The Quicklink Mini

The Quicklink Mini offers a high-quality video uplink solution for live newsgathering and online coverage of events. With a 15 secs boot time, it has been designed to meet the needs of broadcasters who are constantly on the move. Weighing at less than 750grams, the Mini provides portability and flexibility. The Mini Encoder has optimised profiles to be used on the satellite networks and automatically adjusts resolution to maximize quality. Automatic detection and direct remote control of the BGAN HDR terminal ensures the encoder is simple to operate.

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Key Features

  • 15 seconds boot time
  • Up to 8 bonded connections
  • Simple to operate and direct remote control
  • Optimises quality on lower bandwidths
  • Supports standard Windows drivers for 3G/WG/WiMAX

 

Product Summary

The Quicklink Mini provides the most advanced bonding technologies offering the highest quality output with the lowest delay. Through innovation, research & development and customer feedback we have designed the Mini. With the ability to transmit SDI/HDMI via bonded 3G/4G, bonded satellite, ADSL, Wi-Fi, Inmarsat BGAN, Thuraya IP & Ka direct to your newsroom, the Mini offers a complete mobile solution.

Satellite Optimised

Optimisation and Adaptive Mode on our advanced software ensures that the Mini offers reliability and robust performance by compensating for any satellite degradation. The encoder automatically adjusts to CIF resolution if needed to maximise picture quality on lower bandwidths. The Mini encoder also automatically detects and remote controls the BGAN HDR terminals.

Performance and Reliability

Faster optimisation of bandwidth and adaptive Forward Error Correction algorithms ensures a robust performance on all connected network types. The Quicklink Mini Encoder bonds up to 8 bonded connections, including four optional internal cellular modems, Wi-Fi, a LAN connection and two external USB ports.

Simple to Operate

The 2.4” LCD resistive touchscreen offers ‘plug and play’ capability with a single button press to transmit. All software version upgrades and technological improvements are continuously available to ensure that the product remains ahead of the game. The unit supports standard Windows drivers thus no custom drivers need to be developed.

Direct Remote Access

The encoder can be accessed directly via the desktop interface or remote accessed directly via mobile devices such as IPad, iPhone, Android or Windows tablets. On location live preview of video is available for confidence monitoring.

Smooth and Reliable Video

Transmission remains full frame throughout the adaptive bandwidth range. This ensures a video transmission that is smooth and natural. Quicklink has a user selectable delay from sub 1 secs up to 30 secs. The delay time is fixed which means that the interviewer is in control of the situation and there are no surprise responses from the field.

Fast and Efficient

Incorporating full frame motion experience, adaptive bit rate with full Real Time Optimisation (RTO) and Quicklink‘s proprietary advanced error concealment. Quicklink supports High Profile Encoding, which provides much higher quality video than Main Profile Encoders.

Flexibility of Use

The Quicklink Merlin Encoder is small enough to fit either on the back of a camera or attached to a belt allowing flexibility of movement to the operator whilst working in extreme environments.

Durable & Dependable

Designed for durability, the Mini incorporates our toughest solid-state encoder with fully welded seams. Built to last in even the most extreme environments.

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  • 15 secs boot time
  • Bonds up to 8 multiple network connections
  • HEVC Software Field upgradable as future option
  • Reliable performance with Adaptive Forward error corrections algorithms
  • SD/HD SDI and HDMI inputs
  • Low latency IFB 75 ms
  • Inmarsat BGAN HDR Integration, optimisation + control
  • CIF to full HD resolution
  • Auto detection of input sources
  • User selectable delay from sub 1 secs up to 30 secs
  • Bandwidth-smoothing for optimal network performance and packet re-ordering feature
  • Remote control from mobile devices, all web browsers supported
  • Quick button to manually disable cellular modems if required

