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InfoComm 2018: Avnu Alliance members launch Milan protocol

Protocol is the result of 18 months' work by half a dozen manufacturers

Major pro AV manufacturers and leaders in professional AV, working under the umbrella of Avnu Alliance, have announced the creation of the Milan protocol. Milan is described as the first fully realised, standards-based protocol built for deterministic, interoperable, future-proof media networking in the pro AV market. Milan is a user-driven protocol for professional media, providing the guarantee that all Milan devices will work together providing a greater level of convenience, reliability and functionality. 

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Created by manufacturers including AudioScience, Avid, Biamp, d&b audiotechnik, L-Acoustics, Luminex and Meyer Sound, Milan builds on the technical benefits of the IEEE audio-video bridging (AVB) open standards, such as time synchronisation and guaranteed quality of service, as well as risk-free coexistence of control and media data on one network. Milan builds on these features, further defining device requirements at both the network and the application layer for compatible media streams, formats, media clocking, redundancy and controller software. Milan certification will deliver foolproof interoperability of deterministic networked pro AV devices.

“After carefully considering what end users were trying to accomplish, and the challenges and risks associated with using other protocols, AVB was a natural choice for implementing a high-quality media network,” said Jeff Rocha, director product management, L-Acoustics. “We also recognise that there has been no application-layer interoperability defined above the network foundation. This application-level interoperability is critical to delivering on the promise of AVB: simple, reliable network operation, guaranteed performance and sustainability. Milan leverages the benefits of AVB to deliver a user-driven solution for networked AV that guarantees interoperability among pro AV devices.”

“Eighteen months ago we began exploring this solution, and discovered a compelling benefit to unify our vision with Milan,” added Henning Kaltheuner, head of business development and market intelligence, d&b audiotechnik. “We knew for certain, in an industry dominated by companies that want to market products to customers, we needed to focus on the customer experience. We aim to change the conversation around network standards to be about providing the best possible end user experience with a convenient, truly interoperable and deployable solution. We knew the only way for us to influence change in this direction was to join together to harness our collective power to move the entire industry.” 

“The Milan initiative is a long-term approach to change the way the pro AV market does AV networking,” said John McMahon, Meyer Sound and Avnu Alliance pro AV segment chair.” We encourage companies seeking a technically superior network, that guarantees interoperability and is not limited by the confines of proprietary products, to join us and participate in building out this ecosystem.

Supporting all types of media, Milan is an open, deterministic network protocol, ensuring on-time delivery of audio, video and data, while co-existing with other Ethernet traffic without risk of dropouts or degradation of media. As a development extension managed openly by Avnu Alliance pro AV segment members, work is in progress to deploy a new streamlined testing and certification program from Avnu Alliance to support this new network solution for implementation by pro AV manufacturers.

Manufacturers interested in exploring Milan network implementation should visit or get in touch with [email protected]. Milan specification documents for media clocking and formats are publicly available now at and the specification document for redundancy will be added later this month.