About Ross Company Profile Corporate Overview

Corporate Overview

A global company with headquarters in Canada, Ross Video designs, manufactures, markets and supports a wide range of innovative systems that enable customers to inform, entertain and inspire their audiences. Ross Video products, solutions, and services are used to produce compelling news, weather and sports studio broadcasts, sports venue presentations, legislative, corporate, and educational assembly media control, entertainment show and rock concert augmentation, and inspiring faith based messaging.

Ross production switchers, routers, motion graphics systems, camera robotics, newsroom systems, virtual sets, augmented reality, workflow management, automated production control, tracking, keying, and signal processing are designed from the ground up to seamlessly work together while supporting the world’s best interfaces to third-party solutions.

Corporate Background

John Ross founded Ross Video in 1974 in his basement in Montreal, Canada. John sold the World War II trainer airplane he had painstakingly rebuilt over a two-year period for $3,500 and used the money as seed capital to start the company. To this day, this is the only investment that has been made in Ross Video, which has been self-funded since then, growing organically through reinvestment of profits from operations. Acquisitions have also been funded without external venture capital. David Ross, John’s son and Ross Video’s Chief Executive Officer, now owns 90 percent of Ross Video. Company employees own the remaining 10 percent.

Control and Stability

As a privately held and self-funded company, Ross Video has a long and stable history. As well as not being under the control of external financiers, Ross Video also controls its own destiny by owning its own manufacturing facilities, doing all primary research and development in house, and marketing its products world-wide through a global sales force and network of business partners.

Stellar Growth and Success

Ross Video has a solid track record of steady, sustained growth. From 1991 to 2015, the company has grown from 25 to more than 600 employees and counting. In fact, Ross Video has now achieved 24 straight years of consecutive growth. Ross Video was also able to achieve record sales and maintain profitability through the recession.

To advance current products and create new breakthrough technology, 25 percent of revenue, close to double the industry average, is reinvested in research and development.

Acquisitions

Acquiring companies is not a corporate strategy for Ross Video. However, when the right opportunity, with a clear fit from a product, customer and culture point of view, comes along, Ross acts. The company turns down far more opportunities than it pursues, and has very strict criteria when making a corporate acquisition decision.

2008: Ross Video makes its first acquisition: Media Refinery founded by Bas Saleh. Based in the Media Park in Hilversum, The Netherlands, Media Refinery became Ross Europe BV, and formed the company’s base in Europe. Media Refinery’s XPression graphics system, with its 3D character generation, graphics and virtual sets, was a perfect fit for Ross Video’s portfolio of live-production components, making this a “no brainer” acquisition. Bas Saleh continues to head development of Ross Video’s graphics product line.

2010: Ross Video acquired Norpak, world experts in video data insertion. Norpak and Ross are now Nielsen’s hardware partner for watermark insertion for television audience measurement. Ross Nielsen encoders, which are manufactured at Ross Video’s factory in Iroquois, are deployed at the vast majority of US broadcast television networks and local stations.

2010: Ross acquired Codan Broadcast, which was a combination of two well-known Australian companies, Talia Sound & Vision and Pro Video. This acquisition added an important base in Australia and a range of elegant and cost-effective routing solutions from a development team with a 20+ year history. This addition of routers enabled Ross to round out its live-production product offering and deliver a more complete infrastructure solution.

2011: Always on the lookout for great technology that will allow it to push the boundaries of live-production technology, Ross Video acquired FX Motion in December 2011. FX-Motion, a robotic camera systems company based in Brussels, Belgium, was best known for bringing film-style motion-control technology to television with its ground-breaking Furio product line. The absolute positioning system and rail-based tracking delivered by the Furio product line set it apart from the competition and made it ideally suited to virtual set and augmented reality applications. Now heading up Ross Robotics, Stijn Vanorbeek, the founder of FX-Motion, has a background in electrical engineering and cinematography.

2012: Ross Video acquired Cambotics, a robotic camera systems company and global leader in studio camera automation technology. The acquisition of Cambotics, which designed and manufactured the world’s finest automated heads and pedestals, enables Ross to provide a more complete solution and advance live production technology. Cambotics products became the CamBot series within Ross Robotics and Cambotics founders Bob Scotto and Miles Spellman joined Ross Robotics as Chief Hardware Architect and Chief Software Architect respectively. This acquisition, coupled with the acquisition of FX-Motion in 2011, established Ross as a world leader in studio camera robotics systems

2013: Ross Video acquired Montalto, a research and development company with extensive experience in, and deep knowledge of, broadcast routing systems. Former Harris/Leitch staff, the innovative Montalto team’s extensive knowledge and passion for routing systems, coupled with their track record of successfully developing many breakthrough products over the years, will advance Ross Video’s routing systems line, and contribute technology and products to the openGear product portfolio.