Technical Specifications for the Quicklink Mini

Video Video inputs SDI Video Input 1 x 10 bit HD / SD (BNC) HDMI
SD video formats 625/25 PAL, 525/29.97 NTSC and 525/23.98 NTSC
HD video formats 720p50, 720p59.94, 720p60, 1080PsF23.98, 1080p23.98, 1080PsF24, 1080p24,  1080PsF25, 1080p25, 1080PsF29.97, 1080p29.97, 1080PsF30, 1080p30, 1080i50, 1080i59.94 and 1080i60
Video sampling 4:2:2 and 4:2:0
Colour precision & space 8 bit and 10 bit, 4:2:0 YUV , 4:2:2 YUV
Video encoder MPEG-4 Video part 10 (AVC/H.264), Baseline, Main and High Profile H.264 video codec including proprietary codec enhancement. HEVC upgradable
SDI compliance SMPTE 292M, SMPTE 259M, SMPTE 296M, SMPTE 372M, ITU-R BT.656 andITU-R
 Audio Audio inputs SDI Embedded Audio, HDMI
Audio sampling Television standard sample rate of 48 kHz and 24 bit
Audio encoder 2 audio codecs, LC-AAC 16Kbps to 320 Kbps, AAC-HE2 12Kbps to 56Kbps
Audio Talkback IFB 1 X Analogue 3.5mm Jack Audio IFB. Optional Bluetooth Talkback connectors
 Network Network support Wi-Fi, Ethernet x 1, ,Satellite, Thuraya, BGAN, VSAT and Ka Band. Dual Ethernet via optional USB adapter
SupportedTechnologies LTE, HSPA+, HSDPA, HSUPA, CDMA EVDO, Rev 0, Rev A, UMTS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g & n
 Hardware Input / Output ports 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Solid state disk mSATA 128GB standard (upgrade options available to 256GB)
LTE Modems 4 industrial LTE multiband modems (optional)
Antennae Custom High Gain antenna (optional)
 Physical Control Full web based remote control. 2.4” LCD touchscreen
GUI Simple, easy to use web page control and single button touch screen with Video status with Audio level indicators
Size 178mm x 139mm x 58mm
Weight 735g
PowerRequirement 9V ~ 26 V full range DC input 100 ~230V via power transformer (supplied) 12V car charge available as option
Battery operation Choice of Sony V-lock, Anton Bauer or PAG battery connectors. Operating time 1 hours depending on operation

Introduction

The 5th December 2014 marked the anniversary of the passing of former South African president, Nelson Mandela.

 

Problem

Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life, lies approximately 6km from Cape Town harbour. The challenge that lay ahead of eNCA was to transport their equipment and successfully stream quality live footage with limited cellular coverage. eNCA needed a small and lightweight portable solution as well as sufficient internet connectivity to support a quality live broadcast transmission.

 

Solution

Broadcast Deliveries Manager, Sean Thomas explains why the Quicklink Mini was selected by eNCA as the device of choice:

“The portability of the unit is one of the most important aspects because we had to access the island by ferries and we were limited on space. We used the Quicklink Mini, a small battery system, a small camera and a small tripod, the less equipment we had on the boat the better. We had to move around the island so the portability and ease of use of the unit was fantastic.”

 

Results

By using the Quicklink Mini, eNCA were able to cover all the live breaking news broadcasts from Robben Island. They were mobile enough to scout the location for the best signal and deliver quality results. Sean Thomas explains:

“The signal areas are quite patchy on Robben Island but this is to be expected. However, we achieved 3-4mbps transmissions with the Quicklink Mini with just 4 Sims.”

Sean continues: “It’s really simple to use, the training is minimal, and our cameraman after a 15 minute introduction could go out and operate it without a problem.”

Bethan Hill from Quicklink said

“eNCA were able to increase their ratings due to broadcasting live from a remote area, their competitors struggled in achieving anything similar. This is a great example of what broadcasters are looking for when broadcasting live and this proves that Quicklink technology is up to the task.”

The Quicklink Mini is part of a line of hardware encoders provided by Quicklink and has become a part of the broadcaster’s essential equipment list. For more information about the Mini and Quicklink, click the button below.

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eNCA broadcasts live from Robben Island using the Quicklink Mini

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The Quicklink Mini (click images to enlarge)