NEP Group Deploys Sony NXL-ME80 Media Edge Processors

Inside of an NEP truck
(Image credit: Sony)

SYDNEY—NEP Group has purchased several Sony NXL-ME80 media edge processors with Sony’s new HEVC ultra-low latency encoding technology combining a high compression ratio, very low latency and maintenance of the highest picture quality for remote and distributed live productions.

“The NXL-ME80 media edge processors are high-quality, multi-channel encoders utilizing Sony’s ultra-low latency compression which makes them ideal for live production applications. They work with both ST-2110 and SDI interfaces and we are successfully using them on a current remote hub project,” said Sam Scally, NEP New Zealand technology manager.

For the project, NEP is transferring 16 streams from its main live cameras using two NXL-ME80 units on diverse 5Gb links with -7 functionality at 45Mb per stream. The NXL-ME80 units are managed from the NEP hub at both ends, the company said.

The NXL-ME80s form part of a remote production system where we have 13 cricket venues around the country connected back to our Auckland CBD hub facility. We operate on links as low as 1Gb/s,” said Scally.

Part of the Sony Networked Live ecosystem, the NXL-ME80 optimizes live production by using on-premise, cloud, hardware or software resources to meet specific requirements. The NXL-ME80 acts as a gateway between LAN and WAN. It enables efficient use of available network bandwidth for remote production and video contribution, thereby lowering network costs—a benefit NEP is realizing across multiple locations, the company said.

“The NXL-ME80 also supports multiple streams to cater to individual live production requirements efficiently. With the capability to convert and compress multiple video channels, content transmission with high picture quality is achievable, even with limited network bandwidth.”

NEP required a high-quality encoder and decoder that could send signals across a small network pipe while working with a traditional broadcast environment using both SDI and ST 2110, said Scally.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of the NXL-ME80 [units], as they enable us to transmit high quality images from remote locations with relatively low bandwidth,” he said.

NEP is using its NXL-ME80 units in a number of different environments, one of which is covering international and national cricket matches remotely.

“We are sending signals from cameras and third-party providers capturing cricket around the country with SDI out of our existing trucks,” said Scally. “They are sent to an NXL-ME80 in our Auckland hub where they are decoded to SDI, then encapsulated to 2110. We are using the ME80s in conjunction with a Sony MLS-X1 switcher. By using this workflow, the NXL-ME80 gives us excellent picture quality and they have been very reliable.” 

More information is available on the company’s website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.