Communicate Anywhere. Anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are QuickSPOT satellite uplink systems upgradeable?Do I need a custom vehicle for my portable satellite antenna?How much training do I need to operate an automated SNG System?What is a fly and drive system?  How is it different from a fly away?Why select an IP based system satellite?How portable are ku band fly away antennas?How can we get on air faster and save money?Are IP based systems reliable?What is a fly away satellite antenna?
 


Using Internet Protocol in Satellite News Gathering and Corporate Network Solutions

IP based video encoding, satellite uplink services, Why should we select an IP based satellite news gathering or disaster recovery solution?

Are IP based solutions as reliable as traditional satellite communications for satellite news gathering and for corporate network restoration?

Are IP based satellite solutions as cost effective as other options?

Compare QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering Solutions to Traditional Satellite Technologies

What makes QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering systems unique?What makes QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering Systems Unique? 40 second video answer

How can the QuickSPOT On Demand satellite service get news teams on air faster while saving money?36 second video answer

I am worried about buying a system that could be obsolete in a few years. Is the QuickSPOT system upgradeable? 35 second video answer

How does the On Demand billing system work? 29 second video answer

 

QuickSPOT Satellite Uplink Hardware Solutions 

fly away, fly and drive, vehicle mount satellite uplink equipmentHow much training do I need to operate a QuickSPOT satellite uplink system?

What is a fly away satellite uplink system?

What is a fly and drive satellite uplink system?

Do I need to customize my vehicle to put a QuickSPOT satellite uplink antenna on top?

 

Technical Support for QuickSPOT Satellite Uplink Systems and On Demand Bandwidth

Who will provide the technical support?

 

Using Internet Protocol in Satellite News Gathering and

Corporate Network Solutions

Why should we select an IP based satellite news gathering or disaster recovery solution?

Answer by Joel Comiskey, IP Engineer

One of the best reasons to select an IP-based solution is because Internet protocol (IP) is the fastest growing communications medium. Communications across the country and around the world are based on Internet protocol. There is rapid growth in the number of applications available and in their efficiency. Because we run Internet protocol, we can always accommodate new advances in technology and do not have to constantly upgrade our systems; it allows for future expansion and will not become quickly outdated. With the growth of file based workflows in the news industry and satellite newsgathering, an IP based solution is a logical choice for news and media outlets.

 

Another reason to use Internet protocol is because it is so flexible. Any type of communication can be accomplished over the Internet, such as high definition video, webcasting, telephone calls and corporate networking. It allows a tremendous amount of flexibility on a single system. You can add new components, usually just by connecting LAN cables and setting IP addresses. Everything is in a "plug-and-play" format.

Are IP based solutions as reliable as traditional satellite communications for satellite news gathering and for corporate network restoration?

Answer by Joel Comiskey, IP Engineer

Yes. It is important to realize that Internet protocol is not synonymous with most people's impression of "the Internet." The Internet is a network of computers and servers that are interconnected. Internet Protocol (IP) is the common language those computers use to communicate. Most of the resources needed for this are shared among many users. This can result in somewhat unreliable because the volume of data throughput and users is always changing on shared resources.

 

When we provide a satellite link, we provide a fixed amount of space that is privately owned and managed. We give you a dedicated connection to ensure that your throughput will remain constant. You will not be subject to fluctuation in service. Coordinating with the customer we manage their traffic based on their quality requirements. This creates a very stable communications link for satellite news gathering or hot standby network restoration.

Are IP based satellite solutions as cost effective as other options?

Answer by Dave Starkey, Vice President of Operations

IP based solutions can very cost effective because you can save time engineering and designing solutions. Many IP based software and hardware devices can be used right off the shelf by connecting with a LAN cable and setting IP addresses. It's easy to customize your system adding and upgrading IP based equipment. Using Internet Protocol facilitates coordination of interagency operability. Different agencies can share information as needed when they use the Internet Protocol.

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How Do QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering Solutions

Compare to Traditional Satellite Technologies?

 

What is Satellite News Gathering? (Also known as SNG or DSNG)

Answer by Erin Ludden, Director of Marketing

Satellite News Gathering, commonly called SNG or Digital Satellite News Gathering ("DSNG"), is the use of mobile satellite equipment to transmit video news content from a field location to a news studio.

 

What makes QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering Systems Unique?

