April 13, 2023 NEP Group have become the first organisation to purchase Sony's new MLS-X1 Live Switchers. The leading media technology partner for content creators worldwide has purchased over 20 MLS-X1 units for use in their NEP Andrews Production Hub in Sydney, Australia. The MLS-X1 stood out for its modular and effective approach as part of NEP's volition to drive its business transformation with effectiveness and scalability at its core. The MLS-X1 is a key element of Sony Networked Live ecosystem which helps productions take full advantage of resources in high-quality mission critical live situations through connected hybrid on-premises and Cloud capabilities.
NEP's SVP Technology, Marc Segar, commented, "NEP has a long and successful history of using Sony switchers and an extraordinarily strong relationship with Sony overall. When the possibilities of the MLS-X1 switcher were outlined to us, we decided that this would be ideal for our current and future requirements. As a result of more in-depth discussions with Sony at IBC, we were invited to Sony HQ in Japan to see a pre-production unit and spend time with the product designers so we could fully understand the new system, how to deploy it in our environment and the benefits it would provide to us and our production partners."
Anthony Kable, CCS Group Manager, Sony Australia added: "We have been working with NEP for a long time, across its different operations worldwide and it is always a pleasure to see how forward thinking and agile the organisation is. When we developed the MLS-X1, NEP was exactly the type of company we knew would embrace it and see its possibilities. We are very happy to see our new switchers selected for this next phase of NEP's development and would like to thank them for their collaboration and trust in us."
The MLS-X1 is a modular switcher system that, by using Sony's unique 'scalable' architecture, enables multiple units to be connected and the system expanded as required. Thus, the resources for the switcher can also be divided up and used as multiple virtual switchers in a single physical system. According to a production's needs, the necessary number of units can be selected and configured, and users can easily add additional units for temporary or special, large-scale events.
Segar continued, "With NEP supporting an increasing number of events in 4K, we were looking for larger switchers with more inputs, outputs, and processing, in native SMPTE 2110. We also needed a flexible solution that would allow us to utilise resources more effectively and assign these to a specific job when needed, instead of having the resources in a fixed configuration, allowing us to scale very quickly. The new MLS-X1 Live Switchers met all these requirements and more."
The new MLS-X1 units will set up in the world-leading NEP Andrews Production Hub in Sydney, Australia, with the signals from remote locations across the country, such as sports stadiums, sent back to the hub across an IP network. The signals will then be switched by the MLS-X1s with the production staff operating the units at the hub itself.
Segar added, "The switched production is then delivered to NEP's broadcast partners via IP. This is the same general process as is performed now in the hub, the new MLS-X1 Live Switchers are just larger and more powerful switchers and far better suited for demanding 4K productions."
Marc Segar concluded, "The new Sony MLS-X1 Live Switchers represent a significant 'next step' in the production world. The flexibility they offer enables us to easily expand the switchers as required, by adding other modules if additional resources are needed, or by moving the physical resources that are already there between virtual switchers. This flexibility is a major plus."