At the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, the Media Networking Alliance (MNA) – the professional AV industry alliance, charged with promoting awareness and adoption of AES67 – hosted an expanded live AES67 demonstration between networked components operating with RAVENNA, Dante and Livewire AoIP transports. This was the largest demonstration of AoIP interoperability so far, following first public demonstrations at the AES NY convention and ISE 2016 exhibition.
There was a lot of talk about moving media over IP networks at the 2016 NAB Show. Clearly the video industry seems committed to adopting a common standard for the transition of broadcast operations from traditional SDI-based infrastructures, directly to IP networks. While transmission is moving fast to IP-based standards, contribution is already moving to the Internet, large CDN providers and cloud-based distribution services. On the production side the industry is still debating the alternatives to a common standard, but the example of the recent audio interoperability standard AES67-2015 - an open standard that provides for the common interchange of digital media between different AoIP networking platforms - is clearly inspiring manufacturers to follow suit.
The MNA demonstration at NAB 2016 principally highlights AES67 interoperability between networked components operating with RAVENNA, Dante and Livewire AoIP transports, previously only operable independently of one another. Featuring products for the first time from several new member companies, interoperability will be demonstrated among devices from ALC NetworX, ARG Electrodesign, Digigram, DirectOut, Focusrite, Genelec, Lawo, Meinberg, Merging Technologies, NTP Technology, Solid State Logic, Studer, Telos Systems. and Yamaha. The network is considerably larger than previously with a total of 27 interoperating devices.
Commenting on the practical significance of the extended demo, Kevin Gross, Chair of the MNA Technical Work Group, said, “We are demonstrating audio interoperability first and foremost, but we are also demonstrating interoperability of discovery and connection management. Dante Controller software and associated network protocols are being used to configure AES67 connections to and from Dante-based devices, while demonstration software from ALC NetworX bridges different discovery and connection management schemes supported by AES67.
“With these demos we’re trying to make the point that AES67 is not some future holy grail for audio networking but an industry standard interoperability technology you can specify with confidence and use today.”
Several member MNA companies have also presented live AES67 demos on their booths, including ALC NetworX, Digigram, DirectOut GmbH, Focusrite, Genelec, Harman Studer, SAM, Merging Technologies, NTP Technologies and The Telos Alliance.