Unveiled publicly in February 2020, the development of Milan Certified audio modules by Neutrik, will finally enable the audio industry to see if the consortium of manufacturers who embraced the initiative are effectively willing to allow some form of interoperability with third-party solutions.
The first Milan Certified audio module, the Neutrik MINEA will accelerate the certification of new Milan-compatible products. If a manufacturer implements a MINEA module, their device "can be submitted for certification without having to go through certification testing," according to the Avnu Alliance.
The Neutrik MINEA is a 2x2 stream Milan Certified audio module, responding to basic needs of interfacing, converters and eventually speakers and network end-points. Milan is an audio networking protocol built on top of IEEE Audio Video Bridging (AVB) open standards with added specification requirements for professional media. While Milan Certified products are based on AVB/TSN technology, the full feature set for Milan is still being defined. Every Milan device will connect with any other device using a variety of agreed-upon formats and market-required definitions in the protocol. Products from Milan members like Meyer Sound, L-Acoustics, Avid, or Adamson will work seamlessly between products of each brand, while interoperability between brands is dependent on "essential agreements about the implementation of AVB technology, including requirements for compatible and compliant media formats, media-clocking, redundancy, and controller software," as the Avnu Alliance explains.
With the development of Milan audio modules, Neutrik at least will enable OEMs a time- and cost-saving path towards developing and producing future audio network solutions built on the Milan protocol if they so wish.
"The network must now become part of the value proposition for manufacturers. It must be open for creativity to enable bringing truly valuable products to market," says Richard Bugg, Avnu Alliance Pro AV Segment Chair. "With Milan-certified modules, such as Neutrik’s, pro audio manufacturers can tap into the benefits of the Milan protocol with a faster path to developing and certifying Milan devices that are deterministic, interoperable, future-proof, and easy-to-use."
With the recently announced, Milan Associate Membership, companies can join Avnu Alliance at an entry-level membership costing $1000 per year, in order to register products that implement Milan Certified modules and have them marketed with the Milan Certified logo.
"The availability of Milan Certified modules and the introduction of the new Avnu Alliance Milan Associate Membership level will in turn expand the Milan Certified ecosystem of devices to bring end users in the pro AV market more choice of interoperable end devices,"adds Florian Frick, Production Manager Neutrik.
The MINEA modules and the correspondent development sets will be available Q1/2021.