Questions About Our Tech

Some of your competitors say their node-like devices don't need to be configured when you replace them, like Axia xNodes do.

Not true; we both do the same thing, just differently. With their system, each device is given a name – "BOB", for instance. That name is independent of the device's IP address, but all the configuration info is tied to its name. That information is then distributed around the network and stored in each of the other devices. When you need to replace a failed unit with a new one, you name it "BOB" and it reclaims the configuration info previously stored for "BOB" from the other devices on the network. That's pretty easy. Axia is pretty easy, too. We have a program for your PC that, with one button, archives the settings for every Axia device — a single file with all of your settings. If you have to replace a Node, you can quickly restore its settings with one mouse click using iProbe. Our competitors argue their system doesn't need a PC to replace a failed "node". But what's the big deal about connecting a PC? After all, it's a network. A bigger question is: why are they so concerned about their gear failing?

Your competitors also say their audio interfaces are better because they can handle mixed signals.

Axia makes a Mixed Signal xNode that does that, too. It accepts mic, analog line, AES/EBU and even GPIO input – a real jack-of-all-trades. Axia's integrated console engines, PowerStation and the QOR family of engines, accept mixed signal types, too.

What makes Axia xNodes better than the other guys’ audio interfaces?

First, let’s be clear: unlike some companies, Axia’s primary goal is not to sell you lots of I/O boxes. But, until the day that every piece of broadcast equipment has an Ethernet jack, a certain amount of I/O will be needed on AoIP networks for the foreseeable future. As long as that’s the case, we will make certain that Axia I/O delivers audibly excellent audio performance. Our xNodes are third-generation audio interfaces. They’re years newer than other companies’ hardware, and they have been carefully designed using the latest studio-grade components to guarantee the cleanest, clearest audio response. For example, the CMRR of an xNode analog input is 80dB minimum, 20Hz to 20kHz; the THD+N on an xNode’s analog input to digital output is < 0.004%. Our digital I/O has 126 dB of dynamic range. We use microphone preamps with an EIN of -128 dBu. Those are number any recording engineer would be proud of! Interestingly, the other guys don’t cite their audio specs. xNodes have a super-fast one-button setup designed to get new I/O configured and ready to pass audio in the shortest possible time. They’ve got high-resolution OLED front-panel displays with confidence meters and/or GPIO status indications. Analog and digital I/O connections are presented on both RJ-45 and industry-standard high-density DB-25 connections, so you can choose the connection method that suits you best. They can run on either AC or PoE power (with redundant auto-switching) directly from your system switch. And xNodes are half the size of competing products, so they you can add I/O a la carte, cutting costs and eliminating unneeded ports.

The other guys say your system needs a PC to make it run. Is that true?

Not at all. We have a very sophisticated routing program called PathfiinderPC, which runs on Windows, that you can use to construct enhanced automated routing applications. PathfinderPC lets you construct automated “stacking events” that are triggerd by built-in silence detection, or by a user pressing a control on a console or rack-mount button panel, or by triggering a custom onscreen control on a studio PC. But you don’t need Pathfinder to make your Axia network operate. Axia consoles and routing networks are fully self-contained and don’t depend on any external controllers. Some power users run PathfinderPC to take advantage of the advanced features it provides, but it’s not necessary.

What levels of redundancy are available in Axia systems?

Axia is all about choices, so we let you choose the amount of power and network redundance that your plant demands. If you like you can design a system with power and network connection redundancy from the core, all the way to the edge – you decide what’s best for you. For instance, our networked StudioEngine for Element mixing consoles includes standard redundant, auto-switching power supplies that are field-replaceable in seconds. The PowerStation and QOR.32 mixing engines feature auto-switching backup power as an option. xNode audio interfaces can be connected to both AC and PoE-enabled network switches, for automatic failover. xNodes and xSwitch components feature twin network interfaces, to protect the integrity of network links. And we’re glad to help you optimize your network switch fabric for maximum redundancy, too; just ask us and our Support experts will happily assist in your network planning process.

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