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Prism Sound Brings Time Savings And Test Gains To Quantel

Prism Sounds' dScope Series III test and measurement system is the toast of Quantel, having delivered significant savings in time, while optimising the company's all-important testing process.

Mark Whyle, Quantel’s Test and QA Manager, explains that when originally considering whether to invest in the dScope Series III, a key attraction was the amount of time the instrument would help save in carrying out AES digital audio testing on Quantel’s multi-port server systems.

“Once we commissioned the new automated dScope system, which includes multi-channel switching capabilities and instant test reports, we saved a considerable number of man hours,” he adds. “This alone would have been reason enough to choose the dScope, but its user friendly interface and straightforward operation have also proved a real bonus.”

Whyle estimates that the benefits to Quantel of using an automated audio test system equates to enough time saved during the testing procedure to build and test one extra server per month, per person.

The dScope system is now used on every sQ server built at Quantel, explains Quantel’s Senior Test Engineer Matthew Pearton. “Every port on our servers has the capability to ingest and/or output 8 channels of AES digital audio on both balanced and unbalanced interfaces. That all needs testing - and with up to 12 ports on a single server that’s an awful lot of testing. This is where Prism Sound’s automated system comes into its own: the system gives a thorough test of our audio paths including checking the digital carrier signal or jitter and frame rate compliance, and also checking that every data bit is handled transparently, which is a very useful extra facility.”

And with Quantel's sQ servers in use with clients in critical online, on-air environments, ensuring that every part of the system is fully functional and correctly configured is essential.

Pearton adds, “We pride ourselves on the quality of every system that goes out the door. The Prism Sound dScope Series III helps us ensure this level of quality is upheld.”

An added bonus, says Whyle, was the professional way in which Prism Sound’s sales team dealt with the sales and support process. “It's always beneficial to see a product put through its paces in a real-world environment before making a capital investment, and Prism Sound did just that,” he explains.

Simon Woollard, Applications Engineer for Prism Sound adds; “I was very glad that we were able to help Quantel with this project. I met Mark and Matthew in the middle of a very busy period for Quantel, after they had secured a significant order for their sQ servers. We had to talk and work quickly due to the pressures to build and test hardware, so we had to take a lot of notes during the meeting and work on the automation code offsite. At that time, testing was handled manually by Matthew, and due to the sheer complexity and number of I/O channels, a typical sQ system may have taken up to half a day to fully test. That has now been reduced to a matter of minutes thanks to their new dScope Series III system. Matthew sounds a lot more relaxed when I speak to him on the phone now – and I believe he also has his weekends back!”

Prism Sound’s dScope Series III external interface processor includes precision analogue and highly-optimised digital outputs and inputs. Precise and automatic gain-ranging allows high resolution measurements over a massive range, from a few micro-volts to more than 150 volts RMS, and from less than 1 Hz to over 90kHz. Its interface processor uses dedicated DSP to provide a wide range of real time measurements, while its software uses the host PC for almost unlimited number crunching and analysis options such as Fast Fourier Transforms, power spectrum analysis, swept sine and multi-tone testing. Designed to be highly programmable, the dScope Series III can be automated from a wide range of third-party software using Active X controls, or internally using VBScript.


About Prism Sound

Prism Sound has been supplying successful high-quality analogue and digital audio test solutions for 23 years. High-performing audio test products are backed up by consultancy and support services recognised as the best in the industry. Prism Sound has a wealth of experts providing support throughout the product development and manufacturing cycle, allowing customers to develop R&D, verification and production tests in parallel, leading to a significant reduction in time to market.