NDI will remain as a standalone brand but NewTek, the company that Vizrt acquired in 2019, is now officially no more.
In many respects the news that NewTek as a brand name is going to disappear is not much of a surprise. The company was bought by Vizrt in 2019 primarily to get hold of the NDI technology. And while NDI will of course live on as its own standalone brand — arguably it’s too big now for anything else to happen to it — the organisation that developed it is now officially no more.
Since its acquisition five years ago, both NewTek and Vizrt have largely focused on their respective pro AV and broadcast markets, operating separately under the umbrella of the Vizrt Group. But those markets are rapidly converging, the needs of customers and end users are changing, and maintaining two separate organisations no longer really makes much sense.
A statement actually uses the word ‘intertwined’, saying that as the customers have become more so, so has the company. “Vizrt and NewTek have been working hard to unify and grow its customer service, support, university, R&D, and product teams,” it says.
The result is that its service, and support department is now 150-people strong, its R&D teams span six global hubs and have over 250 engineers, and the product team has developed and released more than 20 innovations in the past year “with many more in the pipeline.”
Indeed, the company has just announced Viz Engine 5.1 which introduces a new feature dubbed Reality Connect that uses AI algorithms to enable what the company says is hyper-realistic talent immersion, including shadow casting and reflections within virtual studios and XR sets. And hopefully we’ll get some hints of what else the company has been working on at IBC in a couple of weeks, but none of the future projects will mention the name NewTek.
It’s sad in many ways to see it go, it really has been a pioneer that has helped shape the IP-based industry that we see growing all around us, but its legacy will endure.
Oh, and then there’s this: “To better meet the needs of end-users and customers, Vizrt will extend its product portfolio and launch a new entry-level video production system for streamers and content creators, and new cloud live production systems.”
We’re hoping to have a chat with Michael Hallén, CEO of Vizrt, about what all this means for the future of Vizrt and its customers, and what might be coming down the pipe, soon. Watch this space.