Technology

IBC 2009: Quantel Tackles News, Sports Workflows

Unveils new ingest product, integration with Final Cut and EVS 9/11/2009 08:28:00 AM Eastern

IBC
Amsterdam 2009: Complete Coverage of the IBC Show

U.K.-based
editing, effects and storage supplier Quantel used IBC to show off improvements
to its file-based production workflows and new integration with third-party
products.

The
company's new "sQ Load" application for its sQ server-based news and sports
production systems provides fast, central ingest of Sony's XDCAM HD, Panasonic
P2 and other file-based acquisition media. It allows operators to choose
anything from a complete disk to a single shot for ingest, and provides
renaming facilities so that metadata, which is often missing when video is
rushed in from the field, can be added at the ingest stage.

 

Quantel gallery

Quantel
was demonstrating sQ Load at IBC by showing by showing fast, central ingest of
XDCAM HD material into sQ server systems. The sQ system generates low-bit-rate,
browse-quality video as the high-bit-rate file is being imported by sQ Load,
which means that new material is available to everyone on all sQ desktop and
craft-editing workstations, even while it is being ingested.

 

Integrating Final Cut Pro

At IBC 2009, Quantel was also demonstrating new integration of Apple's Final
Cut Pro nonlinear editing system into the sQ server environment into the
Quantel sQ server News and Sports production environment.

The Quantel Final Cut Pro Gateway, which is shipping now, allows Final Cut Pro
to be totally integrated into the sQ workflow in the same way as Quantel's own
editing systems.

"It's the
same workflow Quantel editors have," says Quantel director of marketing Steve
Owen. "So everything you can do with our editors, you can do with Final Cut
Pro."

Advantages
of the Final Cut integration include "expanding clips" capability, which
allows the editing of clips that are still being recording; instant publishing
of finished edits; and the ability to start an edit on a journalist's desktop
using Quantel's low-bit-rate editors and then finish the project in Final Cut.

Virtual Files

Quantel
has also introduced "file-system virtualization technology" for reducing the
complexity inherent in managing multiple versions of a piece of content, such
as an HD, SD and low-bit-rate Flash version. Quantel's virtualization
technology breaks the link between a file address and the actual data and
allows an address to refer to a "virtual file," which hasn't yet been created
and doesn't have data.

So any HD
clip could have a virtual SD version that is only created as it is needed, when
a user requests it. Because the data is created on-the-fly, it can be
manipulated as part of the creation process, so an HD asset can be accessed in
SD or Flash without creating and storing physical SD and Flash files. Quantel
is showing the virtualization technology at IBC using Quicktime and Flash
files.

"The data
doesn't exist until the file is accessed, so you avoid creating multiple files
with each edit," explains Owen. "We're never going to make a file until you
want it."

Quantel
is using the file-virtualization technology as part of its new integration with
EVS servers, which are used widely in major sports productions. EVS has
recently adopted the Panasonic DVCPRO HD Codec. The Panasonic codec is now
natively supported by EVS production servers, and that enables its XT[2] and
the XS production servers to offer extended workflow capabilities and smoother
content exchange with Quantel sQ production systems.

The
exchange between EVS and Quantel is based on MXF OP1A file transfer, which can
be managed manually or automatically depending on the system configuration. An
EVS operator working with EVS' IPDirector production content management
software can now create clips on the XS server and make them instantly
available on Quantel central storage for editing on the Quantel sQ production
system.  EVS metadata such as logging and descriptive information, which
are created by the IPDirector operator and associated with the clips, are
imported and referenced in the Quantel database. Once created on the Quantel sQ
production system, the media is instantly available for playout or can easily
be moved back to the EVS XS server for playout.

The Quantel operator exports the media as an MXF
OP1A file on a central storage platform connected to EVS systems.  The EVS
XTAccess gateway application scans the folder and automatically imports the
file to the EVS XS server.  The media can be played out instantly and as
soon as the transfer begins on the XS server.

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