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AVB: where are we now?

With pro-audio endpoint certification getting underway this month and the final related IEEE standard on course to be ratified in June, it would seem to be all systems go for AVB networking. But when is it really going to start making a dent on our everyday lives?

If we date the moment that Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) first began to impinge on the collective consciousness to August 2009 and the formation of the AVnu Alliance, then it becomes apparent that AVB is a very recent phenomenon indeed. But such have been the formidable expectations placed on the technology – not to mention the acres of media coverage in publications such as PSNEurope – that it often feels like we have been living in an AVB world for a good deal longer.
Unless you’ve been following the Mayan doctrine and biding your time in an underground shelter these past few years, you’ll almost certainly be aware that AVB revolves around a group of technical standards developed by the IEEE Audio Video Bridging Task Group of the IEEE 802.1 standards committee.

Over the past half-decade, this group has been working to establish standards that will allow low latency, time-synchronised streaming through IEEE 802-based networks – the overriding objective being comprehensive interoperability of networked AV devices.
In parallel with the ongoing standards programme, the AVnu Alliance has gradually pulled together more than 50 pro-AV and IT companies – among them founder members Harman, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel and Xilinx – to develop interoperability certification programmes and promote general awareness of AVB. Pro-audio has not always been a benchmark for information-sharing in the past, so the Alliance has arguably occasioned an unprecedented level of co-operation between some of the industry’s heaviest hitters.
With extensive demos taking place at tradeshows including InfoComm and ISE, the past 12 months have witnessed AVB’s maturation as an industry trend. February 2013 was particularly significant, with AVnu Alliance membership passing the 50 companies mark and the announcement of interoperability certification testing for AVB bridges to take place at the University of New Hampshire.
Ahead of proposed 10GB AVB video demos, PSNEurope decided it was time for a general progress report on AVB and an answer to the question: how long will it be before AVB becomes a daily default for live, install and broadcast applications?

Read David Davies’ full report in PSNEurope’s April digital edition