PESA "Firsts" in the A/V Markets


  • PESA receives NAITA Global Trade Excellence Award
  • PESA Xstream Live app wins Best of Show Award at NAB
  • PESA receives Governor’s Trade Excellence Award
  • PESA marks 26 years of support to Winter and Summer Games


  • PESA complies with UCR 2013 for a Closed-VDS
  • PESA introduces first 4K 16×16 router, DVI-Dual Link Vidblox
  • PESA celebrates its 40th Anniversary
  • PESA receives 1st ever DoD UCR certification for its Video Distribution System hardware and software


  • PESA introduces PESA Xstream Digital Streaming Media System; Government Video Salute Award
  • PESA complies with DoD Unified Capabilities Requirements (UCR) 2008 Change 3 for Video Distribution Systems; first manufacturer to submit a System Under Test


  • First HDcctv-Compliant Routing Switcher 16×16


  • First 144×144 Fiber Optic Router for 3G-SDI in 4RU


  • First 576×576 Switcher in 27RU


  • First 864×864 Switcher in 41RU         


  • First 512×512 Switcher in 27RU


  • First RGB/VGA extender and router system using a single fiber or coax cable


  • First Routing Switcher with In-Frame Output Conversion Option


  • First Routing Switcher with Internal Fiber I/O


  • First 200MHz Switcher


  • First 100MHz Switcher addresses both broadcast and wideband
  • Innovative switcher for VGA computer and visual-audio systems


  • NBC Olympics in Seoul Korea including first “virtual matrix mapping” software
  • Included means to bypass and failed input or crosspoint in the entire system


  • First Silicon Hybrid Switcher
  • Included four custom IC’s and seven custom hybrids
  • Revolutionized packaging concepts to reduce frame sizes needed for routing switchers


  • First redundant router controller with automatic changeover

After serving as a communications officer in the Merchant Marines in WWII, Dick Swan majored in communications while studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. After leaving school, he went to work for WGN-TV in Chicago for ten years, where he filmed the White Sox and Cubs games in the early days of television. He worked for several radio stations and travelled to southern California to start his own radio station. He then joined Sarkes Tarzian where he worked as a sales engineer. In 1958, he co-founded General Communications, Inc. While there, he co-invented the vertical integral switching system, which became and remains, the predominant method of switching TV signals in the television broadcasting industry.

When the company was sold in 1961 he returned to work for Sarkes Tarzian and then moved on to become an industry consultant, setting up TV broadcast equipment manufacturers with switching equipment.

Dick Swan and his family moved to Huntsville, Alabama in 1970 to go into partnership with a colleague at American Data Corporation. Though the association was short-lived, it began a long and fulfilling life in Huntsville. In 1973, with his life savings, he started Communications Technology, Inc., with partner and friend, Frank Zimmerman. They manufactured switching equipment for the television industry.

After successfully building the company, they sold it to 3M in 1977.

In those days 3M had a video manufacturing division that developed and sold broadcast-quality videotape recorders, character generators and routing switchers, among several video-related products. The company also made recording tape, including all the sizes used for professional video recording. At one point in the 1980s, the company’s video hardware manufacturing business winnowed down to a successful line of routing switchers, which combined good bandwidth, modest size and reasonable cost. In 1990, a Spanish company called PESA Electronica, which had a very broad line of products, acquired the 3M video manufacturing division, renaming the 3M group to PESA and establishing two companies in the U.S. The name PESA is actually an acronym that combines someone’s name (P.E.) with (S.A.) the European equivalent of “corporation”.

In 2005 the company was sold to a private equity group out of Canada and went through re-branding and a name change to QuStream before returning to the original PESA name and brand which remains today.

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