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DIRECTV Places Multi-Million Dollar Order With Quantel

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DIRECTV has placed a multi-million dollar order with Quantel for a full Enterprise sQ server-based sports production system for its Red Zone Channel.
The Red Zone Channel, an exclusive DIRECTV service available to NFL Sunday Ticket customers who subscribe to the Superfan option, delivers big plays and significant moments from NFL games as they happen.
The system comprises five Enterprise sQ servers that are controlled by Quantel’s sQ Record and sQ Play ingest and playout automation stations. Browsing the material on the Enterprise sQ server is done in low res at the ten sQ View and ten sQ Edit stations. These will form part of the general DIRECTV network and make shot selection an easy job, ready for refining on the six sQEdit Plus HD craft editors. The complete system environment is based on Quantel’s own database management system ISA (Integrated Server Architecture), which locks browse and broadcast material together under a single system-wide database.
"The decision to use Quantel was made easy because the technology fit our needs and Quantel understands close-to-air sports production as well as anyone,” said Chris Homer, Senior Director, Los Angeles Broadcast Center, DIRECTV, Inc. "The edit stations can handle both SD and HD footage on the same timeline and the playout server handles mixed resolutions beautifully."
The Enterpriser sQ server system will be closely integrated with Dixon Sports Computing and will allow DIRECTV to track multiple, simultaneous NFL games. The most exciting scores and plays can be broadcast as they happen or saved on the server for future playout. Meanwhile editors can make highlights packages on the fly. Future plans for the system include interactive NASCAR coverage where the viewers can choose which driver to follow through multiple in-car cameras. Installation starts at the end of May 2007.
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