Vantiva (Formerly Technicolor) Acquires CommScope’s Home Networks Business

Paris-based Vantiva, formerly known as Technicolor, has acquired the home networks business of Hickory, N.C.-based CommScope, in exchange for a 25% stake in Vantiva. The home networks business segment includes broadband, video and home networking devices for the home.

Vantiva is increasingly focusing on creative services and technology products for the communication, media and entertainment industries, and transitioning away from its legacy disc replication business for Hollywood DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies. The company plans to integrate CommScope’s home networks business in its entertainment-based creative services.

CommScope is selling off the business segment due to what it says are macroeconomic factors such as higher interest rates, inflation and concerns about softening demand the global economy. Indeed, the home network business segment saw sales drop more than 36% in the recent third quarter (ended Sept. 30) to $249.4 million from $389.7 million in the prior year period.

“We continue to manage what we can control including costs,” CommScope CEO Chuck Treadway said in a statement. “We are targeting an additional $100 million in cost savings by the end of Q1 2024.”

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Meanwhile, Vantiva reported a 26% drop in Q3 supply chain revenue of €134 million ($143.4 million) from revenue of €181 million ($193.6 million) in the previous-year period. Supply chain revenue includes packaged media disc replication and distribution of Hollywood movies, TV shows, video games and music CDs.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor Showcasing Its Tech at SET Expo

Advanced HDR by Technicolor is returning to  Sao Paulo, Brazil, for SET Expo 2023, taking place Aug. 7-10, to showcase its suite of solutions.

The Advanced HDR by Technicolor team will be available to discuss the latest innovations in delivering its visual experiences at booth 44 in a joint demonstration with Fraunhofer IIS and MainConcept. 

Throughout the conference, experts will be on hand to provide demonstrations of how Advanced HDR by Technicolor:

  • Delivers premium HDR to Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital (SBTVD) TV2.5 to optimize the transition from SBTVD TV2.0 to SBTVD TV3.0. The demonstration will be provided along with the presentation of Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K openGear processing cards, providing ITM and SL-HDR encoding tools implementation and MainConcept Live Encoder with AVC/H.264 — an all-in-one video and audio encoding engine that simplifies common broadcast and OTT video workflows.
  • Worked with Globo on a FIFA World Cup 2022 trial that demonstrated TV2.5 premium HDR with unique SDR backward compatibility. Advanced HDR by Technicolor collaborated with Cobalt Digital, V-Nova and MainConcept to provide production and distribution tools.
  • Provides solutions that are fully compliant with AVC 8-bit codecs to support TV2.5 while reducing banding effects and comparing the results to HDR PQ delivery.
  • Prepares the transition to TV3.0 with VVC and LCEVC codecs.
  • Leverages the ATSC 3.0 standard to bring premium HDR viewing experiences in the United States via new Hisense TVs equipped with MTK chipsets.


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Advanced HDR by Technicolor is a suite of High Dynamic Range (HDR) production, distribution and display solutions that leverages machine learning  technology to maximize image quality and enhance the consumer viewing experience. There are two major components to Advanced HDR by Technicolor:

  •  The Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) tool provides a dynamic, tunable, real-time solution to up-convert SDR content to HDR with full freedom and flexibility to manage contrast, brightness and color saturation.
  • The Single Layer HDR (SL-HDR) is a dynamic and tunable real-time tool that implements the ETSI SL-HDR standards to generate and deliver a single, consistent, high-quality broadcast stream starting from any mix of input content (such as live, movies, news) across a wide range of HDR formats (HDR10, HLG, S-LOG3). SL-HDR1 transforms HDR input streams into SDR-plus-metadata streams. SL-HDR compatible receivers provide consumers with high-quality HDR images that can be adapted to optimize the display capabilities of their devices. With backward compatibility feature of SL-HDR1, consumers who do not have HDR devices can enjoy the highest quality SDR experience.

Technicolor Showcases Advanced HDR Tech at CES

Executives representing Advanced HDR by Technicolor — a collaboration between Philips, InterDigital and Technicolor — showcased their new technology during CES. Advanced HDR by Technicolor automates SDR to HDR and HDR to SDR content conversion, providing both signals in a single stream for live TV and post-production operations.

The automated conversion process of Advanced HDR by Technicolor is especially beneficial for producing live outdoor sports programming and events, according to Technicolor. Solutions from Advanced HDR by Technicolor enable operators to dynamically manage lighting conditions throughout the day without human intervention, delivering optimal color and image quality, the company reported.

