Vizrt Finalizes Deal with Stergen Hi-Tech

Vizrt has formalized its strategic collaboration with Stergen Hi-Tech, as published at IBC 2010. Stergen is a developer of 2D to stereoscopic 3D video conversion software. Vizrt now offers tight integration between Stergen stereo 3D conversion software tailored to sports TV networks, sports leagues and webcasters, and its own stereo 3D graphics portfolio.

With this new agreement, Vizrt will make an equity investment in Stergen of approximately $1.86 million, made up both of a cash payment and marketing services, in consideration for preferred shares. In addition, the parties have entered into a teaming agreement with respect to the sale of Stergen’s products by Vizrt. Vizrt will hold approximately 20% of Stergen.

“We like to formalize our partnerships through taking a stake when we see technology that fits our objectives of delivering innovative products that add to our current offering and more importantly, provide an advantage to our customers in view of future market developments,” Martin Burkhalter, Vizrt CEO, stated. “With more than 28 million 3D capable TVs forecasted to be in homes by 2012, demand for  technology that enhances broadcasters’ ability to tell their stories through this new technology is already increasing and is set to accelerate.  What also makes the Stergen software so attractive is its ability to convert existing 2D footage to 3D specs, thereby allowing content owners to increase the value of their media assets, which links very well with our content management philosophy.”

Early next year, Stergen plans to introduce a live version of its Highlights software that converts 2D video to stereo 3D in real-time for delivery to stereo 3D cinemas, mobile devices and home entertainment centers.  Stergen’s real-time conversion software includes Stergen Arena, which connects to a single, live 2D camera output to produce live stereo 3D video from sports arenas and mobile video units; and Stergen Studio, for use in broadcast studios or cable head-ends to convert live, 2D video programs to stereo 3D in real-time.

“We produce high-fidelity, broadcast-quality 3D with even better depth perception than video captured by stereo 3D cameras and rigs,” says Dr. Miky Tamir, founder of Stergen, also co-founder of Orad, SportVu, Seambi and Vumii, stated. “Unlike real 3D shooting, we have almost infinite capability to dynamically change the stereoscopic setting.”

Burkhalter adds, “Stergen’s 2D to 3D stereo conversion tools can complement live stereo 3D production, as well as offer a compelling alternative to expensive, logistically complex, live stereo 3D production. It cuts costs without compromising superior, broadcast quality, which matches Vizrt’s strategy of offering superior products that address the economic realities of our customers.”

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