Digigram RAVENNA AES67 PCIe Sound Card Now Shipping

July 14 2014, 11:08
Digigram was among the first members of the RAVENNA consortium launched by ALC NetworX in 2010 and has actively contributed to high-performance audio over IP (AoIP) interoperability since the beginning of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) standardization project called “X192”, later resulting in the AES67 interoperability standard published in 2013.
The company is commited to expand its range of AoIP products with RAVENNA/AES67 connectivity and the LX-IP RAVENNA PCIe sound card was the first RAVENNA-enabled product developed by Digigram. Featuring ultra-low latency—down to one audio sample per IP packet—and up to 256 RAVENNA I/O channels from multiple RAVENNA streams, the LX-IP sound card is ideal for high-density audio production or automation applications in radio and TV broadcast studios.
LX-IP RAVENNA PCIe sound card
The LX-IP solution makes it easy for users to simultaneously record and play as many as 128 AoIP RAVENNA channels in/out of a desktop computer. Boasting ultra-low, round-trip latency down to 3 ms, interoperability with all AES67 requirements, an embedded 128 × 128 switching matrix, Grandmaster PTP clock abilities, and high redundancy assured by 2 GB Ethernet connections, this reliable hardware solution enables broadcasters to maintain high performance regardless of the computational load presented by other applications running on the host system.
Digigram originally confirmed the  LX-IP PCIe sound card’s development during the NAB 2014 Show in Las Vegas, NV, announcing also a full multichannel audio digital interface (MADI) available as an option. The MADI option will be demonstrated at the IBC 2014 show (September 11–16 in Amsterdam) together with a new dedicated LX-MADI PCIe Sound Card equipped with an optical MADI. With both sound cards, embedded 64 × 64 routing gives users direct monitoring capabilities, along with record and play functions. Because the LX-MADI card is a hardware solution, it offers high stability regardless of the computational load presented by other applications—editing, processing, ingest, playout—supported by the host system. 
The new LX-IP PCIe sound card with MADI option enabled the industry’s migration from synchronous audio (MADI) to IP audio (RAVENNA/AES67) in the studio environment. As a result, users can move from more expensive, less flexible proprietary equipment to standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IT-based systems running common media-oriented IT protocols.
The new MADI option facilitates a seamless shift by supporting use of the LX-IP RAVENNA soundcard in a synchronous audio environment to stream up to 64/64 I/O MADI channels from/to the host PC and from/to RAVENNA/AES67 audio-over-IP (AoIP) equipment, with roundtrip latency down to 3 ms. Control of Digigram’s dual interface card or the dedicated LX-MADI card is straightforward,  thanks to full compatibility with the industry-standard EMBER+ protocol.
As Pascal Malgouyard, head of product marketing at Digigram, explains, “As a robust media transport solution, RAVENNA goes beyond standard definitions such as AES67 to offer added functionality and performance capabilities while assuring interoperability with a wide variety of other media transport devices and networks. Our new LX-IP RAVENNA PCIe sound card takes advantage of these capabilities to provide users with exceptional audio quality and versatility in high-density professional audio-focused applications. In addition, the MADI interface allows a seamless migration from synchronous audio to RAVENNA / AES67 networked audio environments.”
At IBC 2014, Digigram will showcase the addition of RAVENNA/AES67 connectivity to the company’s IQOYA range of audio-over-IP (AoIP) codecs, which now enable users to get audio programs directly from an in-studio RAVENNA network and subsequently encode and stream them over IP to transmitter sites via a WAN in compliance with EBU ACIP. Users likewise can decode EBU ACIP streams from a WAN to their in-studio RAVENNA network. With these capabilities, radio stations can easily migrate towards the use of IP audio within their studios.
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