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Harman Demos Preview of End-To-End Ethernet AV

by FOH Staff • in
  • International News
• Created: April 28, 2009

FRANKFURT, Germany — Harman Professional showcased Harman HiQnet™ products streaming Ethernet AV in a technology preview, and featured several new Ethernet AV products including a dbx SC 32 Digital Matrix Processor and a Crown CTs amplifier all connected with an Ethernet AV.  An Ethernet AV architectural wall-plate from BSS Audio was also displayed.

The technological advances reflected over three years of R&D and the company’s role in the IEEE AVB 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) Task Group initiative.

The demonstration followed Harman’s participation in the IEEE 802.1 AVB workshop with AVB Task Group co-members at the 125th AES Convention in San Francisco in 2008.  Presenters included Robert Boatright, director of research, Harman International, Matthew Xavier Mora, software engineer and Michael Johas Teener, technical director & plumbing architect, Broadcom Corp — all members of the IEEE 802.1 AVB Task Group.

Rick Kreifeldt, vice president, Harman System Development & Integration Group (SDIG) called the announcement “the product of considerable labor, remarkable inter-company cooperation and uncommon leadership by a group of dedicated engineers at the IEEE AVB 802.1 AVB Task Group. Harman has long been a very active participant in this group and we’re very pleased to see the momentum this initiative has generated from such a diverse host of technology companies,” Kreifeldt added.

The IEEE 802 working groups, a coalition of technology companies from professional audio and video, semiconductor, networking, computing and consumer electronics have been working on protocols that allow the building of standards-based networks with the appropriate quality of service for high quality audio performance and production. This new set of standards, developed by the IEEE 802.1 (AVB) Task Group, provides three major enhancements for 802-based networks:

Precise timing to support low-jitter media clocks and accurate synchronization of multiple streams

A simple reservation protocol that allows endpoint devices to reserve the bandwidth in a path to guarantee quality of service for audio/video streams

Queuing and forwarding rules that ensure that audio/video streams will pass through the network within the delay specified by the reservation

The enhancements enabled by IEEE 802.1 standards require no changes to the Ethernet lower layers and are compatible with all the other functions of a standard Ethernet switch.  As a result, the entire Ethernet ecosystem is available to developers—in particular, the various high speed physical layers (up to 100 gigabit/sec in current standards), security features (encryption and authorization), and advanced management (remote testing and configuration) features.

“The benefits of this technology will resonate widely to audio professionals in many disciplines from fixed install to broadcast to cinema, tour sound and beyond:  networked systems will become easier to deploy and use and will become both more affordable and ubiquitous,” said Michael MacDonald, Harman Professional executive vice president of marketing & sales. “I am certain that standards-based Ethernet AV will take professional grade audio — and audio professionals — to markets and opportunities our industry has never before addressed.”

Echoing that sentiment, Robert Boatright, director of research of Harman International’s Corporate Technology Group and chair of the IEEE 1722 AVB Transport Protocol Working Group noted, “Ethernet AV brings a new level of simplicity, elegance, and interoperability to system design while delivering professional-grade performance. This technology will bring media networking to a wider array of applications than has ever been seen before.”

Rick Kreifeldt also recently presented a paper titled The use of IEEE AVB standard networking in professional A/V applications on developments by the IEEE 802.1 Bridging Task Group.  

The company also noted that the IEEE 802.1 community has been developing enhancements to Ethernet for guaranteed delivery of time synchronous low-latency high-performance audio and video. The features and benefits of this new technology were presented with a focus on servicing the challenges of large-scale Pro A/V applications.

For more information, please visit www.harman.com.

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