Quantel + Snell: New Workflows and Expanded Customer Base
COW Library : NAB Show : Kylee Peña : Quantel + Snell: New Workflows and Expanded Customer Base
With a vision to combine and expand their vision and product line, Quantel and Snell announced new and advanced features in their routing and switching products that bring price points down while raising levels of intelligent automation and playout for broadcasters.
Quantel and Snell's brand new CEO Tim Thorsteinson (joking that the company really needed a single name soon, and not "Snell-tel") discussed customer's need for future proofing. "There is an ever-increasing demand for more channels and services for increasingly fragmented audiences, and broadcasters need solutions that enable them to achieve this without increasing costs. Our whole philosophy is based on future-proofing our customers' investments, helping them to transition to the full benefits of the IP and 4K future without the cost and disruption of complete infrastructure replacement." Undoubtedly expanding the customer base is important to future proof Quantel and Snell as well.
IP Routing and Switching
As they drive the transition to IP routing in broadcasting (that is, rather than SDI routing in the past), Quantel brought new updates to their Kahuna switcher, including hybrid processing that allows video and audio signals to run inside the routing switcher, reducing the number of ins and outs being used, which in turn reduces space and power needs for switching. These Kahuna 9600, 4400, and 4800 switchers operate with the only modular control surface available. And the switchers fit in where traditionally SDI was used, allowing customers to transition with minimal cost and disruption to operations.
Snell is also demonstrating interoperability between the Artel DigiLink DLC450 HD-SDI video over IP Gateway and Snell's IP routing solution, demonstrating SMPTE2022-6 interoperability – something many broadcasters regards as critical to the success of IP routing in a multi-vendor world.
Software Solutions and New Formats
Continuing to embrace the need for 8K in a growing number of production workflows, Quantel's software and infrastructure is built for high end editorial and playout needs. While many of these 8K workflows currently focus on sports programming, Quantel believes it showcases their ability to handle 4K by leaping over it entirely.
Neil Maycock, VP Marketing added that "everyone is talking about 4K so we figured we'd get ahead of the curve and talk 8K." While he was half joking, Quantel's previously announced 8K 60p Pablo Rio system is no joke, with the ability to work with 5 gigaBYTES per second stream, offering real time editorial for the most high end needs.
Additionally in software solutions, Snell's On Demand was updated with Alchemist OD and Quasar OD. These format and frame rate converters integrate into file-based workflows and utilize adaptive cadence technology to intelligently convert frame rates and standards at the highest level.
And with Quantel GO, a new web-based (OS agnostic) access point can be used for accessing all Quantel's products, including the ability to search, subclip and browse remotely. This goes hand in hand with QTube Edit client, making full editing available remotely over even the lowest internet connection speeds.
And with new third party integration announced, Quantel's products can now be used as a back end for software like Adobe Premiere Pro, which vastly expands the potential uses from just high end broadcast.
New Advancements in Control, Monitoring, and Automation
A big part of Quantel's product family is master control and automation, which makes a big price drop in the Enterprise sQ system a big deal. Enterprise sQ and revolutionQ, industry leading multi-user sports and news servers used to manage everything from fast ingest to playout, are seeing a 40-60% decrease in cost depending on configuration.
"Quantel has a reputation for being expensive," said Quantel and Snell VP Marketing, Neil Maycock. "The launch of the new sQ servers has given us the opportunity to relook at every aspect of our pricing, and the new price points are now highly competitive with any other system in the market – with better performance guaranteed.
The company's ICE Master Control recently saw a hardware control surface upgrade, which has been enhanced even further in recent months with feedback from power users. Quantel's Morpheus allows for highly reactive programming with direct control of ICE and routing infrastructure.
The new Schedule Data Miner allows logic to be inserted to an automation playlist. For example, the system can intelligently generate "coming up next" graphic overlays by looking ahead to content and determining the frames and language to use, minimizing operator error. With Momentum media asset management, there is new support for archival and multichannel audio, with Active Directory support for an organization's centralized IT security policies.
Quantel also announced the release of Media Biometrics, an intelligent monitoring technology to identify problems and inconsistencies in streams. This allows broadcast operations to scale to support multiple channels and versions to address an increasingly fragmented audience, but without scaling costs too. Media Biometrics can watch for things like the absence of a logo at playout, or lip-sync and audio channel mapping for consistency.
Bringing It Together for the Future
When asked for his vision for Quantel and Snell at NAB 2016,Thorsteinson suggested that at five weeks into his new gig, his vision was more of a "hallucination," – but Quantel is very comfortable with where they currently stand in the market. Jokes aside (including "I've run so many companies in this industry I have a punch card – after the next one I get a free dinner") clearly Thorsteinson is aggressively leading Quantel and Snell into a future where the company is growing into markets it previously hasn't touched, which is great news for anyone that needs products with a solid reputation behind them.
In expanding third party support and reducing prices for enterprise level servers, and making software like Pablo Rio a real choice in editorial, Quantel and Snell are definitely looking to be on many more short lists for all levels of broadcasters and post production facilities.