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Extron Acquires Streaming Technology

Extron Electronics said today it had closed a deal to acquire the products division of Electrosonic Group, giving the AV giant a significant presence in the growing market for streaming multimedia over Internet protocol networks.

Extron Electronics said today it had closed a deal to acquire the products division of Electrosonic Group, giving the AV giant a significant presence in the growing market for streaming multimedia over Internet protocol networks. The acquisition does not include Electrosonic's AV integration division, which will continue to operate as a wholy separate company.

"I have been extremely impressed with the products technology at Electrosonic and we are excited to have the Products Engineering group join our team," said Andrew Edwards, president of Extron, in a statement. "At Extron we have been in development of a complete line of AV streaming products for over three years and will be announcing additional streaming solutions later this year. We see the Electrosonic products as a great complement to our continually evolving product line."

Joe da Silva, Extron's director of product marketing, told PRO AV the company would sell Electrosonic's solutions through the AV channel while also integrating the technology into Extron's own streaming designs. Notably, Electrosonic has been a big proponent of technology that creates "virtual" AV switching matrices, while Extron is a leading developer of traditional hardware/software matrices.

"[A virtual matrix] allows you to develop larger matrices," da Silva said, "but both traditional and virtual matrices will continue to live alongside each other for quite some time to come."

The acquisition of a product company such as Electrosonic represents "a first for Extron," da Silva said. The company merged with Inline, a manufacturer of video products, after bankruptcy proceeds in the 1990s.

Electrosonic's products division makes video- and graphics-over-IP encoders and decoders, HD video players, and multi-image display processors. It has been operating as a standalone division from the systems integration and service business since February 2009. Extron officials said the acquisition includes all current products designed and manufactured by Electrosonic, as well as the intellectual property for the underlying technology.

da Silva said about 30 Electrosonic employees would join Extron in the acquisition, half in Europe and half in the United States. All the positions would be in engineering and support.

"Our products division has been at the forefront of image processing technology throughout our 45-year history," said Jim Bowie, president of Electrosonic Group, in a statement. "These current products have developed to the point that we as a systems integrator cannot take them to their full potential. Extron is exactly the right company to take these products forward worldwide. Electrosonic can now concentrate on its main business activity: the design, supply and support of audiovisual systems. Our tremendous growth in these activities over the last decade has made them our primary business. By focusing on our core business, we can continue to grow and improve the service we provide our clients."



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