Widgets Magazine

AVB Is Dead! Long Live AVB!

One of the more polarizing discussions in the AV industry over the last few years is whether or not AVB is going to be a valid option for the transmission of signals via the network. There are several out there that have already declared AVB a dead technology (I,Aeod list names but there might be too many to keep it practical). Personally, I tend to lean on the concept that with only 3 certified AVB products, and one very popular product that hasn,Aeot completed certification yet with many more still in the certification process, it,Aeos still a little early to state that AVB might be dead because it really hasn,Aeot even arrived yet.
Over April 28th and 29th in Santa Clara, CA, the AVnu Alliance hosted the first annual Time Sensitive Networks and Applications conference where network engineers, manufacturers, and academics were able to get together and discuss the finer points of time sensitive networking.
Since the introduction of AVB to the AV community, the mission of the AVnu Alliance has been shifting and going through some modifications. More industries have stepped up to participate in the development of the IEEE 802.1 standard that the AVB topology falls under. The importance of synchronized data being able to be communicated across the networks is a much larger issue than just ensuring that the video syncs up with audio. As such, the AVnu Alliance has now reorganized with specific chairmen to oversee the verticals of pro AV, automotive, industrial, and consumer.
Each of these specific vertical markets will have a different reason to want to utilize the open platform capabilities of time sensitive networking. For the pro AV and the consumer channels it could be as simple as having your audio and video synchronize. For the automotive channel there is a certain simplicity of installation in using solely category cabling between all devices. The industrial, though, is where we might see the greatest importance for synchronization as we find so many robotics handling the manufacturing on a larger scale ,Aei and keeping the control data for those machines in the proper order becomes vital.
In speaking with Greg Schlechter, the marketing work group chair of the AVnu Alliance, there is an understanding that many in the AV industry may have already written off AVB as option, but there also didn,Aeot appear to be too much worry either.
When something gets introduced to the AV industry at the InfoComm show, there is a general expectation that it will either a) be shipping shortly, or b) be vaporware that we might see in another year depending on development and manufacturing delays. In either case, though, we have a set expectation that if you are coming to InfoComm to launch an idea, product, or technology that it is fully prepared to be delivered sooner than later.
The problem that the AV industry faced, in regards to AVB, is that it is not an AV product. It is, in fact, a network topology. The members of the AVnu Alliance showed up at InfoComm initially because they were taking the IT development methodology to AV manufacturers. This means that they weren,Aeot initially at InfoComm to present their concept to the integrators and consultants, but to the manufacturers to get buy in for the development of the time sensitive network topology within pro AV devices. From there it would go to standard development, manufacturing, testing, and then to a deliverable for the marketplace.
In roughly six years, the AVnu Alliance has taken the idea of an open source topology and turned it into three certified deliverables ,Aei a point of pride from Schlechter as he challenged me to name another open source topology that can claim to have so swiftly delivered concept to reality.
Yes, there is still some streamlining that the AV industry continues to harp on in order to expedite the deliverables through the testing process. However, those driving the AVnu bus aren,Aeot looking at taking over the pro AV industry tomorrow, their concern lies in ensuring that their topology, based in the proper development of the network stacks, is done correctly to provide the fastest and easiest interoperability options as the Ethernet topology continues to develop and evolve.
As a point of fact to all those who have already declared AVB dead, you have gotten your wish. To be specific, AVB is dead, but in name only. Since the AVnu Alliance has reorganized to include the new vertical markets that have a significant interest in the development of a time sensitive network topology, they have also adopted the new moniker to be more reflective of what the data actually is ,Aei time sensitive networking (TSN).
It is certain that there will be more products coming down the line that will be utilizing this open source interoperable network topology, but the ability to go completely across the variety of platforms that are investing in its development can now ensure that there will be a TSN as we move forward. AVnu started around the AV industry, but it has evolved and now has more investment in its success from industries that dwarf our concerns exponentially. So stick with the products and network transmission methods that you feel comfortable with for now, but know that the AVB/TSN is not going to go away, and will be a force to be reckoned with in time ,Aei the same kind of development time that the IT world often sees.

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