AVnu Alliance to Improve Networked Audio and Video Quality

Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Harman International, Intel, Samsung Electronics and Xilinx announced the launch of AVnu Alliance. The Alliance is an industry forum dedicated to enhancing professional-quality audio/video by promoting emerging IEEE 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) networking standards for a broad range of markets including automotive, consumer electronics, and professional A/V. In addition to the Founders, Avid Technology, Marvell and Meyer Sound Laboratories have joined the AVnu Alliance as the first Promoters.

AVnu Alliance aims to establish a professional quality A/V experience in networked environments, whether an HD television or music studio, a car, a concert hall, a stadium or a home theater. Out-of-sync audio and video, glitches and delays can occur in many of these settings, unless complex, proprietary solutions are deployed. In networked whole-home audio systems, there is no standards-based solution to make the speakers play in sync.

To address these issues, the AVnu Alliance is promoting the IEEE standards, currently in development, for 802.1 AVB (Audio Video Bridging) and also the related IEEE 1722 and 1733 (which extends RTP for use with AVB).

The draft AVB standards are designed to work over widely-used IEEE 802 layer 2 networks. These new standards provide networking features for tightly controlled media stream synchronization, buffering and reservation. Use of AVB enables higher layer protocols and applications to realize professional-quality A/V even if there are various lower-layer network links in the path between endpoint devices. AVnu expects to see initial deployment of AVB on Ethernet networks and anticipates other home networking standards will follow.

“The AVB technology developed by the IEEE has reached a level of maturity that permits its use in the creation of innovative new products,” said Rick Kreifeldt, AVnu Alliance chairman and president. “Our mission is to drive these cutting-edge technologies into the professional A/V, automotive, and consumer electronics markets, enhancing the quality of experience across a broad range of products and applications.”

AVnu Alliance is committed to bringing together leading companies to promote and advance these technologies. The organization will support the creation and implementation of compliance test procedures and processes that promote interoperability of AVB-enabled networked products, helping to ensure A/V devices work together to provide a professional level of quality. These efforts will enhance the network backbone, complementing the ongoing work of existing organizations and standards bodies specifying higher layer A/V protocols and applications in each market space.

“A/V networks are becoming burdened by greater complexity and the ever-increasing demands of streaming content, yet there are few options to ensure reliability in a heterogeneous network based upon open industry standards,” said Jonathan Gaw, Research Manager at leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC. “Broad, cross-industry efforts are crucial to ensure that the quality-of-experience is addressed early in the product development cycle, and to promote the interoperability of products being deployed in professional A/V, automotive and home networking scenarios that are more demanding than ever before.”

Industries that may benefit from the technology include professional A/V equipment manufacturers and installers, automotive A/V equipment suppliers and automotive OEMs, consumer electronics manufacturers and silicon manufacturers.