Sonifex Introduces New Dante-Enabled Products at AES NY 2019

October 8 2019, 00:20
The adoption of Dante-enabled AoIP solutions has reached the status of de facto standard in both the commercial installation and broadcast application markets, and manufacturers are extending the number of Dante-enabled solutions to all domains. Sonifex is an example of a leading manufacturer with an early lead in the design of Dante solutions and, at the AES NY 2019 show, the British company will introduce its new Dante configurable commentary units with 2 or 4 channels, together with an extensive number of interface solutions.

Both commentary units use Dante AoIP together with 4 wire connections so they bridge the gap between old and new technology, allowing the ease of connectivity & functionality of AoIP together with the legacy connections needed to operate with the existing infrastructure in some stadia and sports grounds.

The AVN-CU2-DANTE takes a new approach to provide a multi-purpose configurable tool for commentary teams. Its power lies in the impressive mix engine which overlays the usual Dante Controller settings. Once Dante flows have been made, inputs and outputs can be mixed freely to AoIP or physical inputs and outputs, controlled using the programmable buttons and rotary encoders, which control the gain and pan of inputs, outputs or cross-points, allowing total flexibility for different situations.

It can be used in any number of different commentary situations, controlled manually or remotely and controls can be ‘locked down’ so that they can’t be tampered with or altered, to guarantee reliable operation. Housed in a rugged and intuitive, user-friendly package, it’s a truly different way of looking at how commentary units should operate.

The AVN-CU2-DANTE was designed from the ground up to be totally flexible in operation and the use of Dante AoIP means that inputs and outputs can be added as required (up to a max of 16 per unit). Because any physical analogue or digital input can be mixed and routed with any Dante AoIP input to any physical output or Dante output, you can define your own audio pathways.

Additionally users can choose which of those pathways need to be controlled (volume and pan) by the use of rotary encoders. Using a built-in web GUI, up to 4 nameable pages of 6 rotary encoders (24 in total) can be placed on the mix matrix at inputs, outputs or cross-points. Each rotary encoder has a separate color-coded meter section showing the channel name, detailed level metering and left/right panning on a bright daylight reading display. Colors can be programmed per encoder to quickly identify particular source groups, so headphone source selection becomes intuitive.

The AVN-CU2-DANTE provides two mic/line inputs with a wide, adjustable gain range and has two stereo headphone outputs with lockable jack sockets, suitable for operation by two commentators. The unit is powered using Power over Ethernet (PoE), using Neutrik EtherCON connectors, with primary and secondary ports for power and data redundancy. There’s an additional 4 pin XLR 12V DC input.

The AVN-CU4-DANTE is a dual version of the AVN-CU2-DANTE providing four mic/line inputs with a wide, adjustable gain range and four stereo headphone outputs with lockable jack sockets, suitable for operation by three or four commentators. Fully featured, this unit is able to handle virtually any commentary situation with both Dante AoIP and 4 wire connections, dual redundant Dante networking and multiple AC/DC/PoE power options. Up to 48 rotary encoders can be used on inputs, outputs or cross-points, allowing talkback feeds, commentary and audio mixing to be handled in one unit.

It has an abundance of 4 wire connections on the rear panel: 4 x analogue line inputs on XLR sockets with latching locks, 6 x analogue line outputs on XLR plugs and an RJ45 AES3 stereo input & output. These connections can act as a simultaneous analogue backup to the Dante AoIP connections. The front panel houses 4 x locking mic/line inputs with +48V phantom power indication and 4 x headphone outputs on locking 6.35mm jack sockets. The unit has dual redundant network ports on both RJ45 (PoE+ using 2 x Neutrik EtherCON connectors) and SFP cages. To power the unit, as well as the dual PoE ports and 12V 4 pin XLR DC input, there is an AC mains input on an IEC inlet, with a universal supply.

More Dante-enabled solutions
Sonifex also introduced an extensive number of utility solutions for Dante-enabled installations and broadcast applications, complementing its range of rack mount multichannel Dante audio interfaces, which will be also displayed at the AES convention and exhibition in New York.

The New DIO Audiophile Dante Interfaces are simple plug and play devices which provide a convenient and elegant method of connecting legacy analogue and digital audio equipment to the Dante AoIP audio network. These rugged aluminium boxes have side slots for screw mounting and contain superior audio circuitry for optimal audio performance.

According to Sonifex, the difference with these units is the audio quality, using premium A/D and D/A circuitry offering >120dB of dynamic range. As the company explains, "If you're converting audio sources into AoIP, it makes sense to use the best converters that you can afford, to benefit the whole network." 

These cost effective products use Dante Controller for configuration and are powered by PoE, and use rugged Neutrik EtherCon connectors and Neutrik lockable audio connectors for ultra-reliable connectivity
Sonifex will also show its new Multi-Channel Dante Audio Interfaces, consisting of the AVN-AI04, AVN-AI08 and the AVN-AO16 models. The AVN-AI04 and AVN-AI08, provide 4 and 8 respectively balanced analogue inputs and outputs to and from the Dante network. The AVN-AO16 audio converter and interface creates up to sixteen analogue outputs from the Dante Audio-over-IP networking standard. Simple to configure and operate, these cost effective rack-mount products offer an easy solution for AV professionals and system integrators. Packaged in a 1U form factor, they use Neutrik XLR connectors, are Dante Domain Manager compliant, AES67 compliant and use PoE for power.
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