Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,297 pages of information and 230,176 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1974 Quantel was set up by Micro Consultants to exploit its expertise in storing video images in a digital form in the television broadcast field.[1]

Quantel specialised in the manufacture of electronic production equipment for broadcast television companies. This ranges from special effects using digital techniques to standards converters which allows television companies to swap programmes made using different broadcasting standards.

Once an image is in digital form - the language of the computer - it can be altered under computer programme control. For example a video signal from a camera can be changed by

The Quantel system could be used to change an image so that it appears on the screen in any shape that the broadcaster wants.

Quantel had developed two other systems - one was an electronic library system to store and retrieve still pictures which are used in television studios. The other system (aimed at the television companies) was an electronic paintbox which allowed a graphic artist to draw directly onto a television screen.

1978 The R&D Department at Caterham gained the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement[2]

Acquired by United Engineering Industries

1989 UEI was acquired by Carlton Communications; Quantel was involved in developing and manufacturing professional video and sound products.

2000 Management buy-out. Quantel designed and manufactured image processing products for the video, TV, post-production and film industries worldwide. Quantel’s products included graphics equipment, tapeless visual effects systems and products that enable broadcasters to store, edit and play TV programmes in a fully tapeless environment.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Financial Times August 19, 1982
  2. London Gazette 21 April 1978