Shadow Browse the future

Video browsing specialist, Telemedia Systems Ltd (TSL), has further strengthened its board with the appointment of John Elsden as Chairman. Elsden takes over from joint-founder, Prof. Andy Hopper who becomes Chief Technical Officer.

In his first move on joining John planned and implemented a new round of investment in excess of £1.5 million. Investors included Advent, 3i, some of the first round of investors, and Friends Ivory and Sime as a new VCT investor this time.

Elsden has a successful and distinguished background in the IT industry. He became Managing Director at Trafalgar House Group at the age of 30 and headed up Allied Business Systems, a leader in open systems technology. More recently, Elsden set up his own management consultancy providing management services and advice to venture capitalists, together with expertise in acquisitions and business development.

“We are delighted to have John Elsden on board,” said Alan Chaney, “His skills and experience in the IT industry will make a major contribution to our next phase of expansion in the UK and US.”  TSL provides powerful hardware and software toolkits that allow broadcast equipment manufacturers to add low-bandwidth video browsing of broadcast material across standard networks.

Alan Chaney and Prof. Andy Hopper founded Telemedia Systems Ltd in September 1995 as a spin-off from the world-renowned Olivetti-Oracle Research Labs (ORL) located in Cambridge, UK. ORL, under Andy Hopper’s directorship, has been involved in multimedia and network multimedia for over 10 years and the results of this research formed the basis for the toolkits that allow developers to incorporate video streamed over networks, such as live TV or stored video, into their applications.

The toolkit approach allows TSL to work with a diversity of partners who have expertise in particular vertical markets, such as broadcast, surveillance, monitoring and education. The most strategically important of these markets to TSL is the broadcast industry. All toolkits are made available as industry standard ActiveX or COM objects. In fact the company is completely committed to supporting open standards and sits on a number of industry standards bodies.

Sales, marketing and support is headed by Martin Sebborn. Martin comes from a background of OEM and software sales, including sales of broadcast equipment and projects. It is the strong understanding of the broadcast market by the company’s management team that has led to the speed with which functions required in the broadcast toolkits have been added to the standard toolkits.

The company is funded by a mixture of venture capital and commercial investment from organisations including 3i, Advent, and Olivetti Corporation of Italy, and recently received further funding in excess of £1.5 million to exploit the commercial success of the broadcast sector.

Companies recently signed up as dealers from the broadcast sector are:- 

Softel, who specialise in the design and manufacture of niche market hardware and software products for the TV broadcast industry world-wide. Softel has gained the Queens award for export achievement.

Omnibus Systems, the company world renowned as the industry-standard system for ‘total station automation’, and Telemedia Systems, producers of the first professional broadcast shadow browsing system, have announced at NAB’98 that they will be entering into a partnership arrangement.

Pro-Bel Ltd, part of the Chyron Group, has joined the SpectreView Partner Program. Pro-Bel specialises in equipment and systems for broadcast transmission automation, routers and distribution products and has a broad customer base for their equipment, which includes the BBC and ITV companies in the UK, as well as customers throughout the world.

SpectreView could be seen on 14 stands at the recent IBC show in Amsterdam making it a world class product and it is a material element to the recent ITN newsroom deal announced by Quantel.

Telemedia has secured £5.2 million funding

Telemedia Systems Ltd, the company behind the industry standard SpectreView technology, has secured new funding for their new product and expansion plans.

SpectreView has attracted much attention in the broadcast market, and has become the de facto standard for video browsing. The company now intends to broaden its market to cover all aspects of professional video, including film, in both the local and wide area. The funding is to be used to both increase the UK development team, and to staff and equip their major new subsidiary on the West Coast of the USA, Internet Pro-Video, Inc.

The investment is for a further £5.2m, coming from its current investors 3i, Advent Venture Partners and Enterprise Venture Capital Trust, and a new investor - British Linen Equity, who specialise in technology investment.

According to Raymond Abbott, Director at British Linen Equity "Telemedia Systems have been very successful at creating a strong market position with the SpectreView product range. We were particularly impressed with the strength of their OEM relationships." Abbott continued "We are delighted to be helping the company to expand into new markets."

All four investors agreed that Telemedia Systems has a very bright future. Dave Cheesman of Advent Venture Partners, who has led this investment round, agreed "SpectreView is an excellent technology with a dominant market position. The company is set for tremendous expansion, both in terms of market and size, and they have our full support."

Laurence Garrett of the Cambridge Office of 3i plc said "We are delighted to be continuing our support of this exciting business." Telemedia Systems Ltd is a venture funded spinout from the A. T. T. (formerly Olivetti) Research Laboratories based in Cambridge, UK.

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