris Broadcast announced that it is dividing into two separate, privately owned companies -- Imagine Communications and GatesAir. While Harris Broadcast CEO Charlie Vogt will continue to run both companies, each entity will address different segments of the broadcast, cable, telco, and wireless video technology markets that the old unified company had been trying to tackle. (See Genband CEO Quits, Joins Harris Broadcast.)

Most notably, the new Imagine Communications will pick up where the old Imagine Communications, scooped up by Harris late last year, left off. Similar to its predecessor, the new Imagine will focus on multiscreen video, IP-based products, cloud-based services, and video processing and compression software for cable operators, telcos, broadcasters, content suppliers, and others. It will be based in Dallas, with facilities in Denver, Toronto, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. (See Harris Broadcast Completes Imagine Communications Deal.)

Steve Reynolds, the former senior Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) video executive who joined Harris Broadcast three months ago, will be the CTO of the new Imagine. Speaking on the floor of the Garden's basketball court to the press, industry analysts, and customers, Reynolds said the company will help customers make the technological shift to IP-based and software-defined networks. "The world is rapidly changing," he said. "We'll start building toward deploying in the cloud and standards-based hardware and build new products and architectures that let us deliver new services faster than ever."

Along those lines, Vogt and Reynolds used the press conference to introduce Media Central, a cloud-based media platform designed to integrate ad sales, traffic, scheduling, automation, and playout. Previously, Reynolds said, these capabilities could only be provided in "distinct, separate, and often premises-based platforms."

The two executives said Imagine is also launching Software Defined Workflows (SDW), a video management system enabled by the company's new MultiService SDN architecture. They said SDW will enhance the management of broadcast video by allowing the entire workflow to be software defined, bringing all media into the IP layer, and separating the media content components from the control functions.

Imagine said it also plans to make "significant" investments in TV Everywhere initiatives that will "leverage" both the MediaCentral and MultiService SDN frameworks. The company said this approach will further reduce "the infrastructure required to allow for the multiple formats of the evolving multiscreen world, from the largest Ultra High Definition screens down to the smallest screens of smartphones and wearable devices."

The other new Harris Broadcast spinoff, or split-off, GatesAir, will concentrate on the traditional radio and TV broadcast industries that had been Harris' bread-and-butter business. Company officials said this entity will help over-the-air broadcasters "effectively navigate major technology evolutions," including digital conversions, new uses of spectra and licenses in many parts of the world, and spectrum auctions and TV band repacking. Based in Cincinnati, GatesAir also plans to tackle Ultra HD and LTE broadcast technologies.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 10:12:39 PM
Re: Continuity
OK. I stand corrected on GatesAir because i wasn't familiar with the old company. But I still think Haris is taking a big risk by throwing away its own name this way. Companies sghould not change their names lightly. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 1:54:05 PM
Re: Continuity
The Gates portion of the mix seems though a bit nebulous at least in this latest news. Harris rightly needs to get into the new technology businesses coming quickly to supplement it's broadcast services that may be dwindliung as over the air broadcasts loose their luster. Whether the new companies can bring enough profit it will be the question.
User Rank: Lightning
3/19/2014 | 10:56:31 AM
Re: Continuity
Harris is actually gaining brand equity in the broadcast space.  Gates was a big name, very well respected, before Harris bought it.  Anybody who worked in broadcasting in the 1960s-1970s remembers products like the Gates Yard radio mixing console, which practically everyone used.  Gates-branded transmitters are probably still all over the place.  It's good to see it back.
User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 8:58:11 PM
Re: Continuity
Yep, I think so. especially the GatesAir spinoff, which has an entirely new name. At least the other spinoff, Imagine Communications, was around and established before. But Harris Broadcast was a pretty well-established name, or so I thought. Will be interesting to see, eh?
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 5:57:51 PM
Do the companies lose out on goodwill by ditching the Harris brand entirely?
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
Cisco Makes 'Martian' Connection
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/9/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here