[LAD] AVB not so dead after all

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Thu Jul 23 04:35:06 UTC 2015

On Tue, 21 Jul 2015, Thomas Vecchione wrote:

> Related to this topic, I would recommend reading through this...
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/theatre-sound-list/WbysqMHs6iw
> AVB isn't dead no, but it certainly isn't close to dominant at this point, at
> least on my side of the pond.  It may be a different situation on the other side,
> no idea.  That being said, it has a very uphill battle to displace Dante at this
> point on my side of the pond and get decent usage professionally.

You are exactly right. However, for most of us, it is a matter of what can 
work with Linux and has open drivers. Right now nothing. The chances of 
some Dante box having a linux OS in it is probably quite high, but I can't 
even buy a closed version at this point (though I hear there are some 
around). And the HW to go with such a driver is not cheap (at least not 
cheap enough for me to buy when it may never work).

> Then again if AES67 interoperability comes into play, then is may be a moot point
> as ideally you would be able to communicate between the two protocols.

AES67 right now is the same. There are no Linux drivers and none in the 
works so far as I know. There are some audio cards that are basically 
AES67 ends, but again they are not cheap.

AVB is far from dominant for sure, but there is an open driver (well sort 
of... a group of bits that can be put together to make things work is more 
like it) in the works. It does require some special HW, but the gist of 
the thread is that the cost of that HW has come within reach. In other 
words, the average experimenter with no backing can start to tinker.

There is an option to still make use of AVB equipment if one can't make 
this work, not cheap ($600) but similar to a USB AI with the same feature 
set that will act as either a USB (USB2.0 compliant it says) AI with AVB 
bridging or as an AVB AI. SO not a loss if things don't go well or not 
unusable while working on things. The internals can be controled via a web 
browser on the avb port even with no AVB stuff attached.

Along with this, parts of the linux AVB driver and HW needed (the NIC for 
example) will be usable for AES67 development if someone chooses to do 

So AVB development may not seem like the best way to go, but right now it 
is the only way that at least seems open and in the end seems to also have 
the edge quality wise (perhaps that is debatable... I won't bother arguing 
either way).

So for me, it is about accessability. I am a hobbiest (at this point 
anyway) and Dante/AES67/Ravenna are out of my reach. AVB seems to have 
entered into that accessable place.

One thing I will say is that Dante and AVB can coexist on the same 
network, it should not be very hard to make a box with only one NIC that 
can bridge the two... and make whatever in on one protocol look like it is 
on the other.

Len Ovens

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