Indeed we did. All Axia products are based on Livewire, a pioneering technology invented at Telos to convey low-delay and high-reliability audio over switched Ethernet.
With Livewire, a single Ethernet cable carries real-time uncompressed digital audio, device control messages, program associated data, and even routine network traffic. An entire facility can be wired in hours, instead of weeks. Expanding or modifying your system is simple thanks to Axia's inherent scalability and modularity.
Livewire offers a revolutionary change in how studios can be built. But at the same time, it's a natural continuation of general trends and what you already know.
What is Livewire?
Livewire is an audio networking protocol developed by broadcast technologists Telos Systems (and marketed by Telos' Axia Audio division) that allows transport of real-time, "live" audio, plus program associated data (PAD) and machine remote control over a switched Ethernet network. The same network can also carry files transfers, messaging and other routine traffic.
How Livewire works
Livewire has an audio advertising system. Every source has a text name and numeric ID. These are transmitted from source devices to the network. Receivers can build lists of all available sources from which users can select. With hardware nodes, you enter the names, numbers, and other configuration information via an attached PC with a web browser. With PC nodes, you open a configuration window.
Livewire networks employ two types of audio streams. Livestreams have small, frequent packets optimized for live audio that requires very low (circa1 ms.) delay, such as for microphones and headphone audio. Standard Streams are also real-time streams, but with bigger packets, and are used for audio streams which don't require super-low latency - like audio from CD players, or that exchanged with automation system PCs. Devices that connect to Axia networks can transmit and receive both stream types; the user selects which type to generate when a device is initially configured.
A sophisticated phase-locked loop clocking system allows Livewire to use very small buffers for least latency and ensures that audio channels remain time-aligned (as needed for multiple mics in a studio or for surround.)
An Ethernet network used for Livewire audio can also be shared with other data transmissions, such as file transfers and web browsing. An Ethernet system with a switch at the center may have a mix of audio nodes and normal servers, PCs, etc., because the Ethernet switch directs traffic only to where it is needed.
Even on a single link, traffic can be mixed because we use modern Ethernet's priority mechanism to be sure audio packets have first call on the link's bandwidth. A studio audio delivery system could use this capability, for example, to download an audio file from a server while simultaneously playing another live.
Livewire adds to the convergence possibilities in a broadcast facility. We predict that you eventually will have your computer data, telephone, audio, and control on a single network and that this will use computer/telephone industry standard wiring.
An Axia network is a controlled, high-speed environment, with no risk of audio drop-outs from network problems and plenty of bandwidth for many channels of high-quality uncompressed audio. We use studio-grade 48kHz/24-bit PCM encoding. Axia digital audio nodes deliver 138dB of dynamic range, with less than 0.0002% THD. Even analog audio nodes have 100dB dynamic range, < 0.005% THD, and headroom to +24dBu.
Livewire is standards-based
Livewire uses the Internet’s IP standard for streaming media, called RTP/IP, for Standard Streams. RTP stands for Real-Time Protocol. It's the internet’s standard way to transport streaming audio and video, just as TCP/IP is the standard for general data. Since we adhere to Internet standards, your audio can even be played by PC players such as Windows Media and Real that support standard protocols and uncompressed PCM audio.