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Ross unveils new products, announces Portalis acquisition at pre-NAB reception

More than 1000 customers, partners and press attended the Ross Video Keynote and Reception April 7 at the Tuscany Suites and Casino resort in Las Vegas, where CEO David Ross and other senior executives unveiled several new products and also announced the acquisition of Utah-based Portalis. David Ross also took the opportunity to speak about the achievements of his father, John Ross, who founded Ross Video and pioneered a number of technological innovations in broadcast. John Ross continues to be on the Ross Board of Directors. David also took the opportunity to acknowledge Nigel Spratling, Vice President, Production Switchers, and Video Servers at Ross Video, a long-term broadcast veteran, who has served with the company for nine years.

Key product announcements included the launch of the Furio SkyDolly, a ceiling-mounted version of the Furio family of camera robotics. Furio SkyDolly has been designed with safety as a priority – the fully captive dolly cannot be derailed and comes with safety tethers for the payload and head. Its sturdy three-wheel design, enlarged wheelbase (60% wider and 40% longer than other Furio solutions), and raised centre of mass ensure shake-free operation, even at high speeds, promises rock solid stability for dramatic overhead moving shots. Custom cable management reduces drag and moves quietly, with minimal impact on overall footprint. SkyDolly also features a payload capacity that is high enough to support a full-size prompter, ensuring that SkyDolly can be used for much more than just beauty shots.

Initially available with fixed columns ranging 12 to 48 inches, Furio SkyDolly is fully compatible with all Furio heads and can easily be added to existing Ross Robotics solutions under SmartShell or OverDrive control. Like all Furio systems, SkyDolly also provides accurate tracking data for virtual studio/augmented reality applications. An inverted lift mechanism will be made available later in 2019. Visitors to the NAB show will be able to see the SkyDolly in action at the Ross stand, David Ross promised.

Another key announcement was the launch of its all-new graphics rendering solution for Augmented Reality and Virtual Studio (ARVS) applications – Voyager. Powered by Unreal engine 4 from Epic Games, Voyager makes it easy for organizations to enjoy the creative benefits of ARVS without sacrificing production efficiency.

Voyager enables content creators working with ARVS workflows to create hyper-realistic graphics that maximise the creative, business and technical benefits of a virtual studio production. Voyager seamlessly integrates with MOS-based newsroom workflows and the Ross OverDrive solution for production automation. Allied to the launch of Voyager is the launch of UX5 – the latest version of Ross Video’s control system for ARVS productions – which brings powerful efficient workflow tools such as MOS integration for news environments, operator-created virtual set rundowns and data-driven virtual graphics via Datalinq.

A host of improvements were also announced to the Abekas Replay & Video Server product lines. End users have been access to new channel configurations, new media storage capacities and new codecs – all at a price lower than before. Several new updates were also announced  in the production, infrastructure, and management and systems space.

David Ross also revealed that the the first product to emerge from the acquisition of Portalis is the pro-xi, which promises to revolutionise the way control rooms and command & control centres around the world are designed, engineered, and managed. pro-xi enables control room operators to simultaneously view and actively control up to eight computer systems on one workstation, using one keyboard and one mouse.

Commenting on the event, David Ross said: “Yet again Ross Video has brought an amazing array of new products and updates to Las Vegas, all of which tie neatly into our theme of High Impact, High Efficiency production. We know that professionals in this industry have to be more creative and more efficient than ever before, and Ross continues to innovate to help them on both fronts. We’re very proud to be Living Live with such a diverse range of customers and we can’t wait to discuss how our latest products will add even more value to their operations”.