OCA Alliance Promotes Open Control Architecture Advantages at ISE 2015

February 23 2015, 03:00
After proving the OCA control architecture in the field on global tours and major music festivals, the OCA Alliance is promoting the OCA message to the wider market. At and around ISE 2015, several of the large number of OCA member companies exhibiting at the show participated in various activities to promote OCA, including presentations to AV consultants and system integrators. Meetings with numerous manufacturers also helped move forward the process of making the OCA vision a reality.

At an event held in the d&b audiotechnik demo room, OCA Alliance member companies Yamaha Commercial Audio, TC Group and Salzbrenner Stagetec, joined d&b in presenting the current status and future vision of Open Control Architecture, as these relate to the AV Installation and Systems Integration markets. Participants included Marc Weber, OCA Alliance Marketing Chairman and Product Manager for d&b audiotechnik, Terry Holton, General Manager Yamaha R&D Centre, and Michael Munch, VP of Business Management, Install & Touring at TC Group.

Discussion about the role of some of the OCA Alliance members, such as Audinate, Harman Professional, Rational Acoustics or THAT Corporation, revealed how diverse and exciting the applications of a common control and monitoring standard can be. The potential ramifications within the AESX210 working group and the industry adoption momentum for AES67, with the newly formed Media Networking Alliance and an interesting potential for OCA to complement basic audio interchange between AES67-compliant devices, were among the topics of conversation at ISE 2015.

Speaking for the OCA Alliance as Head of the Marketing Group, Marc Weber stated: “After proving the performance and reliability of the OCA protocol in the field on major international concert tours, including Beyoncé and Jay-Z On the Run tour, Lady Gaga, Eminem and Rihanna The Monster Tour, the OCA Alliance is actively taking the OCA message into the wider marketplace.” Weber highlighted the field experience with the d&b D80 amplifier and R1 remote control software, proving that OCA works reliably both in installations and for the touring markets.

Ethan Wetzell, Platform Strategist, Bosch Communications Systems also contributed a presentation on OCA at Audinate’s AV Networking World event, the day before the opening of show. “This session looked at the impact that emerging technologies and standards have had on the industry, in shaping technological and application innovations,” said Wetzell. “By looking back at how technologies evolve, to enable new applications and solutions, we also took a look how the AV industry is evolving today and into the future, and the role that open standards like OCA have in promoting this evolution.”

OCA (Open Control Architecture) is an open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV media network devices. From a single device and controller to networks with almost any number of devices and multiple controllers, OCA provides for powerful, high speed, low cost, robust system control and monitoring of devices from different manufacturers. 
OCA can be used in conjunction with any available transport protocol (Dante, AVB, AES67, Cobranet, etc.).

Offering interoperability across different media transports and manufacturers’ devices, it enables whole new levels of complex system integration and options as to how and where network devices can be deployed. The architecture operates on commodity Ethernet networking hardware or via standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. 
Control functionality allows system professionals to change and monitor all operating parameters of a network device, including the creation and deletion of signal paths, parameter adjustments for signal processing objects, network device firmware updates and management of access control. Control can also be limited to provide simpler ‘operator’ functionality; for instance, providing just level, mute, power on/off and fault indication. 

AES project “AESX210” is currently working to render OCA into a ratified AES standard in 2015. OCA is not itself a media transport, or a means of programming a network device or system control, or generating a user interface. OCA is available free of charge to manufactures, system integrators and designers, to implement with their own and third party network devices, as they require. 

OCA Alliance is a non-profit corporation formed to secure the standardization of the Open Control Architecture (OCA) as a media networking system control standard for professional applications. The OCA Alliance’s purpose is to actively promote the adoption and standardization of Open Control Architecture (OCA) as a media networking system control standard through marketing, education and training, and to develop future standards and other documents, that augment, enhance or extend the primary OCA standard, for the purposes of enabling and promoting increased interoperability and reliability, for a variety of transport standards.

The current members of the alliance are Attero Tech, Audinate, Bittner Audio, Bosch Communications Systems, d&b audiotechnik, Focusrite, Harman Professional Group, LOUD Technologies Inc., PreSonus, Rational Acoustics, RCF, Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup, TC Group, THAT Corporation and Yamaha Commercial Audio. 
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