Ross Video Acquires D3 LED

September 14, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Ottawa-based Ross Video has acquired direct view LED display manufacturer D3 LED, picking it up from a company called Southpaw Live that had merged a year ago with D3, which is based in the Sacramento area.

D3 has been involved in premium LED displays for many, many years and its product is the feature wall in a whole bunch of Apple stores, though I know they’re not allowed to say that. The D3 guys are familiar, as they were my guides when I went to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shenzhen 3-4 years ago to tour a buncha LED manufacturing facilities and wrap my head around the tech.

Ross Video describes itself as powering “live video productions for billions of global viewers daily with the industry’s widest range of high impact, high efficiency solutions and services. Ross makes it easy to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts, engaging content for sports stadium screens, entertainment shows and rock concerts, educational institutions, legislative assemblies, corporate presentations and inspiring content for  houses of worship.”

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I’d imagine Ross is particularly intrigued by the possibilities D3 brings to virtual production sets for film and broadcast, both with the display canvas but also the company’s hardcore video processing capabilities. I remember being shown a D3 video wall server at InfoComm that was the size of a mini-bar fridge, and getting a long explanation that mostly went 400 feet over my head.

I have no idea what happened with the Southpaw deal, as it was just a year ago that Southpaw and D3 got together. COVID? Who knows.

From the PR:

D3 is Ross Video’s 18th acquisition since 2009, and follows the acquisition of Primestream last quarter. The new company will be called Ross D3 LED.

Founded in 2006, D3 is a leader in high quality indoor and outdoor LED displays as well as LED Processing, Content Management and Playback systems which can generate, process, and distribute video to epic scales (over 100M pixels in 1 AEPIMS system). D3’s interfacing and control solutions are leveraged in some of the most cutting-edge Experiential applications. Their award-winning solutions are used by major broadcasters like ABC and ESPN as well as international corporations, including Gap, Capital One and Victoria’s Secret, to name a few.

“We’re excited to welcome the amazing D3 team to Ross,” says Ross Video CEO David Ross. “D3 is in a class of their own for LED processing technology and the services that make customers succeed! They are innovators who were first to market with many technologies including IP Data/Video distribution between LED Controllers and Receivers using their True Element technology to deliver the highest quality imagery. It’s great to add another world-class brand to the Ross family, and I can’t wait to have our R&D teams collaborate and help our customers overcome their creative, business and technical challenges.”

D3 has succeeded by providing customers with a highly customized, end-to-end experience, and that tradition will carry on as the company becomes Ross D3 LED. Ross intends to further expand D3’s focus on Broadcast, Retail and Hospitality, while also pursuing other Live Production applications such as Virtual LED and Extended Reality, as well as IMAG in venues. D3’s solutions complement the existing portfolio offered by Ross, and will enable Ross to offer an even more comprehensive range of content rendering platforms, including XPression motion graphics, Voyager (based on the Unreal engine from Epic Games), and the D3 IMS playback system.

“We are very excited about the future and the benefits that our combined technical expertise will deliver to our customers,” says Meric Adriansen, VP of Ross D3 LED. “Our focus will be on creating products that enable our customers to communicate better with their customers. Whether that is to capture more eyeballs, tell a more compelling story or entertain and educate them better, Ross D3 LED will be there every step of the way.”

Interesting news. There is SO much competition in both the indoor and outdoor LED space these days, so differentiation is pretty much critical. I know from trade shows – if you remember those things – that video processing is one of the dark, seriously under-appreciated arts that can make the difference between a big video wall looking good, or awesome. As David Ross points out, the processing is a big part of his interest and plan.

Congratulations to the D3 guys. Good people.

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