“The broadcast and streaming industries are in the process of making the transition from SDR to HDR,” Rick Dumont, senior director of business development of HDR video for Philips, said in a statement. “The single-stream solution from Advanced HDR by Technicolor — included in the ATSC 3.0 standard — plays a critical role in delivering both video formats in a cost-efficient and technically effective manner.”

During the show, Hisense, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Advanced HDR By Technicolor demonstrated the technology. Sinclair Broadcast Group delivered HDR content broadcast over the air to Hisense TVs that have integrated Advanced HDR by Technicolor solutions.

Today, 36 NextGen Broadcast (ATSC 3.0) stations owned by Sinclair transmit over-the-air content in HDR using Advanced HDR by Technicolor solutions.

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“The integration of Advanced HDR by Technicolor into Hisense TVs — a brand that is rapidly growing in the United States — means more viewers will be able to enjoy vibrant HDR content offered by leading broadcasters, such as Sinclair,” Tony Bozzini, head of business development for Advanced HDR by Technicolor at Philips, said in a statement.

“Hisense is committed to providing the best possible picture quality to consumers. With leading broadcasters, like Sinclair, offering a growing array of HDR content, especially live sports, Hisense ensures those in service areas of Sinclair’s increasing number of deployed NextGen Broadcast stations can access and enjoy the full visual benefits offered by the latest technological innovations,” David Gold, president of Hisense USA, said in a statement.

“For broadcasters who put the customer experience at the top of the list, delivering the best visual image is essential. This is especially true when it comes to broadcasting live sporting events. That is why Sinclair Broadcast Group is ensuring that stations implementing ATSC 3.0 do so with Advanced HDR by Technicolor,” Mark Aitken, SVP of technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group and president of ONE Media 3.0, said in a statement.

Despite DVD Replication Rebound, Technicolor Transitioning Biz to Include Vinyl Records

Paris-based packaged media replication giant Technicolor continues to diversify business strategies, including transitioning away from the DVD, Blu-ray Disc and music CD markets to focus on vinyl records.

The “DVD Services” segment changes, which also include microfluidics (opening new lab/production facility in Poland) and supply chain fulfillment (i.e., transportation), now focus heavily on vinyl replication. Technicolor said it has contracts with three major U.S. record labels, and two independents.

Indeed, for the first time since 1996, both music CDs and vinyl music records experienced revenue growth in the same year in 2021, according to year-end data from the Recording Industry Association of America. The resurgence in vinyl continued for the 15th consecutive year, as revenue grew 61% to $1 billion. The last time vinyl exceeded $1 billion was 1986. Vinyl accounted for 63% of revenue from physical formats, and 7% of total music revenue.

“As we reposition the disc activity into a volume-based business … over the quarter, we made good achievement in the vinyl business,” CEO Rick Moat said on the fiscal call earlier this month.

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Meanwhile, DVD Services revenue totaled €150 million in the first quarter 2022, up 8.2% compared with the first quarter of 2021. Despite lower disc volumes year-on-year (-16.5%), revenue increased driven by the performance of new growth businesses.

In the first quarter of 2022, pre-tax earnings amounted to €5 million (vs. €4 million in the first quarter 2021) underscoring significant footprint optimization, headcount reductions and higher activity in non-disc activities. These changes were offset in part by the impacts of lower disc volumes, and higher labor costs in North America and Mexico. DVD Services continued to adapt distribution and manufacturing operations, and related customer contract agreements, in response to continued volume reductions.

In 2022, higher year-on-year new-release volumes are expected as theatrical attendance continues to normalize, but this will be slightly offset by lower catalog sales. This should be further mitigated by continuing cost efficiencies, according to Moat.

“As part of the business segment’s restructuring to accelerate the diversification of the business, the division is continuing to work on significantly expanding non-disc activities,” he said.

1936 Musical ‘Dancing Pirate’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 22 From Film Detective

The 1936 musical Dancing Pirate will be released on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 22 from Cinedigm and The Film Detective.

Billed as the first ever 100% Technicolor dancing musical, Dancing Pirate stars Charles Collins as a dance teacher from Boston who is tricked into joining a band of pirates, leading him to be fitted for a noose in California. He catches a break when the mayor’s daughter demands the hanging be postponed until he teaches her to waltz.

Dancing Pirate earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Dance Direction. The film features many familiar faces from Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz) as the mayor, Steffi Duna (Waterloo Bridge) as his dancing daughter and Rita Hayworth (Gilda) in an early performance as a specialty dancer.

The special-edition release features a new restoration from original 35mm archival material with a new 4K scan.

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“We are delighted to release our first Blu-ray from the recent acquisition of the late Alexander Kogan’s Film’s Around the World Library,” Phil Hopkins, president of The Film Detective, said in a statement. “This particular title was his prized possession, obtained from the famous film collector Wade Williams more than a decade ago. This important piece of film history is finally getting the proper attention it deserves.”

