Tandberg Television was a division of Norway-based Tandberg in 2007. Tandberg Television was created after the split-up in 1976 in the aftermath of the bankruptcy of Tandberg. Tandberg Television was acquired by Ericsson that changed the name into Ericsson Television, Ltd. in 2010.
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About Tandberg Television
Tandberg Television provided products and systems for the delivery of high quality live video and on demand content across cable, DSL, fiber, IP, satellite and terrestrial networks. Tandberg Television was recognized as a market leader and the Company provided systems integration and global support capabilities through its sales and 24-hour support operations in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. Tandberg Television’s customers included many of the major broadcasters, network operators and content owners around the globe.
In 1976, a major economic downturn seriously disrupted the company, and in December the company declared bankruptcy that same year. In the aftermath of the bankruptcy, the original Tandberg was divided into parts. Tandberg Television, originally headquartered in Lillestrom near Oslo, Norway, was formed in 1979 when the original Tandberg Company split into Tandberg, Tandberg Data and Tandberg Television.
The remaining portions went under control of Norsk Data to become Tandberg.
History of Tandbergs Radiofabrikk
The company was founded by Vebjorn Tandberg as Tandbergs Radiofabrikk (Tandberg’s radio factory) in Oslo in 1933. The company’s first radio was named “Tommeliten”, and used only earphones. This was followed by the “Corona” with a loudspeaker. In 1934 the first “Huldra” radio was launched, followed in 1936 by the “Sølvsuper”. During the early years, radios, loudspeakers and microphones were the main output from the factory. The Sølvsuper and the Huldra radios became the foundation for Tandberg’s success.
In the early 1950’s, Tandberg opened a branch plant in Kjelsas (in Oslo) to produce reel-to-reel tape recorders. Their first model was the TB-1, introduced to the market in 1952. Over the next decade, Tandberg quickly incorporated a number of leading-edge concepts; the TB-2 Hi Fi of 1956 had three tape transport speeds, allowing improved high-frequency response. The TB-3 Stereo from 1957 was Tandberg’s first stereo system. In the 1960s Tandberg introduced the cross-field recording technique in the TB-6X model, allowing their recorders to handle higher frequencies than competing models. Tandberg licensed the concept to Akai, who used it widely in the 1970s and 80s in their Akai and Roberts recorders.
Tandberg tape recorders dominated the Norwegian market, and had a reputation for advanced technology and high quality at reasonable prices. It was on Tandberg reel-to-reel machines that President John F. Kennedy recorded many meetings in the Cabinet Room of the White House, including those associated with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Kjelsas factory also started producing TV sets in 1960, and in 1966 a second TV plant was opened in Kjeller in Skedsmo. Color TV’s were added to their lineup in 1969. In 1972, Tandberg purchased Radionette, another large Norwegian electronics firm now focusing on televisions. By 1976, TV’s were Tandberg’s major product and their factories employed 3,500. However, that same year a major economic downturn seriously disrupted the company, and by 1978 it was insolvent. A shareholder revolt removed Vebjorn Tandberg from control of the company and he committed suicide in August. In December the company declared bankruptcy.
In the aftermath of the bankruptcy, the original Tandberg was split into three parts. The television manufacturing portions became Tandberg Television, Tandberg Data took over the tape recording side of the company and moved it purely into the computer storage field, and the remaining portions lost the “Radiofabrikk” to become, simply, Tandberg.
Tandberg’s first picture telephone for ISDN was developed in 1989, while the fully integrated Vision picture telephone was launched in 1993. Subsequently, focus moved to higher performance systems – the Grand Vision and the Master Vision series. New desktop endpoints were also added – the Compact Vision and the Vision600.
The first US office opened in 1995 in Connecticut. It was moved to Kansas City for a short period before moving to Reston, Virginia in August 1996. In 1997 the company acquired two sales and distribution companies in North America, establishing a firm foothold in the single largest videoconferencing market in the world. It created two large sales and support offices in the US. One in Virginia and the other in Texas. The office in Reston, Virginia remains the largest office in the US to this date.
In 1999 the company acquired the Norwegian technology company Internet Technology AS which had developers experienced with the ITU standard, especially from VoIP-projects like the world’s first commercial VoIP service launched in 1997 with Telenor.
Also in 1999 Tandberg Television entered into a 170 million UKP agreement to acquire all the assets of NDS Group’s Digital-TV products business, the Digital Broadcasting Business (DBB), a subsidiary of The News Corporation group. After the acquisition, Tandberg Television could offer digital video compression encoders, multiplexers and modulation products for large satellite DTH systems, terrestrial networks and mobile newsgathering solutions.
In 2000 the company moved into IP based videoconferencing using the maturing standard, making the entire product line IP capable. Since 2000, the company has expanded its product line greatly, by adding enterprise-class MCUs, Gateways, service-provider class MCUs and Gatekeepers.
In 2001 the company also acquired a consultancy company Delante AS that enabled it to focus more on external software integration and bindings, especially the Microsoft platform.
In 2004 Ridgeway Systems and Software, a UK based software house specializing in Firewall and NAT traversal, was acquired. The result of this acquisition was the Tandberg Expressway Firewall Traversal technology, which allows any video endpoint to place calls through any number of firewalls or NAT devices.
In July 2004, the company released a major new endpoint product line, the “MXP” series.
In February 2005, the company released SIP software for all its video endpoints, as well as a major update to its SCCP based video systems.
In July 2005, the company acquired IVIGO from TNO Telecom. IVIGO, based in the Netherlands, developed and successfully commercialized circuit switched video solutions for UMTS network operators, vendors and content providers. The IVIGO 3G-to video gateway is now used by Tandberg’s high-end visual communications systems to connect over video to 3G handheld phones. The Tandberg E20 personal videoconferencing system was introduced later in 2008.
In September 2005, Cisco Systems officially launched the Cisco 7985G, a Cisco-Tandberg co-branded desktop videophone.
In October 2005, the company acquired Ectus, Ltd, a New Zealand based software Development Company specializing in streaming and archiving software.
On December 16th 2005 Andrew Miller stepped down as CEO, replaced by the CFO Fredrik Halvorsen. Halvorsen was a relatively new hire with a background from McKinsey.
In April 2007, Tandberg Television was acquired by Ericsson. Tandberg Television operated as an independent entity within the Ericsson Business Unit Multimedia until January 25, 2010, when its name was changed to Ericsson Television, Ltd.
On April 19th, 2010 Cisco Systems, that was selling companies expensive, room-size videoconferencing systems known as TelePresence systems, acquired Tandberg. Tandberg had similar technology but also sold smaller, cheaper conferencing units. In addition, Tandberg had specialized software for managing videoconferencing systems and for creating connections between systems that rely on different underlying technology.
On January 22nd, 2014 USA-based Overland Storage, Inc, a global provider of unified data management and data protection solutions acquired Tandberg Data. In the same year, in December 2014 leading provider of virtualization technology solutions, Sphere3D, merged with Overland Storage. Sphere3D integrated the Overland Storage, Tandberg Data, V3 Systems and Sphere 3D brands into the Company to deliver a comprehensive and innovative portfolio of virtualization and cloud solutions.
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