Entertainment

Imax Buys Streaming Technology Company SSIMWAVE For $21 Million – The Hollywood Reporter

Imax is looking to benefit from competition in the streaming age by acquiring SSIMWAVE, a Canadian tech startup focused on optimizing video quality and viewing experience across multiple platforms. .

The giant screen pioneer is paying $18.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in stock for the streaming tech company, with $4 million in additional earnings payments going to performed if performance objectives are met.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond told The Hollywood Reporter The acquisition will allow his company to deliver the highest quality video images on any screen and device with varying bandwidths beyond the traditional giant screen stage market. “It’s a streaming technology that takes images and maximizes their quality for any given platform. If you are using an iPhone, it will have the best possible image on an iPhone,” explains Gelfond.

The same can be done on a 100-inch TV as the SIMMWAVE AI software recognizes the device or platform the consumer is using and maximizes the viewing experience accordingly. Gelfond adds that the AI ​​software behind the company’s image enhancement technology is based on real data from real people for excellent viewing quality.

And streaming technology can be applied to a wide range of content and platforms, as optimal screen resolutions are possible across 4K, 8K and emerging interactive experiences in games, virtual reality. , augmented reality and metaverse, among other platforms.

Imax will continue to offer SIMMWAVE’s picture optimization technology to existing streaming giants Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and Comcast/NBCU for live broadcasts, while expanding its scope company scale to serve more customers in the streaming space. The benefit to Imax is that it now has an additional revenue stream.

And online players can reduce the risk that large investments in original movies and TV series could be affected by a bad viewing experience on digital devices. “As they stream content to their various platforms, SIMMWAVE technology tells them how to stream content in the most cost-effective way to create the highest quality experience,” added Gelfond. .

The Imax director added SIMMWAVE is expected to be profitable by 2023. The Waterloo, Ontario-based startup is led by CEO Dr. Abdul Rehman and has about 30 engineers set to work. collaborated with Imax engineers at the company’s research headquarters in nearby Toronto.

Dr Rehman said: “We are delighted to join Imax and harness its global scale and expertise as more and more broadcasters turn to SSIMWAVE to ensure a good viewing experience. while reducing bandwidth costs.

As for Imax, which has a track record of allowing Hollywood directors to make movies with its proprietary camera, Gelfond says SIMMWAVE technology will allow filmmakers to get the best viewing experience for their movies, TV series or other content on platforms other than the cinema.

“Filmmakers will be really pleased with this acquisition as we will help ensure that when their content is released on alternative platforms, it will be in the best possible way,” he said. .

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