Brit opens high-tech video firm |

Brit opens high-tech video firm

“Video Valley” just got a new tenant from its sister video valley in England.

Alan Edwards, founder of Quartz Electronics, Inc., a nine-engineer firm based in Reading, England, made the transatlantic flight to open his U.S. headquarters Wednesday with a champagne reception and a ribbon-cutting by Nevada City Mayor David McKay.

The 13-year-old firm took up 1,600 square feet in the Eigen Building – Telestream’s offices – on Gold Flat Road to better serve its U.S. customers, big-city television stations from New York to Atlanta to Los Angeles and San Francisco, Edwards said.

Quartz manufactures routers – pronounced “rooters” by the company’s English representatives – and master control systems, which are common to large television stations.

Routers direct video and audio signals to other monitors within a station. The panels are used, for instance, when 15 cameras taping an event, such as a football match, can rewind a tape back to a play and then broadcast it.

Master control switchers govern the continuity in a broadcast by sending a signal to a transmitter or a satellite uplink.

Many Quartz products have been “badged” under Grass Valley Group’s name, Edwards said.

Forty percent of the world market for video broadcast equipment is in the United States and “we’re looking to grow our business,” Edwards said.

“It’s a natural place to expand,” Edwards said.

Rural Nevada County made sense for a sales-and-service office since it’s “very recognizable to people in the industry,” said Pete Challinger, Quartz’s vice president of marketing.

Nevada County also offers a large labor pool in video engineering because of the number of firms here.

“People get fed up and move on,” said Edwards, a farmer’s son and former physics major who founded his own firm in 1990, “because I thought I could do it better and fill a gap in the market.”

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