Another First from Sony: 4K-ready, IP-based Production Switcher


Sony demonstrates first ever 4K-ready, IP-based production switcher using the Networked Media Interface at NAB 2015
The format-agnostic, IP-based live production switcher will bring the benefits of IP live production systems to the field of live production

Las Vegas, 12th April, 2015: Today at NAB 2015, Sony showcased a technology demonstration of an advanced 4K live over IP solution for live production. This solution is centred around the world’s first 4K-ready, IP-networked live production switcher. The exhibit includes mock-ups of a 4K/HD baseband processor and a 4K/HD Video server currently in development that will be necessary for achieving complete live production solutions.

As 4K production becomes a reality, the broadcast industry is faced with the challenge of building adequate infrastructure for 4K productions. Conventional SDI (Serial Digital Interface) implementations can be prohibitive, as the necessary cabling and routing hardware is quadruple the requirements for HD — meaning the resulting setups are considerably more costly, heavy and space-consuming.

Sony has responded to this issue by developing the Networked Media Interface. The Networked Media Interface allows all devices to be connected, and all signal types transmitted, via a single Ethernet cable from SD to 4K and beyond.

To achieve interoperability and compatibility, Sony discloses technical information under license and provides developmental support to leading companies in the industry, who support the Networked Media Interface. As of April 2015, 30 manufacturers support the IP Live Production System.

”When it comes to IP based live production, Sony has been leading the way for the last 18 months,” said Norbert Paquet, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Professional, Sony Europe. “The different devices we are demonstrating for the first time here are the fruits of developing end-to-end IP solutions that are built in collaboration with standardization organisations and together with supporting manufacturers in the industry. This will enable us to deliver on producers’ expectations for today’s and tomorrow’s needs. In the same way IP is today pivotal in all other areas of broadcast production, we are committed to making this technology the new standard for live production.”
World First 4K ready, IP Networked Live Production Switcher

The new 4K IP based switcher, which is still under development, allows users to select which type of terminal—IP or SDI— they place into each of the unit’s I/O slots. This flexibility will allow customers to configure their equipment for IP only, SDI only, or IP and SDI hybrid. It will also allow customers to continue using their existing SDI assets while gradually migrating to IP.

Sony is also investigating the incorporation of a variety of additional functions into the switcher to further facilitate live production—including I/O-signal format converters and a clip storage feature that can store large number of stills and video clips in the on-board memory.
Technology demonstration at NAB 2015: various devices connect over IP network

A single 40 GbE fiber-optic Ethernet cable transmits multiple 4K and HD video streams from a camera area at Sony’s booth. Video streams transmitted by cameras are converted from SDI to IP by an NXL-FR318 Signal Processing Unit — equipped with an NXLK-IP40T SDI-IP Converter Board. The 4K live switcher performs IP and SDI hybrid switching. The system includes a hitless failover feature that ensures signal interruption is avoided in the event of IP switch failure.

A PWS-100NM1 IP Live System Manager Station operates the devices within the technology exhibit. Sony’s System Manager by SDN approach provides reliable and stable 4K transmissions by securing optimal network bandwidths and prioritizations for Real Time traffic. The demonstration showcases advanced workflow for 4K over IP live with the ability to incorporate compatible devices from supporting manufacturers.

The collaborative demonstration from Sony and Evertz will continue to be showcased in each organisation’s respective booths throughout NAB 2015. Each demonstration will include Sony’s IP Live Production System and Evertz’ Software Defined Video Network, along with a dual system bridge solution device. The demonstration of Sony’s Networked Media Interface system will also be showcased on the LSB booth at NAB.

The NXL-FR318 Signal Processing Unit, the NXLK-IP40T SDI-IP Converter Board and PWS-100NM1 IP Live System Manager Station will be available in Autumn 2015. The 4K ready, IP-networked switcher is expected to reach the market towards the end of 2015.

For more information from Sony at NAB, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *