By Judith Rubin
ABOVE (L to R): Matt Barton and Eric Cantrell. Photo by Judith Rubin
Medialon recently became part of the 7thSense Design family. Matt Barton, CEO of 7thSense Design, a leading manufacturer of media servers for high-end AV applications, is now also CEO and part of the new ownership team of Medialon, a leading provider of show control software for entertainment applications. Eric Cantrell, VP Business Operations, Medialon, has been the face of Medialon since 2008 and continues in that role. This marked the departure of Medialon from Barco, which had acquired the show control provider in 2016.
Adam Neale, a founder and prior owner of 7thSense, has returned to the fold to be a part owner of Medialon, which is taking the form of a sister company to 7thSense. The Medialon name is seen as an asset and will be preserved. “It’s a recognized and respected name within the industry,” said Barton. “We want to make sure people know there is separation there, while building on the complementary element of our two product lines.”
Since the initial announcement in June, the alliance has been very well received by the professional community, according to Cantrell and Barton, who referred to the new arrangement as “a natural fit.”
Cantrell characterized it as a progression with benefits for all parties. “Our joining Barco helped refocus them in themed entertainment markets, and they are continuing to serve those markets with projection and image processing products,” he said. Moreover, “Barco helped us approach a broader audience, which deepened our connection to themed entertainment. Medialon will now have more agility and freedom to adapt to the niche needs of themed entertainment.”
The three companies have much history together. Barton related that the 7thSense founders worked with Barco previously in flight simulation, and that the two companies held a soccer match in 2001. Over the years, Barton and Cantrell, and their respective companies have “run into each other a lot,” as Barton put it – sometimes on Twitter, as Cantrell is an active participant in a Sunday morning Tweetup, #AVinTheAM. Both are active within the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) as sponsors and volunteers. Barton is currently President of the TEA Europe & Middle East Division Board, and Medialon is Storytelling sponsor of the 2019 TEA SATE – Seattle conference.
Meanwhile, in the 7thSense booth at InfoComm 2019, attendees could test out a demo of the latest iteration of Medialon Manager (version 7, appropriately enough). According to Cantrell, key features include enhanced compatibility with Windows 10, and improvements to the workflow that shorten show programming time. It will begin shipping in fall. And 7thSense recently introduced Juggler, a pixel processor to complement its standard-setting Delta Media Server line. Juggler received a “Best of ISE” rAVe Award in February 2019.
What’s next? “The creative sparks are flying,” said Cantrell. The new Medialon team is committed to business as usual as they continue to develop the product range, provide ongoing customer training and support, and engage in a six-month “listening phase” as the new roadmap takes shape.