sQ Server

sQ Server

Trusted range of high-performance video production servers


Media production server

The sQ Server is a compact unit containing all the components required for acquiring, storing and managing content in a shared production workflow. The unique Vibe workflow is built around this combination of functions managed within a single component. The sQ Sever is supplied in two variants, one with internal storage and the other which supports one or more external storage units. They are known as sQ 1200 and sQ 1800 respectively.

sQ Servers

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 contains three such RAIDS combined 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 Servers

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

Care Support

24/7 Worldwide support icon

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 are smaller, more powerful and lower cost
  • 3G SDI, 16 channel audio, more storage, more disk bandwidth
  • Cost is approximately 40% lower than previous generation
  • New servers extend life of Enterprise sQ systems providing opportunities for future system growth

New Features

  • 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
  • All software codecs - easily supports more formats in the future
  • 10G or 4x1G Ethernet Network
  • Easier integration into modern IT


  • Uses 12G SAS controller and the latest SAS drives
  • 8x Storage in 2/3 space
  • 3x disk performance than previous generation
  • sQ 1200 has internal storage around 200 HD hours*
  • sQ 1800 has external (2U) storage around 600 HD hours* per array
  • Up to 4 arrays per server for a massive 2,400 HD hours* per sQ1800

Server Options

  • Up to 12 ports I/O
  • AVC Intra, XAVC Intra and 1080p
  • MPEG-1 or H.264 browse
  • sQ 1200 provides 200 HD hours internal storage
  • sQ 1800 provides 600 HD hours per sQ SAS array, up to 4 arrays (2400 HD hours)


  • 3RU
  • Front Loading
  • Individual card cooling
  • sQ 1200 has Internal SAS storage
  • Dual redundant hot swap PSUs
  • Simple back panel layout

Main System Connections

sQ SAS Array

  • External storage array providing up to 600 HD hours*
  • 24 x 1.8TB enterprise class SAS drives
  • Raid 30: 3 x (7+1 parity)
  • 12Gb SAS Interface
  • Dual PSU
  • Up to 4 sQ SAS arrays per sQ server providing 2,400 HD hours*
  • Easily expand storage capacity by adding more sQ SAS arrays - No restriping required
  • Mix and match latest 1.8TB drive arrays with previous 900GB drive arrays

Formats and Standards Supported

  • SD-SDI, HD-SDI & 3G
  • HD Formats - all in 50/59.94Hz):
    • XAVC Intra Class 50 & 100: 720p, 1080i, 1080p
    • AVC Intra Class 50 & 100: 720p, 1080i, 1080p
    • AVC Intra Class 100 1080p
    • DVCPRO HD: 720p, 1080i
  • SD Formats:
    • IMX 30/40/50 Mbit: 625i (50Hz), 525i (59.94Hz)
    • DVCPRO 25/50: 525i59.94, 625i50
  • Unrestricted mixed format on playout
  • LBR Codecs
    • MPEG-1 (1.5Mbit) or MPEG-4/H.264 (2.5Mbit)
* HD hours = AVCI 100Mb/s + 8ch 24bit 48KHz audio

Comparison Table

Feature sQ 800 sQ 1200  sQ 1800 
Size 8U plus 3U per array 3U 3U plus 2U per array
Storage  External, max
400 hrs  
Internal, 200
HD hrs
External, max
2,400 HD hrs
Video parts  Up to 12 Up to 8  Up to 12 
3G SDI  No Yes  Yes 
Max audio channels  8 16  16 
Disk bandwidth  100% (Single FC array) 120%  290% 
Browse create  Real time 2-3 x real time per Engine,multiple Engines 
Network  4 x 1 Gb Ethernet Dual 10 G Ethernet or Quad 1Gb Ethernet
Video formats  SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p 
Compression IMX, DVCPRO,
AVCI Class 50
and Class 100
Class 50 and
Class 100
Class 50 and
Class 100
Codec technology Dedicated and DSP Software Software


Find out more

Contact us