IBC: Quantel Postproduction Technology Maker Rebranded As SAM

Quantel — the U.K.-headquartered technology developer best known in Hollywood as the maker of the Pablo Rio postproduction system, widely used at facilities including Fotokem — was merged with broadcast technology developer Snell roughly 18 months ago, and now the combined company has been rebranded as SAM, an acronym for Snell Advanced Media.

Announced as the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) got underway in Amsterdam, the company said all products remain available and the Quantel name – widely recognized in postproduction circles – is part of the newly named Quantel Rio, which is being demonstrated at IBC with features including 8K resolution and high dynamic range.

Most of the business' products are used by broadcasters, but CEO Tim Thorsteinson – who joined the company last March – said it’s not abandoning postproduction, adding it's “a stable business and we have a loyal customer base. We plan to continue R&D and stay in that business.”

To that end, the company’s investor, private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital, recently put $22 million into the business as part of three-year growth plan. Company-wide, R&D investment has been increased by roughly 15 percent.

Commenting that the Quantel and Snell brands had strong reputations, but also had a reputation for being high priced and somewhat closed, Thorsteinson said: “Our goal is to be more open, for instance in storage, and be more approachable from a price standpoint — more competitive.”