Bonus features include audio commentary and an original insert essay from author Jennifer Churchill; “Glorious Pioneers: The Birth of Technicolor,” an interview with author/historian David Pierce; and “Ambushed by Mediocrity: Remembering the Dancing Pirate,” an interview with film producer/historian Michael Schlesinger.

Supply Chain Crisis Impacts Home Entertainment Amid Lingering Replication Woes

The supply chain woes that are making headlines around the country are having an increasingly pronounced impact on the home entertainment business, sources say — compounding existing problems with limited replication.

Studios as well as independent content suppliers are reporting delays in bringing their product to market as the fourth-quarter holiday season nears. DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales may have been slipping year over year, but demand typically picks up as the holidays grow near. This year is no exception, particularly with catalog product, as studios continue to mine their vaults for anniversary or 4K Ultra HD reissues.

This uptick in catalog title sales is a good thing — and a bad thing. Most of the big Hollywood studios do the bulk of their physical disc replication through Technicolor, which now does most of its manufacturing work at a single facility in Mexico. (Paramount has its own manufacturing deal, with Sonopress.) And, sources say, when things get backlogged — as they invariably do during the fourth quarter — catalog titles are pushed back behind new releases. Now factor in supply-chain problems and it’s easy to see why that spectacular new anniversary release or 4K Ultra HD reissue may not be in stock.

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“It’s a huge problem,” said Bill Hunt, who as editor of The Digital Bits website closely monitors disc releases. “Almost every title is getting delayed, and those that aren’t are hard to find on street date.”

Hunt adds, “COVID is what started the supply chain issues, and they’ve basically cascaded across the economy. The Technicolor replication plant in Mexico City is at capacity, so a lot of studios are sending replication projects to Germany as well. But then shipping those discs back takes time, distributing all the discs to retail takes time, etc.

“It’s just a mess everywhere.”

“Our industry isn’t insulated from the global supply chain situation,” said Eddie Cunningham, president of Studio Distribution Services (SDS), the joint venture between NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia formed earlier this year to distribute DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “At SDS, along with the rest of the industry, we have been wrestling with supply chain challenges for a number of months. We, with our many supply chain partners in manufacturing, distribution and freight, are doing everything in our power to mitigate those pressure points.

“Sometimes meeting delivery dates and keeping retail on-shelf availability at our usual high industry standards has been difficult. It is a huge focus across our company and everything in supply chain that we used to check weekly is now daily, and everything we did daily is almost hourly, as we constantly re-assess priorities.

“Our recent focus, aside of new releases and promotions, has been the fourth-quarter retail catalog resets and preparing for Black Friday, all of which looks good.”

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The trouble in getting consumer goods into stores — and consumer homes — is due to a variety of factors, including a labor shortage that is affecting all aspects of transport and shipping. This is compounded by pandemic-induced demand. In the first six months of this year, according to U.S. government estimates, retail sales rose more than 22% to $3.25 trillion.

As the World Shipping Council explains in a newly released video, “Global supply chains are a complex network connecting manufacturers, exporters, importers, rail, truck and ocean transport providers. Finely balanced, it can take a lot. But when COVID-19 closed down ports, put drivers in quarantine, the problems started. The U.S. demand spike has maxed out inland capacity, containers are tied up in storage, and vessels are stuck outside ports.”

“A lot of companies have really been struggling to get staff in these relatively low-paid jobs — pack and ship, that sort of thing,” said one high-ranking studio executive familiar with supply-side issues. “In a lot of cases, governments are paying more for them to stay at home.”

Labor shortages, he notes, have been impacting production of everything from the chips used in automobiles to the glue used to seal cereal boxes.

And even when the end product does get made, bringing it to market is a whole other challenge due to labor shortages in the transport sector. The trucking industry, for example, has long been having trouble attracting new recruits. Meanwhile, demand for trucking services has soared, thanks to the rapid gains of e-commerce — 32.4% growth in 2020, according to government statistics — and an overall rise in consumer retail spending.

More than 140 container ships are circling outside the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, waiting to be offloaded. “And if you figure each ship has about 1,800 of those great big containers, you can only imagine how much stuff is still sitting out at sea,” the studio executive said. “And medical supplies are the priority — not boxes of DVDs.”

Independent suppliers are grappling with their own worries, said Ed Seaman, GM of MVD Entertainment Group. These include a steadily shrinking number of smaller replicators who deal primarily in independent film.

