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First steps towards AoIP standardisation

IBC 2012 provided a platform for the ongoing develop of audio over IP (AoIP), with new products featuring different versions of the technology and new collaborations.

IBC 2012 provided a platform for the ongoing develop of audio over IP (AoIP), with new products featuring different versions of the technology and new collaborations, including a partnership between AoIP pioneer Axia and ALC NetworX, developer of the increasingly adopted Ravenna platform. At the same time the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and European Broadcast Union (EBU) are collaborating to produce a “new common packet-based network standard for linear PCM audio”. Known as the Next generation AES/EBU Interface Based On IP Technology, this brings together AES task group SC-02-12-H, led by Kevin Gross, working on “high performance streaming AoIP interoperability”, and the new EBU group ACIP2, chaired by Sonja Langhans of IRT, which has a similar remit. The aim is to allow both groups to concentrate on developing a single standard for the industry. AES Standards manager Mark Yonge comments that any AoIP standard has to take pictures into consideration as well as sound. He adds that the intention behind the AES-EBU draft standard is “not to invent new technology but to use existing technologies in a way that will provide interoperability”. The partnership between Axia and ALC NetworX goes some way in bringing together the different formats being used for AoIP today. Under the agreement Axia’s radio desks, which are based on Livewire, can now have compatibility with Ravenna-equipped products, including Lawo consoles. Dante is another leading AoIP technology, while console manufacturer Wheatstone used IBC 2012 as a platform for its WheatNet-IP system. Company spokesman Scott Johnson (pictured) explained that this is based on a distributed intelligence principle, which Wheatstone believes makes control of different devices easier. Johnson adds that Wheatstone is a signatory to the AES AoIP project but acknowledges that, right now, all available systems are “largely proprietary”. www.aes.org/standardswww.tech.ebu.ch

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