AVnu Alliance Targets Residential Multi-Room Audio - ResidentialSystems.com

AVnu Alliance Targets Residential Multi-Room Audio

The AVnu Alliance, a manufacturer group that promotes the IEEE’s AVB (AudioVideo Bridging) network standard, is turning its sights on the residential audio market after having developed audio-interoperability specifications for the pro audio market.
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The AVnu Alliance, a manufacturer group that promotes the IEEE’s AVB (AudioVideo Bridging) network standard, is turning its sights on the residential audio market after having developed audio-interoperability specifications for the pro audio market.

The Beaverton, OR-based organization plans to meet with manufacturers during the CEDIA EXPO to promote its plans to develop AVB interoperability specifications for residential audio applications, said Intel’s Greg Schlechter, the alliance’s marketing workgroup chairman and an alliance board member.

The group is also establishing a dealer council to get input from dealers and integrators on what they want to include in interoperability specifications.

“We want to do what the Wi-Fi Alliance did for the [wireless] 802.11 specifications,” Schlechter said.

AVB is a Wi-Fi- and Ethernet-based standard that establishes quality-of-service performance levels for distributing audio and video over a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network and ensures the synchronization of content in multi-room applications. AVB “upgrades Wi-Fi and Ethernet but doesn’t replace them,” he noted.

In the home, AVB-equipped audio and video products would share the same Wi-Fi or Ethernet network as home computing devices.

The group isn’t currently developing interoperability standards for residential video distribution because most interest from the CE industry so far has been in multi-room audio, Schlechter said.

Video interoperability specifications for the pro market are currently in development, and the group has developed wired audio and video interoperability specifications for the automotive market.

In the home market, the alliance has established a technology working group to develop Wi-Fi- and wired-Ethernet-based specs for audio. The group could take one to two years to finalize the specifications. Before then, however, CE suppliers might begin offering AVB-based products, though they would be not be certified as being interoperable with other brands of AVB-equipped gear, he said.

The final interoperability specs could include the IEEE’s Power Over Ethernet to drive in-wall amplified speakers, required support for select audio codecs, and other elements, but at a minimum, the specs will ensure that different manufacturers implement time-synchronization techniques and QoS in the same way so that different-brand products work together, Schlechter said.

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