The AES, in cooperation with the European Broadcast Union (EBU), recently held a ‘Plugfest’ with equipment from 10 manufacturers.
The event aimed to demonstrate interoperability between a number of different implementations of the AES67-2013 standard. AES67 is a standard to enable high-performance audio-over-IP streaming interoperability between the various IP based audio networking products currently available, such as Dante, Livewire, Q-LAN and RAVENNA.
The Media Network Alliance (MNA) has been formed to promote adoption and support adopters of the newly ratified standard, through a program of education, marketing, and ongoing technical support for the standard.
The Plugfest was held at the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), in Munich, Germany, from 27 to 30 October. The participating manufacturers were ALC NetworX GmbH, Archwave AG, Axia Audio, Digigram SA, DirectOut GmbH, Georg Neumann GmbH, Lawo AG, Merging Technologies S.A., SOUND4 and Telos Systems Inc. Technical personnel from IRT, Swedish Radio and the BBC assisted in the tests and observed the outcomes on behalf of the EBU.
Stefan Ledergerber, director R&D Lawo Group and member of the MNA steering committee, was present and commented: “The Plugfest proved that AES67 is not vaporware, it works. It is the ideal form of making the various existing technologies talk to each other and giving the users the possibility to interconnect a huge variety of equipment, based on open standards. There is still enough room for differentiation between the various technologies out there, allowing for healthy competition between them, and continuing to drive industry innovation forward. The fact that we are all based on IP layer 3 ensures full scalability of installations and maximum leverage of IT industry advancements.”
Speaking for the AES, Mark Yonge, AES standards manager concluded: “This Plugfest was organised to allow various manufacturers to confirm their products' AES67 interoperability with others in a commercially-neutral environment. The ultimate people to benefit from these tests will be the clients of these manufacturers because their quality of interoperability is known rather than assumed. A further Plugfest is anticipated in 2015 in North America to continue this useful work.”