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Who is currently using or adopting AVB? US sports broadcaster ESPN is using AVB for audio signal distribution in its new $125m Digital Center 2 facility. Avid’s new S3L audio console is built on AVB. And proprietary deployments such as Audinate’s Dante audio networking technology, which is dominant in the live sound market, have AVB as their networking protocol. That said, the fi rst, and so far only, products to be certifi ed by the AVnu Alliance are Extreme Networks Summit X440 stackable switches, which were handed their AVnu- certifi ed stickers back in January and subsequently displayed by Axon at NAB. More are expected to follow. Why the slow burn? With so many potential advantages, and the ubiquity of IT networks within television, it is something of a surprise that products based on standards-based AVB have taken so long to come to market – not least as there are lots of private systems already out there. One argument is that AVB has been held back by its reliance on proprietary switches. Similarly, TSL unveiled PAM1 and PAM2 AVB Units at NAB 2014. These are versions of the established PAM precision audio monitoring systems that “specifi cally address the needs of an Audio-over-IP AVB facility infrastructure.” Another is that while the main standards components of AVB (Precise Time Synchronization, Stream Reservation Protocol and Traffi c Shaping) were ratifi ed some time ago, the fi nal piece of the jigsaw, IEEE 1722.1-2013, the bit responsible for making AVB plug-and-play, is only a year old. Or maybe it is simply because SDI with its familiar BNC connectors is still stable and widely used around the world. After all, not everyone likes change. Notice a theme there? They are all audio-related. Video is still some way behind. There are a couple of products available though. Axon launched Neuron last year, the fi rst publicised device to use AVB for video. And Dutch broadcast facilities provider United is using that very technology in one of its OB vans. Either way, for those doubting the emergence of AVB, Apple already incorporates it into its products. That has to be a positive sign, even if this is a consumer development. The tipping point may come when big boys like Cisco or HP start implementing AVB in their switches. “We’ve already seen strong interest from broadcasters who agree with us that AVB is a game-changing technology for the industry,” argues Jans Eveleens, AVnu Alliance Pro Video Group chair and chief executive of Axon. “The underlying standards and technology are already available. As part of the existing IEEE 802.1 suite, AVB makes a standard Ethernet network suitable for a full-blown production backbone.” Many will hope that he is right. TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 91 JULY 2014 | 47