Jayden Hess May 19, 2021


openGear: 15 years of putting customers first


It’s hard to believe it’s already been 15 years since we first launched our openGear platform. In 2006, openGear was the world’s first modular infrastructure platform open to other manufacturers. The hope and belief was that a cooperative approach would provide customers with the freedom to choose best-in-class solutions that met their unique needs and budget.

Fast-forward 15 years, and the Ross-designed, Emmy®award-winning openGear platform has been adopted by many manufacturers and partners around the world. The platform offers a combination of hundreds of signal processing solutions with universal control and monitoring within the DashBoard ecosystem. It took a lot of combined effort between ourselves and our partners to get to where we are today, so please allow us this opportunity to reminisce about some of the major milestones from the past 15 years.

The Prologue

1991: John Ross creates the VTA-7000 TruckAMP, the world’s first video DA with remote gain and EQ.

1993: Ross releases its first digital signal processing frame the DFR-8110.

Given that the 8000 Series rear connector structure was fine for SD but not suitable for HD, we eventually needed a new frame. Making a gear frame is a surprising amount of work and effort and we thought if we could simply use an existing one it would be faster and simpler for us and our customers would have a better range of choices available to them. 

We approached most of the major industry players to discuss this idea, explaining that the advantage to them would be that by offering competition within their frame they would be able to win a larger share of the market. Surprisingly, we were told by one company after another that we could not make cards that were compatible with their frames. These companies made no bones about their business models, which were designed around getting a couple of their frames to a customer and then locking them into their solution.

This didn’t fit with our values or code of ethics..
so we started looking for like minded partners

This didn’t fit with our values or code of ethics, so we decided to create our own frame and control system. Instead of doing what every other company in the industry was doing, we decided that we should create an industry standard for terminal equipment. We called this new standard openGear and started looking for like-minded partners.

openGear is born

2006: Ross launches openGear DFR-8310, a 10-slot frame with partners Cobalt Digital and Ward-Beck Systems.

2006: DashBoard, a free openGear control system, is launched.

2006: Ross is awarded the Gemini award for outstanding technical achievement by The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

2009:  Ross releases openGear DFR-8321, a 20-slot frame with even more partners.

2011: The openGear ecosystem grows to over 25 partners.

2012: Ross Releases openGear OG3 frame with double the power and integrated Ethernet to every card.

2014: The openGear ecosystem grows to over 50 partners.

2015: Ross is awarded the Emmy®: “Open Modular Platform for Broadcast and Production Distribution and Conversion Equipment”

2016: The openGear ecosystem grows to over 100 partners.

2018: Ross launches OGX frame, further growing the platform’s power and cooling to meet the needs of UHD and IP infrastructure.

2020: 40,000 openGear frames total have been delivered worldwide.

2021: Annual DashBoard downloads top 38,000.

2021: The openGear ecosystem has grown to over 130 partner companies offering more than 250 cards.

Where are we today?

15 years later openGear is the great success we hoped it would be with countless happy customers, four industry awards, over 40,000 frames delivered and more than 130 partner companies developing new and innovative solutions. From SD to UHD video, to digital audio, IRD’s, IP and fiber, openGear supports a wide array of solutions that we’re proud to say gives customers the freedom to choose the options that meet their individual needs and budgets.

We hope you agree that openGear is an important advancement in the broadcast industry. Whether you are learning about openGear for the first time, a happy customer or a potential partner, we would be more than pleased to speak with you about how openGear can benefit your organization.

Visit the openGear product page for more information.


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