Kevin Gross is founder of AVA Networks and a leading independent consultant to AV equipment manufacturers and systems designers. He is a pioneer in media networking, having previously conceived and developed the CobraNet transport protocol for high-quality audio over Ethernet networks. He also helped build the first configurable DSP system and developed early DAW products.
As an AES fellow he is a recognized expert at the intersection of real-time media and networking, and has contributed work to multiple standards bodies, including the IEEE, where he participated in AVB development, and the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Within the AES, he leads the group that produced the AES67 standard. On taking up the chair of the MNA Technical Working Group, he stated, “The technical activities of the MNA, as with everything the MNA does, will focus on adoption of AES67. Technical activities that can improve adoption include development of implementation resources, technical education initiatives and technical collaboration among AES67 technology providers to assure interoperability. Any ongoing standards work on AES67 will continue to be spearheaded in the AES Standards Committee. Right now, everyone is focused on creating awareness and clear understanding of the published standard.”
Will Hoult is a graduate of the University of Surrey’s Music and Sound Recording course. He has spent a number of years as a member of the marketing team at Focusrite Audio Engineering, promoting a diverse number of products; prior to which he worked at Avid Technology. Today he oversees Focusrite’s audio-over-IP product strategy and roadmap. He also continues to perform as a musician. Speaking on his appointment as chair of the Marketing Working Group, he said, “With the acceleration of the adoption of audio-over-IP technology, both by manufacturers and end-users, there is a distinct requirement to ensure inter-compatibility between different platforms. AES67 provides the best opportunity to make this a reality. I very much look forward to working with the MNA to help promote the adoption of AES67.”
Commenting on the appointments, Rich Zwiebel, chair of the MNA, said, “The MNA has chosen Kevin and Will to move forward the technical and marketing objectives of the MNA. The appointments and formation of these first two working groups is a milestone in the alliance’s evolution. In practical terms, it means that our technical and marketing activities to promote adoption of the AES67 standard will take on a greater momentum and significance.”
AES67 is a standard to enable high-performance audio-over-IP streaming providing interoperability between the various IP based audio networking products currently available, such as Dante, Livewire, Q-LAN and RAVENNA. It is not a new technology but a bridging compliance mode common to all IP-Networks; a mode to put a device into, on any participating network. AES67 operates over standard layer 3 Ethernet networks and, as such, is routable and fully scalable, like any common modern IT network. As a rule of thumb, any network infrastructure capable of handling VoIP should be able to handle AES67.
About the Media Networking Alliance (MNA)
The MNA is a not-for-profit corporation with membership available to all manufacturers, organizations, companies and individuals who are interested in the objectives and purposes of the alliance.
The MNA’s objectives are:
• to promote the adoption and standardization of AES67 as an audio interoperability standard through marketing and education.
• to develop future AES67 specifications and other documents that augment, enhance or extend the primary AES67 specification for the purposes of enabling and promoting increased interoperability and reliability.
• to provide developer support for AES67 products, and actively support those members producing AES67 compliant products, including, but not limited to, AES67 System Development Kit and AES67 Test Tools.
• to provide a forum and environment in which members of the alliance can meet to review standards development and compliance programs, and to foster the development of new products based on the AES67 standard.
• to educate the business and end-user communities about the value, benefits and applications for AES67.
• establish and maintain relationships with educational institutions and other technology associations and organizations that help to promote the use and development of AES67 products.