Indianapolis Video Heritage

With the possibility of Amazon choosing Indianapolis for its second headquarters, many have written about the benefits of Indy’s tech scene. I ran across a wonderful article a few days ago in the Indianapolis Monthly which inspired this blog. This article talked about variety of Indianapolis legacies that have shaped and are shaping the city’s rich technology scene, from motor racing, to digital marketing, to medicine, to … Another rich legacy I’d like to add to that list is near and dear to my heart: Video and Graphics.

Truevision, born out of AT&T Bell Labs Entrepreneur program, a pioneer in video capture, graphics overlay, video compression and recording technology. Truevision started out integrating analog video into personal computers, later migrating the industry to digital video, followed by standard definition to HDTV advancement. HDTV special effects with video compression and decompression, along with professional video editing acceleration were Truevision’s specializations by the time Pinnacle Systems purchased it, later to be acquired by Avid – a premiere video editing company for broadcast television and Hollywood movies.

Truevision spawned several other companies from premiere real-time color correction for Hollywood movies, which is now owned by Dolby and still in Indy, to three video security companies, which have been acquired by Schneider Electric, Tyco, and 3xLOGIC, along with network door access control specialty. Stanley Security has also benefited from this deep sales, marketing, and engineering talent pool of network video, audio, access control, as well as biometrics expertise, growing and expanding development and integration.

RCA/Thompson, with 2000 people at its peak was a television and set top box video recorder designer for DirectTV and Xfinity. Along with Truevision, engineers at Thompson were the only ones in Indiana doing cutting edge custom computer chip design, along with advanced FPGA development for real-time video processing.

C-Span archives, world renown video processing, compression, color science expertise of Purdue University’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments, also bring their own video edge.

dPict is carrying the torch of image capture and processing these days, and interestingly occupying the business park across the street where Truevision produced it techno-wonders for nearly two decades.

Prysm has also amassed extensive expertise in video streaming, graphics and cloud technologies. Video has transformed into not only streaming over the air or thru various video connectors, but also thru the networks and the internet. Video streaming has become expected and Indy has kept up with its amazing transformation.

Truevision crew has been at it again, this time in the video security space that is a hybrid on-prem and cloud configuration. This new venture goes by the name of Qumulex, and has many original Truevision troops.


Video is just part of the story, with audio being another, with Interactive Intelligence now Genesys, Scott Jones developing voice mail, ChaCha, and home audio server company. Of course, Klipsh is also in Indy.

Further Back

RCA television production plant in Bloomington from 1940 to 1998, employed 8,000 at its peak. Television plant in Marion Indiana operated from 1949 to 2004 and employed nearly 4,000 in 1973 at its peak. RCA/Thompson facility in Indianapolis employed nearly 2,000.

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