Certifiable AVB

This week the AVnu Alliance announced the very first AVnu Certified product. Fittingly, it is a switch. The Extreme Networks Summit 440 switches, to be specific. This is a good step forward for the alliance, and for those wishing to put them into installations.

So, why does AVB certified matter? One of the issues some of these standards have had in the past is the inconsistency in working together. Yes, the specs say they run the same protocols. But when you try to connect them in the real world, it just doesn’t come together quite as advertised. With a certification process, it is an intense plug fest. The alliance’s facility at the University of New Hampshire, will give each product a complete run through.

It also matters if you, as an AV professional, want to start getting these devices on the network as a whole. Most IT managers will not let just “any” device on their network without some form of documentation about what it does, how much bandwidth, etc. This is at least a step in the right direction.

According to Rick Kreifeldt from the AVnu Alliance the certification process should be honed to be completed in about one week. This is accomplished with several computers running the test scripts. What else, is the manufacturers get the results of the week-long test. So, if you are looking at specing a product that says it is AVB certified, ask to see their test results and you can compare them to others. Keep it apples to apples.

On this week’s AVWeek, one of our guests asked why AVB matters for him in a single classroom setting. At the time I said it probably didn’t. However, after thinking on it for a couple of days, it makes complete sense. Here’s why. There are a handful of us who have been talking about the “switcher-less” system. The days of 5 RU video matrix switchers are coming to an end. What will replace it is either AVB or something like it. Imagine having a laptop, BluRay, or whatever source, plugged into the RJ45 jack that not only supplies network access, but also takes the video signal you are sending and sends it through an AVB switch, then to whatever display device you may need. That is where the “switcher” is replaced with the switch. Which is also why the Extreme Networks switch family being the first AVnu Certified product makes sense.

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

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