Greetings! I am delighted to introduce our company to you!
SoftLab-NSK is a Russian manufacturer of systems for automating television broadcasting and television production. Our systems are used by more than 1500 companies in 65 countries: TV stations, TV studios, cable operators, sports arenas, and educational institutions (SoftLab-NSK product implementation map). In the professional community, our products are known as “Forward” systems.
All Forward systems are based on I/O boards and software, developed and manufactured by SoftLab-NSK. Full control over hardware and software enables us to offer products with excellent value for money.
SoftLab-NSK was founded in 1991. Having evolved with our users from analog TV to digital broadcasting, we are constantly developing and improving our products to meet the requirements of modern industry.
What else should I say about SoftLab-NSK?
Our office is located in the Novosibirsk Akademgorodok (exact postal address). Akademgorodok is the scientific center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Here you can find the scientific institutes of the SB RAS, the Novosibirsk State University (NSU), as well as the Technopark of the Novosibirsk Akademgorodok – “Akadempark”. I, like many of my colleagues, have been living and working in Akademgorodok since my days as a student. And I am convinced that this is the most suitable place for both efficient work and a comfortable life.
Our company is a vivid example of close interaction between science, education, and business in Akademgorodok.
We “grew” from a laboratory of the Institute of Automation and Electrometry SB RAS (IA&E SB RAS) and continue to cooperate with it, as well as other research institutes. There are many graduates and professors of NSU among our employees. SoftLab-NSK is a Technopark resident and one of the main members of the SibAcademSoft Association.
I can safely say that our engineers are high-level professionals, experts in the development of equipment and software for the television industry. Why do I think that’s the case?
- An excellent education. Our team brings together graduates of high-class Siberian universities: NSU, NGTU (NETI), TSU. And even before studying at the university, many of us went through the famous SESC NSU – The Specialized Educational Scientific Center on Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology of Novosibirsk State University.
- Experience and openness to new discoveries. Many of our employees have been working at SoftLab-NSK for a very long time, from the company’s very founding. And we deeply cherish our experienced, time-tested personnel. On the other hand, constant interaction with the university makes it possible for us to attract promising young specialists with fresh, non-standard approaches.
- Participation in scientific research and teaching. Among my colleagues there are those who combine work at SoftLab-NSK with scientific research at the IA&E SB RAS. There are also employees teaching at specialized departments at NSU. Both their scientific work and teaching involve not just the possession of up-to-date knowledge, but active participation in the formation and creation of new methods and technologies.
- Professional development. Programming, circuit engineering, network technologies, audio-video data processing, and all other disciplines in which we work are constantly evolving. Accordingly, our specialists are “forced” to improve their professional skills constantly. For these purposes, we even have a special category of work available for our employees – “Self-education”. Thus, our company’s management shows its interest and provides support to employees in this important matter.
- Constant professional contact with industry specialists both in Russia and abroad. Our developers communicate directly with clients, participate in industry exhibitions, conferences and round tables. The exchange of ideas, opinions, and ways of solving professional problems makes it possible to not only to keep abreast of current problems, but to stay ahead of them. This allows us to see problems and tasks from a distance, to objectively assess the state of the industry as a whole, as well as its current methods and approaches, and to plan for the future.
and support policy
As stated above, all our products are based on I/O cards and proprietary software of our own creation. In recent years, we have developed and implemented boards for working with all popular TV signal transmission standards: SDI (SD/HD/3G/12G), ASI, HDMI (1.4, 2.0), analog (YUV, CVBS, RGB). And of course, when developing software, we take into account all the possibilities and technical nuances of audiovisual processing data on our boards, which allows us to guarantee the stable, uninterrupted operation of servers based on our products.
Continuity and compatibility is another principle that guides our development. Transitioning to a new version of the product, expanding its functionality, or introducing a new modification or type of product (for example, transitioning from analog to digital broadcasting or to broadcasting with a time shift) is most often a breeze for employees of TV companies using SoftLab-NSK products.
Close cooperation with representatives of the television industry. We closely monitor the current state of the industry and are open to requests from users of our products. We promptly respond to new requirements, both from the field of TV production technology and from legislative bodies.
I can give multiple examples when, in response to changes in legislation, we promptly improved the functionality of products and provided our users with up-to-date versions of the software, often at no additional charge. This was the case when regulatory requirements appeared for the volume level on TV channels. We quickly released software for normalizing and controlling the volume level. Another example are our subtitling plugins and other ways we offer to help TV companies comply with the 5% law.
We feel ourselves responsible for the quality of our products. Not coincidentally, the testing department is the largest in our company. All new boards and software developments are thoroughly tested. Each product shipped to the customer is quality tested: video servers and boards are loaded 24/7 for 14 days prior to shipment.
The company is currently implementing a quality management system (QMS). The SoftLab-NSK QMS covers the development, scientific and technical support, and maintenance of products, and complies with the requirements of GOST R ISO 9001-2015, GOST RV 0015-002-2012, OST 134-1028-2012 with amendment 1, RK-11 -CT. Compliance with the requirements of GOST is confirmed by the SDS “Military Standard” certificate issued in 2020.
I would especially like to note that our cooperation and interaction with customers does not end with the purchase of our products. We provide technical support during the system’s entire lifetime. Technical support staff promptly respond to user questions by email, phone, and other lines of communication. Technical support is available in Russian and English.
Technical support service rules.
Product distribution policy
We aim for long-term and good faith cooperation with our customers and, as such, we are invested in making sure that our customers choose the products that are best suited to solve their problems. Therefore, in addition to detailed consultations before purchase, we offer different options for studying the characteristics of our systems, such as: free testing of any product for three months or more (temporary registrations are available upon request); demos; “Forward Light” mode.
If it is necessary to expand / change the functionality of the system, we offer, whenever possible, to switch to a new product using our upgrade scheme. Over the past few years, many of our customers have upgraded their systems from analog to digital, and have switched output resolutions from SD to HD. We also offer the option of paying in installments. Product distribution is handled by the sales department of SoftLab-NSK. We cooperate with both end users and dealers. All information necessary for making a purchase can be found on the How to purchase page.
Exhibitions and Conferences
To keep abreast of the current state of the television industry and present our products, we participate in various events:
- annual industry exhibitions: NAB Show, IBC, CSTB, NAT Expo, CABSAT, Broadcast Asia and many others;
- seminars, forums and round tables, held both live and online (which has become especially important recently). Recordings of our engineers’ presentations are available on the SoftLab-NSK YouTube channel;
- the “Advanced technologies of TV and radio broadcasting” annual conferences, which we organize together with the Tomsk company “Ellit”. The speeches of the 2021 conference participants can be viewed here.
Systems based on our products are used in companies of all sizes, located in different parts of the world. The distribution map of our products speaks for itself. Of course, there are still untouched territories, which means there is room for growth!
Among our clients are:
- state television and radio companies;
- private companies and TV studios;
- sports clubs and sports arenas;
- “non-TV” organizations, where we implement specialized solutions based on our core products. For example, the “Moscow Metro” State Unitary Enterprise and our long-term partner, the Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center.
Of course, our products are most prevalent in Russia and neighboring countries.