At NAB 2015, Sony is demonstrating an advanced 4K live over IP solution for live broadcasting. This solution is centred around the world’s first 4K ready, IP networked live production switcher.

The exhibit will also present prototypes of a baseband processor and a live server currently in development, that will be necessary for achieving complete live-production solutions.

As 4K broadcasting 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 for 4K is more than 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 an IP Live Production System. Its key technology – Networked Media Interface – allows all devices to be connected, and all signal types transmitted, via a single Ethernet cable. To achieve interoperability and compatibility, Sony discloses technical information under license and provides developmental support with leading companies in the industry, who support IP Live Production Systems. As of April 2015, 30 manufacturers support IP Live Production System.

”When it comes to IP-based live production, Sony has been leading the way for the last 18 months,” said Anthony Kable, Senior Product Manager, Sony Australia. “The new devices we are showcasing here are the fruits of working in collaboration with supporting manufacturers to develop end-to-end IP solutions for the industry which deliver on producers’ expectations for today and tomorrow. 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 globally.”

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

Sony is also exploring additional functionality to further facilitate live production—including I/O-signal format converters and a clip storage feature that can store a large number of stills and video clips in the on-board memory.

Another Sony demonstration at NAB will feature a single 40 GbE fibre-optic Ethernet cable transmitting multiple 4K and HD video streams from the camera area at the Sony 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.

The Sony PWS-100NM1 IP Live System Manager Station operates these devices. Sony’s unique algorithm and Quality of Service (QoS) provide secure stable 4K transmissions by selecting optimal network bandwidths. The demonstration shows advanced workflow for 4K over IP live with the ability to incorporate compatible devices from supporting manufacturers.

Furthermore, a Sony and Evertz collaborative demonstration will be showcased in each other’s NAB booths, Evertz #N1502 and Sony #C11001. These demonstrations will include Sony IP Live Production System, using Sony Networked Media Interface, and the Evertz Software Defined Video Network (SDVN) solution.

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 Q3 2015. The 4K ready, IP networked switcher is expected to reach the market toward the end of 2015.

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