Answer by Erin Ludden, Director of Marketing

 

Like traditional Satellite News Gathering, QuickSPOT lets you transmit high quality Standard Definition and High Definition video from the live news location back to the studio in MPEG-4 or MPEG-2 formats. QuickSPOT goes beyond just video transmission by creating a complete mobile office solution for the news team. With QuickSPOT you can have IFB compatible Direct Dial In and Out phone lines, research stories on the web, send and receive email, write blogs, webcast and send file transfers in addition to Standard Definition and High Definition video functions.

 

QuickSPOT's small, portable designs allow real freedom to go virtually anywhere to report the news. Our 96 centimeter and 1.2 meter antennas transmit standard or high definition video. The automated system saves setup time so your news team can be on air faster while using less manpower.

How can the QuickSPOT On Demand satellite service get news teams on air faster while saving money?

Answer by Erin Ludden, Director of Marketing

 

QuickSPOT can eliminate time consuming steps to obtaining satellite time. Compare On Demand service to Occasional Use. With Occasional Use you need to call the booking center to find out which satellite has availability at the time you want; find out which transponder has an available slot; book a time slot for a fixed amount of time; get a frequency assignment; set the frequencies and then call in again to complete a cros-pol.

 

With QuickSPOT On Demand there is no advance scheduling; the service is ready when you are for exactly the time you need. You only need to push the deployment button and five minutes later your system is on network ready to tranmit video. The billing period does not begin until you begin sending video and ends when you turn the video off. If you begin transmitting video at 5:02 and end at 5:11, you are only billed for 9 minutes. Those cost savings can really add up!

I am worried about buying a system that could be obsolete in a few years. Is the QuickSPOT satellite uplink system upgradeable?

Answer by Erin Ludden, Director of Marketing

 

Yes! QuickSPOT was engineered with flexibility in mind. The modular architecture allows you to add new components easily.

 

For example, a news station may require a Standard Definiton satellite news gathering system to meet their current needs but, they may be planning for a High Definition transition in a year or two. Many QuickSPOT components are HD ready and others can be upgraded to accomodate the higher bandwidth required for High Definition. Our Fujitsu video encoders can also be upgraded from SD to HD.

 

Virtually any device that has a LAN cable and an IP address can be added to the QuickSPOT system so you can add more phone lines, webcasting capabilities, video conferencing or any other IP application you desire.

 

QuickSPOT can meet your current needs and accomodate your future growth.

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How does the On Demand billing system work?

Answer by Erin Ludden, Director of Marketing

 

We've tried to keep the billing simple for the On Demand network. The system automatically detects your usage. When you begin transmitting information, the system starts the billing period. When you stop, the billing period ends. You are billed by the minute, for exactly what you use.
At the end of the month, you'll receive a statement that looks a lot like a cell phone bill detailing the date, time and duration of each transmission. You'll pay only for the bandwidth you use.

 

QuickSPOT Satellite Uplink Hardware Solutions

How much training do I need to operate a QuickSPOT satellite uplink system?

Answer by Steve Ludden, Manager of Special Services

Our system is automated and is designed to be operated by non-technical users. In most cases, a new user can be trained to operate the QuickSPOT system in 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the types of applications being used. It is very simple to set up with a one-button deployment. All models can be assembled without tools and are designed to be intuitive. Everything is preprogrammed and preconfigured when it goes out into the field. All you will need to do is plug in the system and turn on the power and you will be ready to communicate. You should be able to turn on your video or pick up the phone within 5 minutes of deployment.

What is a fly away satellite antenna system?

Answer by Steve Ludden, Manager of Special Services

A fly away is a satellite antenna that can be packed and shipped via plane, freight or boat. Customers receive the shipment, unpack it and assemble it. Fly away antennas have improved a lot in recent years. Previously, these packages were quite large and difficult to transport. Today, we have flyaways that are only 75 cm in diameter and can be packed in suitcases and checked as baggage. They are now very compact and lightweight. QuickSPOT automated fly away antennas assemble with NO tools and find the satellite at the touch of a button. Fly away systems are very popular with satellite news gathering teams who travel extensively covering extreme weather, disasters, political campaigns and other on the go news stories. Fly away antennas are also well used by disaster recovery teams who need to establish satellite uplinks quickly in an area where all other communications systems have been destroyed.

What is a fly and drive satellite antenna system?