But fewer replicators, and replication facilities, is just one of several clogs in the indie pipeline, he says.

“We’ve had some replication delays, but also lots of madness bringing goods in from Europe,” Seaman said. “The flights and capacity for cargo is scarce, and then products are getting lost, misplaced or delayed at the ports —  which, of course, is broadly publicized. This is causing release dates to be missed.”

On top of that, Seaman said, “the cost to bring goods in are nearly triple what they were pre-pandemic. Most of our suppliers and customers are understanding, but in some cases it is really straining relationships. Not fun.”

Additional reporting by Stephanie Prange.

Disc Replicator Technicolor Downplays Market Rumors

Technicolor SA Nov. 19 issued a statement attempting to quell market scuttlebutt the Paris-based entertainment tech company is about sell assets, including the company itself.

Technicolor operates a set-top box division (called “connected home”) and entertainment unit, the latter providing digital effects to movies and DVD, Blu-ray Disc replication to home entertainment.

In March, Technicolor sold its patent licensing unit to wireless provider InterDigital for $475 million. The connected home division generated 56.5% of the company’s first-half revenue of 1.77 euros ($2.02 billion).

Technicolor said it regularly reviews and evaluates strategic alternatives for its assets, whether acquisitions, combinations or divestments, in the best interest of its stakeholders.

“This may involve discussions with industry players and/or financial investors,” the company said in a statement, adding “any discussions are at a preliminary stage. No strategic decision or commitment has been made.”

The company said it would provide no further comment on rumors.

Since acquiring Cinram Corp. in late 2015 and securing outsourcing agreements with Sony DADC in North America and Australia, Technicolor has become the world’s largest replicator of DVD and Blu-ray Disc units.

The company said disc replication services would continue to maximize cash generation while continuing to develop further “opportunities.” Indeed, Technicolor said it shipped a record 1.6 billion discs in 2017.

“People want to own their favorite movies, the classics, and the blockbusters,” Rose told earlier this year. That’s what they put under the tree. We were the only ones who saw the growth left in this business.”



Talk of Replication Backlog Recalls Good Ol’ Days

I’m hearing rumblings from various quarters about a replication backlog on discs.

Whether it’s because of the enormous demands of the game business or just an unrecognized and continued demand for physical media during the holidays, it reminds me of the glory days of disc, when replicators could not keep up with orders.

More than one industry insider, including one from a major studio, has noted that street dates are being pushed back as major replicator Technicolor is backlogged.

The Twitter-ing is starting to show, as wondered what was up with preorders for Batman: The Complete Animated Series on Blu-ray, which was due out Oct. 30 but Amazon had listed as no longer available.

“Pressing delay. They can’t fill orders by that date, so it’s getting bumped. This plant issue is starting to cause a pile-up,” came the reply on Twitter from Troy Anderson of the blog. “Right now, it seems like everyone is just trying to meet retail demands. Black Friday should be a lovely mess this year.”

Let me know if you’ve heard anything at

Technicolor Sells Patent Licensing Unit, Remains Bullish on Disc Replication

Seeking to streamline operating costs and reduce debt, Technicolor has sold its patent licensing division to InterDigital, a U.S.-based wireless R&D company, in a deal that value the unit at $475 million.

Paris-based Technicolor said InterDigital paid $150 million up front and will pay it 42.5% of future licensing revenue generated in consumer electronics, including deals with Sony Electronics.

Technicolor will maintain its Research & Innovation organization for its operating businesses, while engaging in funded research with InterDigital.

InterDigital will pay Technicolor $5 million annually, while investing an additional $5 million annually in internal R&D projects that are aligned with the priorities of the research cooperation.

“This agreement will allow us to fully focus on our core operating businesses and includes a collaborative research program built up on the strength of our research and innovation teams,” CEO Feederic Rose said in a statement.

Notably left off the auction block: disc replication.

Since acquiring Cinram Corp. in late 2015 and securing an outsourcing agreement with Sony DADC in North America and Australia set to begin in the second quarter, Technicolor has become the world’s largest replicator of DVD and Blu-ray Disc units.

A distinction some observers might liken to dominating newspaper publishing.

Disc replication remains part of Technicolor’s Entertainment Services division, which recorded flat fiscal 2017 pre-tax earnings at €230 million ($283 million), with revenue gains seen in the second half production services of last year due to better resource allocation.

The company said disc replication services would continue to maximize cash generation while continuing to develop further “opportunities.”

Indeed, Technicolor said it shipped a record 1.6 billion discs in 2017.

“People want to own their favorite movies, the classics, and the blockbusters,” Rose told That’s what they put under the tree. We were the only ones who saw the growth left in this business.”