Axylane streamlines events production with Sony live switcher

French AV and multimedia event specialist improves production quality, flexibility and efficiency with Sony XVS-G1 video switcher.

How we helped
Challenge icon.
The Challenge
  •  Production specialist required switching solution offering improved quality, flexibility and usability
Solution icon.
The Solution
  •  Sony XVS-G1 live production switcher
Outcome icon.
The Outcome
  • Intuitive operation complements Axylane’s existing MVS switchers
  • Powerful processing ensures no lag between sound and vision at live events

Increasing the number of frame memory channels from 8 to 16 is very welcome. Also the frame memory loading speed is one of the best compared to other switchers in its category.

Olivier Choquenet
Founder and Technical Director, Axylane

Focused on the finest quality for AV clients

Located on the outskirts of Paris, multimedia production specialist Axylane has over 30 years experience supporting clients with a wide range of AV production services for live events including conventions, trade shows, exhibitions, product launches and sports.

Axylane has always focused on using the best quality broadcast technologies to enhance its productions – reflected in its fleet of Sony equipment that includes MVS-6000 and MVS-3000A production switchers. To complement its existing facilities, Axylane has recently selected Sony’s XVS-G1 live production switcher to achieve better processing quality and time savings without any technical compromises. A powerful, compact and cost-effective addition to the Sony fleet of production switchers, the XVS G1 offers a highly flexible solution to meet the creative needs of today’s OB and studio-based productions.

High speed processing for uncompromised performance

The versatile mixer’s hybrid architecture includes a graphics and effects module. Its configuration retains a central processing unit (CPU) and a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), with an optional graphics processing unit (GPU), to ensure high performance and flexibility with optimised image processing, while maintaining high reliability and stable operation. High-speed processing achieved by 4K (UHD) resolution hardware and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging avoids performance and speed compromises for real-time processing and ultra-low latency.

“In switching to a new hybrid architecture, for us there was no room for compromise in terms of the functionality and processing time” states Olivier Choquenet, founder and Technical Director of Axylane. “Maintaining the base FPGA architecture ensures that processing time does not change, while conserving the image-treatment quality. We didn’t want the signal to be affected by the fact that it’s passing through a switcher. We know that with Sony the output quality is guaranteed to be the same – there’s no signal degradation.”

“A strong point of the G1 is a minimum and constant delay even while using resizers (regardless of the number of resizers used) – whereas for other systems, the more you will load them the longer the delay. It’s super reliable and very important for live recording. For example this means we can eliminate lip-synch delay on stage or at a convention, and also the image/sound lag for drums at a concert.”

Flexibility for live events production

The XVS-G1 inherits many well-established features and architecture while adding cutting-edge technology. With powerful features in a single compact processor unit, configurable from 1 to 4 M/E banks, the XVS-G1 offers 16 full-feature keyers with up to 44 inputs, 24 outputs in HD mode, or 24 in, 12 out in 4K(UHD).

“In the field you can save time for special effects technicians” says Olivier. “Whereas before you really had to anticipate and introduce care everywhere before manipulating the resources, with the G1 the fact that you can divide the switcher into various logical zones is liberating and it allows you to programme much more easily.

“In addition, the switcher is capable of controlling external machines – like content servers and machines that handle graphics presentation – and of sending network commands to run, for example, a large-screen backdrop. This entire management system operates extremely well. We use it a lot in our recordings. Using the G1, we also operate large panoramic LED screens in halls. In 4K, we can create a large panoramic image and add layers of graphics.

“At events, there used to be broadcast controllers and a controller for recording”, states Olivier, “whereas now with a G1, you get two in one. You can manage the broadcast and the recording simultaneously on the same machine, to the benefit of the improvements in the broadcast and the elimination of lip sync issues”.

Additional features that make the difference

Additional features include a built-in clip player, 3D Digital Multi Effects (DME), fixed logo keys, and new multiviewer capabilities, together with a range of four new control panels with 1 M/E or 2 M/E configurations with 16 or 24 source buttons, and 3 M/E or 4 M/E panel support with up to 36 XPT buttons, or support for multiple signal source formats in SD, HD (1080i/720p/1080p) or 4K (UHD) – making the XVS-G1 an ideal choice for mobile units.

“With the G1 you get additional features and it also accepts more formats – we can do 1080P and 4K too” states Olivier. “We have an HD mixer that has 2 M/E and 16 keys, we can also add 4 DME: it’s a pretty complete product. And not to mention resizers, or the ability to use chroma keying on all the keyers: there are really no limitations. The fact that clip transition no longer uses up a dedicated keyer is a genuine improvement on previous versions. Also the built-in clip player that allows you to have fewer video player machines, is hugely powerful.

“Increasing the number of frame memory channels from 8 to 16 compared to the MVS is very welcome” continues Olivier. “Also the frame memory loading is now one of the best compared to other switchers in its category. It allows you to ingest image sequences at record speed. We still have DMEs and SLKs (Soft Layer Keyers), and the addition of Multi Programme 2 and split outputs to a product in this range is great. It allows operators to configure the machine much more easily and to manage resources more simply.

“With the G1, you can also choose between pre-configured panels or completely customised ones. Often, we take a 1M/E, 2M/E, 3M/E or 4M/E panel. But with this you can start with one solution or build your own panel based on your requirements. It’s a feature you normally only see in very high-end switcher”

Two images of switchers with the screens

Assuring client satisfaction

The XVS-G1 meets demands for production reliability of professionals, whether in terms of use, time savings or image quality, for optimal customer satisfaction.

“I’ve worked on conventions where I have been using a broadcast switcher” states Olivier. “While the client thought the lip delay was an unsolvable issue due to the signal delays in video projection, with our advice and equipment, they realised that there were indeed solutions.

“The same applies to image quality. There are people who haven’t habitually worked with broadcast quality, and when they use a quality switcher – as long as the rest of the chain, cameras and monitors, are equally effective – they’re impressed with the image quality. The clients won’t necessarily be aware that the improvement in appearance is related to the switcher, but that’s where we can help them”.