SMPTE ST2110 is the future for IP video and audio. It was clear from the huge attendance at the various IP Showcases held last year that this is the hottest topic in the industry!
ST2110 is an emerging standard that enables media professionals to utilise full IP connectivity; one element is already in place - the audio.
Audio networking has been around in a variety of forms for over 25 years. Ethernet-based solutions have existed for nearly 20 years. Audio uses relatively little bandwidth and for many years audio professionals have been able to send many channels of full bandwidth, uncompressed audio along an Ethernet network connection.
With Gigabit Ethernet you can manage hundreds of audio channels. With 10Gb networks, you can regard capacity as effectively unlimited.
The problem has always been compatibility. Several different audio networking protocols have been created but they didn’t work together.
AES67 was ratified by the Audio Engineering Society in 2013.
It is not an audio networking solution on its own, but a series of interoperability guidelines that, if followed, mean that different audio networking protocols can communicate with each other.
This interoperability extends to SMPTE ST2110*. It has been agreed that the audio element of the standard is fully based on the AES67 standard.
So, the question for video equipment manufacturers is: "How do I implement AES67 into my products?"
The answer is: RAVENNA.
This is the leading audio networking technology for the broadcast industry. It was developed prior to AES67, but the AES67 guidelines closely follow the RAVENNA protocols and definitions. This means that RAVENNA is inherently compliant with AES67 without any changes or modifications. No firmware upgrades required. With RAVENNA you always have AES67 compliance no matter what hardware or software you use.
RAVENNA is an open technology. Developed by ALC NetworX in Germany, all the information about implementing RAVENNA is freely available in the public domain.
You can implement RAVENNA in a number of ways. If you have good networking knowledge then you can implement it yourself. You may however choose to get assistance from ALC NetworX, who can provide you with a number of support packages and can also license the right to use the RAVENNA logo.
Alternatively there are five vendors of RAVENNA networking hardware who can supply you with a variety of SoMs or SoCs. In addition to RAVENNA and AES67 they also offer options for control, data tunnelling and USB bridging.
There are also free and paid for options of Virtual SoundCards for Windows and Mac OS available from various RAVENNA partners.
*SMPTE ST2110 is the overall standard for IP video and audio transport on high-performance IP networks. Part 30 is the section that sets out AES67 compatibility for ST2110.