Where's the video in AVB?

AVB standards promise real-time, guaranteed delivery of AV signals across networks and it's got the pro AV industry talking. But, with developments heavily focused on the audio side Anna Mitchell asks where's the video?

For many applications Audio Video Bridging (AVB) standards represent an incredibly attractive networking option. However, whilst AVB enabled products are starting to be released on the audio side, video developments seem rather more elusive.

Limited bandwidths in Ethernet networks have long been considered a barrier but with the landscape changing could we soon see certified video bridges and end points in the industry and what affect will this have on professional AV?

“We at Riedel believe that Audio Video Bridging (AVB) will [become an established] standard in the broadcast and pro audio world,” begins Henning Kaltheuner, head of product management at Riedel.

“AVB has a couple of important characteristics that sets it apart from more general video-over-IP network protocols,” says Jan Eveleens, CEO of broadcast equipment vendor, Axon Digital. “It supports guaranteed low latency, guaranteed delivery and it is asynchronous.

“But there are also applications where these requirements are not needed,” he continues. “Then AVB is perhaps not the right technology. It’s not going to replace all video-over-IP applications.

According to Rick Kreifeldt, vice president of research and innovation at Harman International and chariman of the AVnu Alliance, video developments have been running concurrently with audio, just not always in the professional AV space. 

“From the silicon side there has been early development in video. Automotive is a big application area for AVB and, from Harman’s perspective, we included video from the get-go in our automotive system.

“So the good news for those operating in the professional space is there are high volume applications that require video on the AVB side. That’s helped with silicon development that can be used in professional applications.

At this year’s InfoComm Barco nudged the prospect one step further, using prototype equipment to demonstrate a basic distribution scenario on the show floor in Orlando, USA.

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