Axia - xSwitch Livewire Network Switch


Your radio station needs programming. Your network switch shouldn't. We invented Livewire in 2003, with the idea of saving money in broadcast studio construction by using using off-the-shelf Ethernet switches to power networks that distribute broadcast-quality audio nearly anywhere -- across the hall, across the building, or across town. Some said it would never work! But 10 years later, Axia is the #1 brand of IP consoles, networks and routing equipment to broadcasters worldwide. Maybe it's because Livewire IP-Audio is so flexible and easy to use that clients regularly tell us of days -- even weeks -- shaved off of studio installation time with components that simply click together using Cat-5 cables. Not to mention the money they've saved with Axia, compared to old-fashioned hard-wired studio builds.

But Axia fans told us there was one thing that could make Livewire even easier to install: A network switch that doesn't require setup or programming.

xSwitch: making IP even easier. xSwitch is different from any other Ethernet switch, because it's custom-tailored to the needs of Livewire IP-Audio users. You see, third-party switches -- even those certified for use with Axia -- require programming to correctly configure them with the QoS settings Axia networks demand. Which generally means connecting a PC to the switch with a special cable, downloading a terminal emulation program, and entering lines of parameters and instructions. xSwitch does away with programming. Our experts have already pre-configured xSwitch with all the instructions needed to run Livewire perfectly, flawlessly, out of the box. So all you have to do is plug it in, perform a quick one-button setup, and start connecting Liveiwire devices. Easy, yes?


Small and powerful. xSwitch is built using the chassis developed for our award-winning xNode family of AoIP audio adapters --  the new generation of half-rack, high-performance IP-Audio interfaces. They're fanless, which means they're noiseless too; you can put them in any studio. They have a versatile mounting arrangement that lets you deploy two xSwitches, xNodes, or combine the two into just 1RU of rack space. They can also mount on ceilings, walls or under counters with an available wall-mount kit.


Want a closer look? Click on the image above for a bigger view

Copper? Fiber? Both? You choose. On the xSwitch's connection panel, you'll find two SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) Gigabit ports, in addition to dual 1000Base-T copper ports. Use the SFP ports for copper or fiber connections to your Livewire network. The adjacent 1000BT copper ports provide a dual-redudunant network interface; if the primary network link is interrupted, the secondary backup connection is automatically activated.

You'll also find 8 100-BaseT Livewire ports, 4 with PoE (Power over Ethernet) to power xNodes audio adapters, Telos VSet telephones, or any other network device that uses the IEEE 802.3af standard.

Speaking of power, note the internal, auto-ranging power supply with professional IEC connector: you'll never find wall-warts powering Axia gear.

It all adds up. Why choose Axia xSwitch over an off-the-shelf Ethernet switch? Because it's built specifically for Livewire users.

  • One-button setup eliminates programming and saves hours of setup time.
  • Functions as a core switch for standalone studios, or as an edge switch in larger facilities, or at your Ethernet-connected transmitter site.
  • Add network ports economically, a la carte, instead of 24 or 48 at a time.
  • xSwitch supports IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) Version 2, used to manage Multicast group traffic (an essential part of Livewire's intelligent audio routing system).
  • xSwitch can handle up to 2,000 Multicast groups, and 2,000 ARP table entries, meaning it can't run out of bandwidth. (Other 8-port switches support only 250 groups.)
  • xSwitch has a friendly OLED front-panel display with port status, IP address, PoE status and operating temperature readouts - features not available in other switches in this class.
  • Excellent support for low-latency media streams, using four-level hardware strict priority QoS - other switches have only one strict priority queue.
  • Works with Axia iProbe network management software, allowing easy administration from your office PC.

stack-o-nodesCompatibility assured. Perhaps you've already got an Axia network installed (thank you!). Will an xSwitch work with the Axia gear you already have? Naturally! xNodes speak Livewire, the AoIP protocol that powers more than 50,000 networked pro audio devices at radio and TV stations around the world. One click to hook up, and they're ready to go.

ravenna 100px

RAVENNA-compatible, too. Livewire has partnered with RAVENNA (the IP-Audio standard from ALC Networx) to open the door to an even wider range of networked broadcast and pro audio gear that can connect to your Axia network. Add an xNode to any Livewire network to create a gateway that allows connection of equipment from other RAVENNA partners. Read more here.