2013: Ross Video acquired Mobile Content Providers (MCP), a premium full-service mobile sports production packager that successfully delivers premium content at affordable prices to many major sports networks, universities and international organizations. The goal of the new Ross Mobile Productions (RMP) is to become a national mobile production company and offer full-service production packages and rental services that deliver network-quality production. RMP’s services, which also include customizing, and creating score bugs and graphics packages, will and meet consumer demand for coverage of more sporting and other live events.

2014: Ross Video acquired Automated Data Systems (ADS), a company know for its innovative, feature packed and easy to use solutions for data delivery, automation and broadcast production requirements. The company’s main product is EZNews, a newsroom editorial system used by television journalists to produce newscasts. Ross Video will continue to support EZNews while offering clients a compelling opportunity to move to Ross Video’s own Newsroom Computer System product, Inception. The ADS team brings a wide range of experience in journalism, broadcast management, computer system sales and support, and software development, which is the perfect fit for Inception.

2014: With the acquisition of Unreel LLC, a leading augmented reality (AR) and virtual set (VS) solutions provider, in April 2014, Ross Video became the only company in the broadcast industry able to offer a single-vendor turnkey AR/VS studio solution. Ross Video uses Unreel’s UX AR/VS control software and UX design services, alongside multiple Ross Video products to deliver AR/VS solutions that are cost-effective and easy to create, install and use. This acquisition also opens the door to a powerful new revenue opportunity: virtual advertising. Unreel, which has more than two decades’ experience in the AR/VS solutions market, an enviable list of clients that includes CBS, CNBC, ESPN, NBC, NESN, NASDAQ, Reuters, the Pentagon and the Social Security Administration, and multiple feature-film credits to its name, has groundbreaking technology and an innovative creative model that Ross Video has built upon to create the Studio of the Future.

2015: Ross Video and Rocket Surgery Graphic Services LLC came together to form a premiere design firm built around the XPression graphics platform and the DashBoard API. The artists of Rocket Surgery | Ross Creative Services specialize in high-end design and data driven solutions for a wide variety of clients such as America’s Got Talent, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Pirates, New Jersey Devils, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Cardinals, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and the UK Lottery. The goal for Ross Video with Rocket Surgery is to create an amazing and flexible end-to-end customer experience. Rocket Surgery graphics present information in new and innovative ways that captivate and inform. From broadcast graphics and animation to dazzling arena displays, they are experts in maximizing production value.

2016: To add replay, video server, and profanity delay systems as core production components, Ross Video acquired Abekas. This iconic brand pioneered many new innovations over the years and won 7 technical Emmys for their contributions to the industry. Abekas founder Junaid Sheikh, with his team continue to grow and expand the product lines with new abilities for broader market reach. The Abekas product lines of Mira Replay, Mira and Tria Production Servers, and AirCleaner Profanity Elimination Delay System all integrate well into the Ross live production system portfolio.

2016: To address the long term implications of IP technology in media networking and video production, Ross Video acquired a technology company based in Ottawa, Canada with a team of 35 FPGA, software, and verification engineers. COVELOZ develops programmable system-on-chip applications offering design services and firmware solutions to address the time-sensitive networking and processing of audio, video and control signals. As president of COVELOZ, Nestor Amaya and his team are poised to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving deterministic networking markets, starting with audio/video applications.

COVELOZ operates as a separate business to offer its products and engineering design services to the Broadcast, Pro-A/V, Communications and Industrial markets. COVElOZ makes its media networking technology accessible for companies within the industry who lack IP knowledge to accelerate adoption and drive efficiencies of scale. In a continued effort to accelerate the transition of video workflow to an IP based infrastructure, COVELOZ works with Altera, as a part of Intel, to bring studio video-over-IP applications to market.

Product Line Highlights

A Global Company

Ross Video has corporate offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and supporting sales and service operations strategically located around the world. The company’s manufacturing operations and its headquarters for administration and finance, are located in Iroquois, Canada. Canada’s “Silicon Valley” in Ottawa, Canada, is home to the company’s marketing, research and development, as well as its North American product training and demonstration center.

Full Corporate Offices & Major Tech Support and Spares Depots

24/7/365 technical support and immediate access to spares is crucial when deploying mission-critical technology. Ross Video offers lifetime technical support by telephone, email and Skype. Spares are stored at strategically located logistics hubs around the world to ensure prompt delivery when required. This quick-ship service is available to all customers who buy Ross Video products and not just those on extended warranty programs.

