Crestron and AVB

The end of a year usually brings those in every industry to predict and say what they see in the future. We here at AVNation are no exception. Some will prove true, some won’t. There are some in the AV industry who have already predicted that AVB is dead. I’m not so sure about that. I, on the other hand, have predicted that 2014 would be the year of AVB. Within a few days into the new year, it looks very good for the AVnu Alliance and AVB.

Crestron Electronics has become the newest member of the AVnu Alliance. (The AVnu Alliance is the industry group dedicated to promoting the AVB standard). What this means is that Crestron is the “first home automation company” to join the Alliance. While that may be important to the Alliance, the other facet of Crestron’s business is important to the rest of us in AV.

Crestron’s successful HD distribution system is called Digital Media, or DM for short. DM is currently based on the HDBaseT standard and supports a point-to-point architecture. What Crestron’s entrance into the AVnu Alliance signals is either a move away from HDBaseT or a possible augmentation to the current DM infrastructure.

The DM chassis already have the ability to act as switches; both network and KVM. Would it really be much of a stretch for them to become the first AV-centric AVB enabled switch? I might be overstating this just a bit, but the possibilities are very exciting. With the experience Crestron has over the last fifteen years of living on the network, they could make the perfect bridge (pun intended) to span the gap between AV and IT. Convergence indeed.

It may also be that Crestron is hedging their bets, as Bradford Benn on AVWeek Episode 124 posited. It could be that they are just exploring all the transport possibilities and standards. However, they could do that without joining the AVnu Alliance. However, I am very bullish on AVB this year, so I may see every announcement as a giant leap forward when, in reality, it is just a tiny step.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

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