Is Quantel gear more affordable than you think? If WFMZ Allentown, Pa., could afford to go all-digital with Quantel, maybe it is.
The station has added one six-port sQ video server, four newly launched Qedit edit/ingest stations, and a mixture of 14 Qcut and Qview workstations.
"We never thought we could afford Quantel," says Chief Engineer Brian DeWalt. "But, when we sat down and put the numbers together and saw what we could do with the technology, it made sense." The station spent approximately $350,000 on the system.
The perception of Quantel's equipment as outrageously expensive is based on its historical emphasis on the post-production community. Its customers used post-production suites, which meant high-priced hourly rates.
Today, Quantel wants to change that perception, particularly on the broadcast side.
For DeWalt, the new system allows the station to save personnel costs by improving workflow. Two of the QEdit ingest workstations will be installed at the station's news bureau in Reading, Pa. Feeds are sent back to the station using Internet Protocol and microwave technology links that are part of Quantel's Split Remote system. Split Remote connects twin video servers and allows them to share the same footage using one database.
Two tools will be used by the station's journalists. Qview is intended for basic viewing and shot selection; it has VTR-like controls, including play, stop, jog, and shuttle. It's designed for looking at feeds, helping select shots, and giving final approval of stories.
Qcut, on the other hand, is a product editor that removes the need for layers of menus.
DeWalt considers Frame Magic an important feature of Quantel's approach. The sQ server treats every frame of video as an individual entity rather than as part of a larger file. So when an edit is made between two clips of video, Frame Magic considers it an instruction to read all the selected frames in the new edited order.
"File management is greatly simplified," says DeWalt. "It allows for unused digitized video to be deleted without losing relevant video and audio, allowing us to run as lean with our server." DeWalt also says generationQ networks easily with the station's script and automation systems.
The station will also use new features included in Quantel's Version2 of its generationQ software. Version 2 provides improved background push and pull of media file exchange. It also uses Microsoft Windows Media 9 and Apple QuickTime to help with content review.
"Version2 offers notable performance gains that translate into real productivity advances," says Quantel Marketing Director Nigel Turner. "An iQ system running Version2 on the latest hardware, shows performance improvements between 75% and 250% compared with the previous version—a boost for productivity."
New editing features include complex trim and custom transitions and transition maker. Shipping now, Version2 for generationQ is available as an upgrade for users of iQ, eQ, gQ, QEdit Pro, QPaintbox Pro, Qeffects, and QPaintbox.