Answer by Steve Ludden, Manager of Special Services

A fly and drive is an exceptionally flexible antenna. It can be taken apart and stored in three shipping cases that are within size and weight restrictions to be shipped overnight via a common carrier such as UPS or FedEx. Once the antenna has arrived at its destination it can be assembled without tools and used as a traditional fly away antenna or mounted on top of an SUV or minivan without making any modifications to the vehicle. You can turn a rental vehicle into an SNG truck or a mobile disaster recovery command center in about 30 minutes.

Do I need to customize my vehicle to integrate a QuickSPOT satellite uplink system?

Answer by Steve Ludden, Manager of Special Services

You can, but you don't have to. QuickSPOT antennas can be installed temporarily or permanentl on most any vehicle with a factory luggage rack, such as a standard SUV. It can be as small as a Toyota Rav4 or as big as a full-size van. As long as it has a luggage rack, we can mount a QuickSPOT antenna temporarily without any customization to the vehicle. If you rent a vehicle or travel a lot, the system can be removed without altering or damaging it.

 

We do provide permanent installations for people who have dedicated satellite news gathering or satellite uplink vehicles and opt for customization or specialization, but it is not required. Our system is very flexible and can accommodate most vehicles.

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Technical Support for QuickSPOT Satellite Uplink Systems

and On Demand Bandwidth

Who will provide the technical support?

Answer by Dave Starkey, Vice President of Operations

The same team that puts together your system will provide your technical support. When you call in with a question, you will talk to someone who is intimately familiar with your network and your system. It is not a busy help desk. We have experienced engineers who can get right to the heart of any problem. They are cross-trained in different areas and troubleshoot as a team.

 

Our Vice President of Operations heads the technical support and integration team. Technical support is not just a department, it is an integral part of the engineering process. They work on our customers' systems from beginning to end. You will develop a real relationship with your customer support team.

 

Since we provide support on all hardware we sell and the satellite service we are the single point of contact for all your technical support needs.

 
 
 
 
 
WEAU-TV (Eau Claire, WI) Showcases their new QuickSPOT system to SBE Chapter December-16-2013 December-16-2013

Society of Broadcast Engineers Picnic featuring QuickSPOT SNG satellite system
On September 3rd, Todd Ritchie and Ron Viste of WEAU (Eau Claire, WI) hosted Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Chapter 112 of Western Wisconsin for their annual steak picnic, which provided a great opportunity for the station to showcase their new QuickSPOT vehicle.  


Tim Jackson from On Call Communications was on hand to describe the system and provide an overview of the On Call QuickSPOT product, which greatly simplifies the process and increases affordability for satellite news gathering.  SBE members representing other stations from the LaCrosse/Eau Claire DMA were able to see for the first time how a hybrid TVU/satellite on-demand system can increase news coverage capabilities at a fraction of the cost of a traditional satellite news gathering vehicle.Get reliable, dedicated  high speed satellite Internet uplinks anywhere with QuickSPOT  



“We are thrilled to have recently rolled out our new QuickSPOT vehicle and look forward to getting our news crews comfortable with the simplicity and flexibility of the hybrid TVU/satellite system.  We are the only station in the market that won’t be limited by cellular and microwave limitations,” says Ron Viste of WEAU.  


Society Broadcast Engineers learns how to use their bonded cellular backpack over an IP satellite linkOn Call’s Tim Jackson states, “we were pleased to be part of SBE Chapter 112’s meeting and to show others in the market the features, benefits and simplicity of the QuickSPOT system.  We’re proud to support WEAU as the market leader in the LaCrosse-Eau Claire market as they greatly expand their newsgathering capabilities.”

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On Call Supports CBS News Teams Live in Haiti Using QuickSPOT Satellite News Gathering Systems June-15-2010

On Call Communications sprung into action again in support of CBS News in Haiti providing live and taped video feeds, internet access and phone lines for their news teams covering the earthquake using the QuickSPOT satellite news gathering system.

 

 CBS News In Haiti uses QuickSPOT satellite news gathering system

 

 

On Call used the very portable QuickSPOT 96 centimeter fly and drive satellite news gathering antenna to establish a high speed internet pipe which CBS News crews used for their video and communications needs. The system transmitted both live and edited standard definition MPEG-4 video feeds for the producers in addition to establishing a mobile office complete with direct dial in/out phone lines and wireless internet access for email, web browsing and corporate communications .


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