AV Alliance Pushes for New Ethernet-Based Standards

The SDVoE Alliance has a heck of an acronym in its name, but its goal—to standardize AV rigs to use the Ethernet protocol—may be even more audacious.

The future of audiovisual technology could be over the same series of tubes that the internet moves along, if a new coalition has its say.

The newly announced Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE) Alliance hopes to create new standards for ethernet-based distribution of video and audio signals over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

IP networks—already traditionally used for internet connections, intraoffice networking, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone calls—have recently been a common distribution platform for video content, but AV has remained stuck with proprietary equipment based on older technology, like matrix switches. Latency has been a sticking point in the past, but the alliance pledges that its technology is zero latency and provides “uncompromised video over network architectures based on off-the-shelf Ethernet switches.”

Ethernet-based technology has been quickly evolving in recent years, so much so that the Ethernet Alliance created standards for cars in 2014.

The SDVoE Alliance hopes to tackle this problem by encouraging the creation of both industry-standard formats and an application programming interface (API) to ensure that every part of the process is speaking the same language.

Justin Kennington, president of the SDVoE Alliance, noted to AVNetwork that a “real breadth of manufacturers” was ready to assist in building out the necessary technology, including chips, ethernet switches, and displays. Firms already on board include Sony, Netgear, AptoVision, Aquantia, Christie, and ZeeVee. Installation notes that 35 products that support the technology are currently on the market.

“It wasn’t until the smartphone and its range of capabilities were generally standardized on Android and iOS that innovative apps like Uber became possible and practical,” Kennington told AVNetwork. “We envision the standardization of AV-over-IP as opening up a similar realm of possibilities. But this can’t happen while we are still using different and incompatible AV over IP solutions: It is time for the AV industry to take the logical step to standardization, to make this future happen.”

The group is aiming its efforts at the 2017 edition of Integrated Systems Europe, which takes place in Amsterdam early next month.

“Right now we are very focused on the ISE 2017 launch,” Kennington added in his AVNetwork comments. “But once the world sees who is backing the SDVoE Alliance, I expect the serious work to begin.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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