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Barco (manufacturer)

Barco (manufacturer)

Barco NV is a Belgian technology company that specializes in digital projection and imaging technology, focusing on three core markets: entertainment, enterprise, and healthcare.[1] In 2018, the company realized sales of 1.028 billion euro. It employs 3,600 employees located in 90 countries. The company has 400 granted patents.[2] Barco is headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium, and has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. Shares of Barco are listed on Euronext Brussels. It has a market cap of around €1.2 billion (February 2018).

Barco NV
Public company
Traded asEuronext: BAR [24] , BEL 20
FounderLucien De Puydt
HeadquartersKortrijk, Belgium
Key people
Jan De Witte, CEO
Productsdisplay technology, projection technology, connectivity platforms, image processing
Revenue€1.128 billion (2018)
Number of employees
3,600 (2018)
Websitewww.barco.com [25]


Barco is an acronym that originally stood for Belgian American Radio Corporation. Barco was founded in 1934 in the town of Poperinge, in the Flemish-speaking region of Belgium. Founder Lucien de Puydt's initial business was to assemble radios from parts imported from the United States – hence the name of his company, the Belgium American Radio Corporation, or "Barco."

Radio pioneer Camiel Descamps gave the company a new start in 1941 in Kortrijk after founder Lucien Depuydt died. His wife Maria-Anna Reyntjens and his brother-in-law Joseph Versavel assisted him. Later on, also Elie Timmerman joined them. Starting from their office in Kortrijk, the company started to grow and spread around 90 countries across the globe.

In 1949, Barco started developing a multi-standard television that accepted different signal standards, becoming a leader in that field. A jukebox called Barc-O-Matic was sold from 1951. In 1967, it was one of the first European companies to introduce color TV. Building on this, it then entered the professional broadcast market in the late ‘60s, supplying TV monitors to broadcasters.[3]

From the 1960s onwards, Barco branched out into numerous other activities, which included mechanical components for industrial use, and quality control monitoring for the textile and plastics industries. In 1967, Barco became the first European manufacturer to produce transistor-based portable televisions[4].

Barco first entered projection technology in 1979 when it pioneered the development of cathode ray tube (CRT) projection aboard airplanes. Over the following years, it gradually focused solely on professional markets.

In the mid-1980s, Barco became a main projection technology supplier for computer giants IBM, Apple and Hewlett-Packard. In the late 1980s, it entered the Brussels stock market. By 1991, Barco's market share in the graphics projection market alone reached 75%, and the company had established offices across the world, including regional headquarters in the United States and East-Asia.

Through the 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium, Barco developed and marketed new display technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diodes (LED), Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing (DLP), and later, liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). It now covers markets that include media and entertainment, security and monitoring, medical imaging, avionics, 3D and virtual reality, digital cinema, traffic control, broadcast and training and simulation.

In 2018, Barco entered into a joint venture with China Film Group Corporation (CFG), Appotronics and CITICPE to commercialize each company's products and services for the global cinema market excluding mainland China: Cinionic[5]. In Barco's case, this involved the company's cinema projectors.


Barco's Corporate Sustainability Committee, consisting of 13 members, under the leadership of Filip Pintelon, devises an overall sustainability strategy. Under the label "Barco 2020", Barco is currently developing a sustainability plan encompassing three pillars: their people, their community and the planet.

A few achievements:

  • Supplier Sustainability program[6]

  • Health and Safety Arrangements[7]

  • Compliance[8]


  • Barco Graphics was the graphics division of the Belgian Barco Group. It was the result of the 1989 merger of Digitized Information Systems Corporation (D.I.S.C.), Aesthedes and Barco's own "Creative Group".

  • In 1997, Barco acquired EIS (Electronic Image Systems), a manufacturer of CRT projectors for the flight simulation market.[9]

  • In 1998, Barco ETS, now Ucamco acquired Gerber Systems Corp., a manufacturer of plotters and automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems for printed circuit boards.[10]

  • In 1999, it acquired Metheus Corporation, a Tektronix spin-off and manufacturer of professional graphics controllers .[11]

  • In 2004, it acquired Voxar, a 3D medical imaging software company

  • In 2004, it acquired Folsom Research, Inc, whose product lines cover image processing, image communication and image functionality & interactivity.

  • In 2008, it acquired High End Systems, an automated luminaires, digital lighting and lighting controls company

  • In 2010, it acquired Fimi, a company specialized in medical imaging

  • In 2010, it acquired all intellectual property of Element Labs, a manufacturer of LED equipment

  • In 2010, it acquired dZine, a Belgium-based company specialized in Digital signage

  • In 2012, it acquired IP Video Systems, a company specialized in networked visualization

  • In 2012, it acquired JAOtech, a manufacturer of patient entertainment and point-of-care terminals for hospitals,

  • In 2013, it acquired AWIND, a manufacturer of hardware and software for wireless presentation systems

  • In 2013, it acquired projectiondesign, a manufacturer of projection technology

  • In 2014, it acquired X20 Media Inc, an enterprise communication specialist[12]

  • In 2014, it acquired IOSONO GmbH, a 3D audio expert[13]

  • In 2015, it acquired Advan Int'l Corp, a manufacturer of LCD displays

  • In 2016, it acquired Medialon Inc, a US based company[14]

  • In 2016, it acquired MTT Innovation Inc., a Canadian developer of next-generation projection technology (HDR)[15]

  • In 2019, it acquired a 5% stake in Unilumin group. A china based LED manufacturer


  • In 2001, Barco Graphics was acquired by Danish Purup-Eskofot,[17] and renamed Esko-Graphics, which was again renamed Esko in 2006.

  • In 2007, BarcoVision was acquired by Itema Group from Bergamo, Italy.[18]

  • In 2008, Barco sold its Advanced Visualisation (AVIS) group (the previously acquired Voxar)[19] to Toshiba Medical (TMSC).[20]

  • In 2014, Barco divested a wholly owned subsidiary of Barco NV, Barco Orthogon, based in Bremen, Germany, to Exelis.

  • In 2015, Barco's Defense & Aerospace division was sold to US-based Esterline Technologies Corporation (NYSE: ESL).[21]

  • In 2018, Barco's X20 Media was sold to Stratacache. [22]


  • CEO 2016 - Jan de Witte

  • CEO 2008 - 2016 Eric Van Zele

  • CEO 2002 - 2008 Martin De Prycker

  • CEO - 2002 Hugo Vandamme

Active markets

  • Entertainment: cinema, venues and hospitality

  • Enterprise: control rooms, education and meeting rooms

  • Healthcare: diagnostic, surgical and clinical imaging

See also

  • Barco Creator


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