QSC has announced it is decoupling existing Q-SYS software from its proprietary hardware, shifting from standalone DSP hardware to a scalable, standards-based IT platform.
An industry-first technology demonstration will take place at ISE, with an existing fourth generation Q-SYS software on a standard high-performance Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 server. QSC believes this is the future of the market where larger installations utilise centralised data centre processing, and an area of development the rest of the industry will follow.
TJ Adams, director of installed systems product marketing at QSC revealed that there is no product to sell as of yet, but the company is looking at a release date near the end of 2017.
This move means processing intensive features such as AEC and feedback suppression can now become a shared resource for any meeting room across the enterprise. This, combined with a portfolio of cost-effective meeting room I/O peripherals, allows users to reliably distribute content and control using existing IT network infrastructure.
QSC believes this announcement marks something of a landmark moment and will help to ready the industry for the IT/AV landscape of the future.
Moving to standard mainstream server hardware reflects a typical enterprise IT environment and provides several benefits, particularly for corporate environments and global enterprises.
“The shift from dedicated hardware to centrally deployed software solutions for video, audio, and control systems makes perfect sense,” explained Saar Litman senior analyst at Wainhouse Research. “Today’s AV managers work within the IT department, and they expect solutions that behave like IT solutions in terms of scalability, extensibility, manageability, and integration with existing IT tools. The technology demonstration by QSC at ISE is directly in line with this migration from hardware to software.”
“We expect these kinds of systems to become the norm for corporate and larger scale enterprise installations in the future,” said Adams. “By running the existing field-hardened Q-SYS software on a standard Dell EMC server, users have full backwards compatibility and can expand capabilities of their system by merely adding flexible and inexpensive I/O meeting room end points, such as the recently announced I/O-8 Flex Channel Expander. If localised processing is required in the meeting room, our range of medium-sized to smaller Unified and Integrated Cores, including the new Q-SYS Core 510i processor, fit seamlessly into the design.
“Furthermore, we work hard to leverage existing, widely accepted technologies when it makes the most sense, such as using Linux as the basis for our Q-SYS software stack, in effect creating an AVC Real-time Operating System (RTOS).”
QSC will continue to expand Q-SYS to provide standards-based in-room solutions that are flexible and simple to deploy and manage; including PTZ-IP conference cameras, lower channel count Core processors, I/O peripherals, bridges and streaming hardware.
“We are delighted to collaborate with QSC to enable the future of audio, video and control platforms,” said Ron Pugh, VP and general manager for Americas OEM solutions, Dell EMC. “We have been delivering high performance, highly reliable enterprise IT and server solutions for decades, and we recognise the value of organisations like QSC to innovate at the software layer, using our IT-proven enterprise server platforms to deliver the architecture and solution set the IT customer expects.”
“As AV and IT departments move toward a unified IT-centric organisation, managers are being told that audio, video and control are now under their care and expect standardised enterprise-class platforms that cost effectively scale,” said Joe Pham, president and CEO of QSC. “By integrating a malleable software-based AVC platform with powerful Dell EMC standard servers, our technology demonstration at ISE highlights an inevitable shift in our industry to standards-based IT platforms.”