NAB 2015 Tech: Sony’s 4K IP Switcher

Sony | Booth C11001 | Website:

At NAB 2015, Sony is demonstrating an advanced 4K live over IP solution for live broadcasting. This solution centers on 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 an adequate infrastructure for 4K productions. Conventional SDI  implementations can be prohibitive, as the necessary cabling and routing hardware 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 is disclosing technical information under license and providing developmental support with leading companies in the industry, who support IP Live Production Systems. As of April 2015, 30 manufacturers support Sony’s IP Live Production System.

“Sony has the technology and expertise required to be a leader in IP based live production,” says John Studdert, VP of sales and marketing, Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas. “We are excited to demonstrate our rapidly expanding, cutting edge end-to-end IP technology and solutions, which benefit live producers across the globe, and deliver the flexible tools they need now and moving forward, as IP becomes the new standard in live production.”


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 large number of stills and video clips in the on-board memory.

Another Sony demonstration at NAB will feature a single 40 GbE fiber-optic Ethernet cable transmitting multiple 4K and HD video streams from the 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. A 4K live switcher does 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) provides 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.

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 toward the end of 2015.

Read TVNewscheck’s other NAB Show technology coverage here. Find our full convention coverage here.

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