aQ Broadcast delivers substantial new firmware enhancements at 2015 #NABShow

Extended operational modes, third-party integration and new functionality boost capabilities and potential applications

aQ Broadcast Limited (Booth N4420b), which designs, develops and manufactures an integrated range of newsroom, scripting, automation and media management software alongside video server and production hardware, is launching version 4.70 of its firmware at NAB Show 2015.

The ‘aVS’ Video Server and ‘aPS’ Production Suite ranges provide innovative and modular hardware platforms that scale from an entry-level, two-output unit to very large, flexible and redundant storage, port and production solutions. Both aVS and aPS share the same underlying firmware, but utilise different configurations and software components. The firmware is under constant development, largely based on customer requirements, and the latest 4.70 version is the culmination of six months’ involvement with a number of new channel launches.

The new firmware provides a wide range of enhancements across both product ranges. There are three new port modes – one allowing multiple ports to be controlled together, even across different servers, another which provides time-lapse record capability and a third that provides internal generation of test signals. Pairs of ports can now be linked to provide graphics insertion or signal conversion, for instance from HD to SD, without requiring separate hardware. Audio metering has been extended and recalibrated. Extensive tally and trigger handling has been added, both internally and externally, including support for third-party TriCaster and ATEM systems. Users are now able to send content directly to YouTube, with the conversion and upload handling taking place automatically in the background. The existing graphics ‘ticker’ handling has been extended to provide support for RSS feeds, allowing items to be monitored, edited and approved before being displayed on-screen. The range of supported formats has been dramatically extended, including new decoding for h.265, Apple, Avid and Google content, plus improved handling for ProRes material. Perhaps most significantly, a brand new operational mode has been added alongside the existing aVS and aPS functionality to offer dynamic multi-viewer capability. This offers a display output consisting of multiple elements – separate video sources, timing information, tally indication, text messages, etc. – reflecting different elements involved in a current production. Each element can be managed separately and remotely, for instance as a way of providing a countdown or a prompt for the presenter, in order to provide live updates during a live program.

aQ Broadcast CEO Neil Hutchins said, “We have been involved in several large projects with different customers over the last few months and this new firmware demonstrates our commitment to delivering functionality that users have suggested for their particular environments.

“The concept of using one version of firmware across our various product ranges ensures that we can develop new functionality once and then deliver it on multiple platforms at the same time. It is also very important to us that we maintain the underlying concept of multi-user access within the firmware, enabling different users from different workstations to share limited resources within a single system.”

The aVS Video Server and aPS Production Suite can be seen running with the new firmware on Booth N4420b at NAB Show 2015.

About aQ Broadcast:

aQ Broadcast Limited was established in 2013 after a management buyout of the workflow division of Autocue and is now the only British company to design, develop, build and support scripting, newsroom, automation and media management software alongside video server and production suite hardware. aQ Broadcast is headquartered in the Thames Valley, UK, with a US office based in Boston.

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