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Quantel puts production in the cloud

NAB News (Updated): Quantel’s cloud-based edit and review software, QTube is expected to ship shortly after NAB, and could do for content what the Blackberry revolution did for email.

NAB News (Updated):Quantel’s cloud-based edit and review software, QTube is expected to ship shortly after NAB. The company is eyeing use during 2011 broadcast events as well as the 2012 London Olympics. Carolyn Giardina and Dick Hobbs report.

Quantel’s Steve Owen compared it to the Blackberry revolution, which allowed people to stay in email contact wherever they are: “With QTube you are never out of contact with your content,” he explained.

QTube, announced at IBC2010, is aimed at creating a cloud-based global media workflow by allowing media assets to be stored centrally but accessed within seconds from anywhere with an internet connection.

Acknowledging that not all internet connections are equal, Quantel has adapted Microsoft Smooth Streaming adaptive bitrate technology to provide the best quality given the line speed, changing on the fly if necessary. Ordinarily this requires multiple versions of the content to be created in advance, but QTube continually changes bitrate encoding as required.

QTube is being shown with an open API, which supports Apple Live Streaming as well as Microsoft Smooth Streaming, so that anyone on any platform, including a tablet, could access full quality HD and SD content. “QTube needs to be compatible with all of the devices our customers use,” added Owen. At NAB Quantel is demonstrating an iPad client.

“We showed it to quite a lot of broadcasters and interest is very high,” he said. The company has done more than 200 demos of the system since January.

The server side component is QTube Transformer, which bridges the conventional sQ production network and QTube clients, including security and encryption to protect content on the open internet. QTube Edit is an internet-enabled version of the standard Enterprise sQ desktop editor, working on the best quality proxy available and sending only EDLs and any new content back to the server. QTube Browser is a Silverlight viewer, allowing producers or directors to review content anywhere, and edit metadata to add notes.

At NAB Quantel is also showing a range of technologies for broadcast and post, with emphasis on stereoscopic 3D and file-based workflows.

For broadcast, Quantel is featuring: Enterprise sQ with Qube, a new editor; sQ Fileflow, a new workflow application; and Mission 2, the latest version of Quantel’s media asset management system.

“In broadcast, people are looking for 3D upgradeability,” Owen suggested, noting that Enterprise sQ offers 3D capabilities, as does Quantel’s postproduction line. New 3D tools are being shown for broadcast and post, including: GeoFix, offering image analysis to automatically fix camera geometry; and Disparity Checker, for real time measurement of stereo disparity.

In post, enhancements to eQ, iQ and Pablo include Arriraw support for the Alexa and D21 cameras, two-way native DNxHD file interchange and 16 channel audio i/o. The software only Pablo PA is also featured.