sQ Server

sQ Server

Trusted range of high-performance video production servers


Overview of sQ server

The broadcasting landscape has never been so competitive and full of opportunities for true media innovators. Today there are more ways to reach more people on more devices, in many more places. SAM is the perfect partner to help you to fully realize these opportunities – with file-based workflows in SD, HD or UHD. We have enormous experience in helping forward-looking broadcasters around the world deliver great news, sports, home shopping – in fact any fast- turnaround programming. The sQ video server distributes high quality broadcast content across an array of delivery platforms quickly and efficiently.

SAM’s integrated production systems with sQ at the heart, are in daily use across the globe with leading media organizations for regional, national and international production. The BBC, ESPN, Fox, TV2 (Norway), News Express (India), TRK (Ukraine), QVC, Botswana TV, NDR, ERTU (Egypt), NRK, BSkyB, Australian News Channel, WDR and Channel 7 are just a few of the organizations who have built their businesses on SAM Enterprise sQ.

Media production server

The sQ Server is a compact 3RU video storage server containing all the components required for acquiring, storing and managing content in a shared production workflow.

sQ Server RU

The sQ Sever is supplied in two variants, one with internal storage and the other which supports one or up to four external storage units. They are known as sQ 1200 and sQ 1800 respectively.

 sQ 1200 and sQ 1800

The sQ 1200 and sQ 1800 are otherwise functionally identical, supporting the full range of workflows. The sQ 1200 contains a single RAID set of 7 data and I parity disks. The sQ 1800 uses external SAS eBOD and contains 24 disks split across three RAID sets in a RAID 30 arrangement. RAID 30 is specifically designed for high-bandwidth file transfers and high availability, as demanded by video production systems. The servers and RAID units have dual power supplies and the disks are hot-swappable.

sQ Zoning

sQ servers are configured into resilient production units, called ‘Zones’. A Zone may be built of one or more sQ 1200 or sQ 1800 units, to provide scaling of ingest and output ports, bandwidth to support editing workstations and video storage capacity.

A Zone is managed by a resilient management unit we call an ‘ISA Manager’ (ISA = Integrated Server Architecture), which is a Windows application running on a dedicated pair of resilient servers, as shown above.

Production systems requiring extensive video handling may be constructed with multiple Zones for additional resilience. Communications between the ISA Managers ensures that users have access to all content across the Zones.

The sQ Server is a production unit, designed to work with moving images and sound. It is engineered to work within an IT infrastructure, but it understands media.

A scaled solution requires both broadcast quality files and an associated proxy (H.264) to be created simultaneously and managed as strictly and carefully as the synchronisation between pictures and sound. This is a key function of the sQ server and the associated ISA Manager; both qualities of media are guaranteed to remain locked together. An editing selection made in one is instantly and automatically conformed in the other.

The sQ server lays down the media on the RAID storage, with every frame (or group of frames) identifiable. This is the key to the speed of editing provided by SAM VIBE.

sQ Servers are the video interface for SAM VIBE

SAM’s sQ server technology has always led the world for ease of use, speed and reliability. We’ve built SAM VIBE to carry these values and the sQ server is at the heart of this. In order to meet the demands of the changing environment and to remain competitive, content creators need a production system which can place content in front of their entire audience. They need a solution built for the speed of the web and built on the technology of the web.

SAM VIBE uses sQ Servers when a realtime video interface is required, whether for recording or playback. They are complemented in VIBE by generic IT storage, handling content in every size and format in a unified workflow.

How to buy Datasheet

Care Support

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Securing overall performance is essential to maintaining end-user satisfaction, which in turn results in sustaining and growing revenue. It is important to take steps to limit the risk of incidents taking place through fault prevention and planning and, if incidents do occur, to ensure that downtime is as short as possible.

To ensure you get the most from your investment, SAM offers comprehensive support packages to suit your needs. Built on a foundation of over 30 years’ experience in supporting broadcast and post-production systems, SAM Care provides a highly skilled 24x7 technical help desk, committed response times, software maintenance support and operates a worldwide spare parts service from over 20 warehouse locations across the globe.

Find out more about our support

sQ Series 1000 Overview

  • 100% compatible with existing sQ Servers
  • sQ 1000 series is the most compact video server for 12 SDI ports
  • 3G 16 channel audio
  • New servers extend life of Enterprise sQ systems providing opportunities for future system growth
  • 16 channel audio support
  • SDI recordings, file ingest, editors, SDI playout and file export
  • 2.5x faster than realtime for file ingests and delta frames
  • Software based codecs - format future proof
  • Dual 10G or 4x1G Ethernet Network
  • Easy migration to IT infrastructure via sQ FileFlow
  • MXF, MOV, MP4, H.264 file wrapper support via sQ FileFlow

New Features

  • 12G SDI, 16 channel audio
  • XDCAM HD LongGOP 50/35Mbps codec
  • UHD 2160p 50/59.94hz
  • XAVCi Class 300 600Mbps codec


  • Uses 6G SAS controller and the latest SAS drives
  • 8x Storage in 2/3 space than previous generation of sQ
  • 3x disk performance than previous generation of sQ
  • sQ 1200 has internal storage around 200 HD hours1 or 38 UHD hours2
  • sQ 1800 has external (2U) storage around 600 HD hours1 per array
  • Up to 4 arrays per server for a massive 2,400 HD hours1 per sQ1800

Server Options

  • Up to 12x 3G ports I/O
  • Up to 4x 12G ports I/O
  • AVC Intra, XAVC Intra and 1080p
  • MPEG-1 or H.264 browse

Software Option - sQ Record

  • sQ Record supports direct recording from SDI feeds, including VTRs via RS422 control
  • sQ Record provides automatic recording according to preset times
  • sQ Record creates broadcast quality clips and automatic proxies

Software Option - sQ Play

  • sQ Play manages up to four channels of playout with options to integrate with NRCS via MOS gateway
  • sQ Play is driven directly from its host PC or via a dedicated on-air control panel

Software Option - sQ Load

  • sQ Load is a desktop bulk ingest tool for loading P2, XDCAM, XDCAM EX and XAVC files
  • sQ Load ingests content in batches and converts according to sQ preferred format

Software Option - Editing

  • sQ Cut is a simple desktop editor for basic story telling in news and sports
  • Qube is available as a turnkey or software solution for editng and finishing for SD, HD and UHD


Comparison Table

Feature sQ 1200  sQ 1800 
Size 3U 3U plus 2U per array
Storage  Internal,
max 200 HD hrs or
max 38 UHD hrs
600 HD hrs1 per array.
Max 2,400 HD hrs
External Storage array 0 Up to 4
Video ports  Up to 12 (3G), 4 (12G)  Up to 12 (3G
3G SDI  Yes  Yes 
12G SDI Yes No
HDD Disks Yes Yes
SSD Disks Yes No
Max audio channels  16  16 
Disk bandwidth
(In comparisson to sQ 800)
120%  290% 
Browse create  2-3 x real time per Engine,multiple Engines 
Network  Dual 10 G Ethernet or Quad 1Gb Ethernet
Video formats  SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2160p SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p 
Compression IMX, DVCPRO,
Class 50, 
Class 100, Class 300
and DNxHD
Class 50, Class 100
and DNxHD


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