AVB Support

I would like to see an AVB (IEEE 802.1BA-2011) standards implementation for uncompressed video over network. It is fairly new, so it hasn’t been developed for a lot of applications yet. This will however (likely) be the next thing in video transmission and is backed by a wealth of large companies and organizations. From what I’ve heard, the only available implementation up to now is in healthcare video monitoring, and in some cars as a means of camera transmission. On the audio front it has started to get released in new products. It will require a new switch with support for it as it includes prioritized traffic, but this should also start to get more widespread now.

The reason for AVB over CITP/MSEX is the hardware support in connected switches. Where the sum of the network load is a concern when dealing with CITP/MSEX, AVB reserves bandwidth on the network itself for the connected devices and load that the video (and audio) stream requires. As the technology is relatively new, and primarily developed for audio at the moment, there are a few pitfalls to be noted. The network switch used has to have AVB support. This is still fresh on the market so few devices are available. Although it might become a common feature in time, it might also become a “pro” standard where you’ll have to buy a separate license for it if you need it. The devices currently available are also not guaranteed to work with switches of another brand, and as far as I can tell, not always with switches of the same brand(!). This means you can connect a computer to one network consisting of one switch type with one cable, and to a different network with different switches with another cable, but you cannot expect connecting the two networks together and get that to work. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the video in AVB is pretty much unchartered domain as far as software development. Gigabit network is also a requirement.

There is also the aspect of competition. On the audio front there is also the Dante and Ravenna systems (primarily atm). These have the same problem as CITP/MSEX though, where traffic load isn’t regulated as they run on regular switches (well, you can regulate load by setting up vlans and carefully configure the routing and reserve bandwidth through the router, but AVB should to an extent eliminate the need for extensive knowledge and configuration of the network). A standard for interoperability between these systems have been made through AES67, but as only Ravenna is compliant it isn’t of much use currently.

The upside and reasoning for implementing an expansive system as this is that you will have a completely different handling of content and collaboration between different providers (artists). Any video or audio stream from anywhere on the network can be sent from, edited, and picked up by any node in the network. If or when the Raspberry Pi gets Gb capabilities this will really start to kick off (relatively) cheap and easy ways to get a lot of video to and from a lot of instances (with a mature system and wireless support, think for instance about using the crowds cell phones as one large distributed screen, or as one huge camera). We start to see this with audio now, and the ease of use and possibility of networked systems are starting to shine, especially with electronic(ally enhanced) music. Where you before had a bunch of audio interfaces, mixers, cables and conversion, it is now reduced to a switch and a few cat5es.


Biamp has an informal supported switch list here:


Stumbled across this today: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4110444?start=0&tstart=0

It seems like AVB is (and has been) supported physically by Apple for some time now.

Hmm, on my OS X v10.10.3 system, avbdeviced doesn’t exist, and it looks like Apple removed the manual page (which that discussion thread links to) from their website (that link is dead, and a search for avbdeviced returns no results).

Though it should still be possible to implement AVB without having built-in OS X support for it.

Yup you are right, I should have checked the links first. After a bit of searching however, I found that it is included by default now, listed as network devices (or something like that) under the audio midi settings (under window). There is a framework (AudioVideoBridging.framework), but it doesn’t seem well documented. That might again be my bad GoogleFu. I also found this that might be of help: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/samplecode/sc1827/Introduction/Intro.html

Thanks, @martinusmagneson.