Ross Video’s state-of-the-art factory in Iroquois is run by experts in high-tech manufacturing, quality and efficiency. The company’s engineers use the most advanced high-precision components and techniques, and processes and technologies are optimized specifically for the high-mix, low-volume broadcast industry. This enables the company to ensure that quality, delivery times and cost all remain completely under control — something that isn’t possible with an outsourced model. In fact, Ross Video’s lead times, customer service and quality are among the best in the industry.

Three high-speed pick-and-place surface mount lines run 16 hours a day. Increased automation and efficiency has doubled peak capacity in the past five years within the same footprint. Additionally, expansion of the Iroquois facility has prepared Ross Video’s manufacturing operations for several years of continued growth.

Everything Ross Video manufactures is made to world green standards, including the European RoHS directives.

In house research and development enables Ross Video to apply maximum creativity not only to breakthrough products, but also to the long-term evolution and support of all the company’s products and technologies. Ross Video’s engineers develop deep industry knowledge through front-line exposure to customer requirements and development-level support is used to solve customer problems whenever necessary.

Ross Video’s highly knowledgeable global sales force enjoy an average of one full month of product training a year, and have a unique “karate belt” style training program on products and their customer applications. The company’s goal is to provide added value with every interaction and deliver a superior customer experience every time, all the time.

Working Well With Others

Ross Video has a long history of collaborating with other industry companies. At Ross, it is well understood that products do not exist in isolation and must function as a system solution if they’re to deliver a successful end result for customers. OverDrive, for example, integrates with products from more than 50 different manufacturers. Additionally, the Ross Audio Protocol or “RAP,” created through experience with OverDrive, fills a vacuum in the industry for a standard, easy-to-use protocol for audio mixers. RAP, established and maintained by Ross, has now been adopted by many of the major audio console manufactures and is also used by competitors.

Technology Leadership

With its comprehensive mix of base band video and IT file-based solutions, products and expertise, Ross Video is well positioned for the present and the future. Hardware-centric products include Acuity, Carbonite, openGear® , Ultrix, Furio and CamBot. Software-centric products include OverDrive, DashBoard, XPression, Inception and Streamline. Ross understands that the mix and convergence of these technologies is central to meeting the needs of the industry as well as growing the company. The main development lab in Ottawa is home to more than 100 highly skilled engineers who are working on the next generation of Ross Video solutions, systems, and technologies.

Customer Segment Highlights

Ross Video’s customer base is global and diverse, and provides the revenue stability that enables the company to navigate challenging times, continue to grow to grow and invest in the future. Among other things, Ross Video:

  • Is a leader in the production switcher market with more than 4,500 digital systems shipped to date.
  • Is number one in sports stadiums, supplying behind-the-scenes equipment to deliver feeds to video boards and in-stadium display systems.
  • Manufacturers OverDrive, the leader in automated production control with over 300 systems.
  • Provided the equipment, including Vision Production Switchers and SoftMetal Video servers, that was used extensively by the host broadcaster at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
  • Manufactures openGear® and is a key player in fiber-optic transmission with more than 2,000 units shipped to ABC in New York alone.
  • Has a graphics platform that is not only the fastest growing solution on the market, but also enjoys major adoption, has commitments for more than 100 units from organizations such as France Television and Rogers, and is used to produce live graphics for the Academy Awards and Grammy Awards.
  • Makes the technology that is used to produce a number of Hollywood shows, including Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers and Suite Life.
  • Provides the switchers that are used by top music acts, including The Police, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn, Blink 182 and Rush, to run video for concerts when they’re on tour.

The Ross Code of Ethics

As a final note to this overview of Ross Video, we offer our Code of Ethics, a key component of our success. All of our employees are indoctrinated with this code and it sets the expectation as to how we conduct ourselves in doing business with our customers and partners. You should expect us to act consistently with the following when you engage with Ross:

  • We will always act in our customer’s best interest.
  • We will do our best to understand our customer’s requirements.
  • We will not ship crap.
  • We will be great to work with.
  • We will do something extra for our customers, as an apology, when something big goes wrong and it’s our fault.
  • We will keep our promises.
  • We will treat the competition with respect.
  • We will cooperate with and help other friendly companies.
  • We will go above and beyond in times of crisis. If there’s no one to authorize the required action in times of company or customer crisis – do what you know in your heart is right. (You may rent helicopters if necessary.)