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Task Force Explores AES X192 Standard

An AES standards task group is developing an interoperability standard for audio networking, called “X192.”

Boulder, CO (November 21, 2011)—An AES standards task group is developing an interoperability standard for audio networking, called “X192.”

Chaired by Kevin Gross, the group aims to enable interoperability between products of many different manufacturers, so that X192, once implemented, will provide manufacturers with the means to remain with the network technology they are invested in, while also seamlessly interfacing with products that support other networks.

Gross describes the genesis of the effort, “When you’re working in the IP environment, there are a limited number of ways to mix and match existing pieces to implement an audio network. So it’s inevitable that IP-based solutions will have similarities. As I surveyed various implementations, it became apparent that these similarities provided an opportunity for interoperability.”

There are currently a number of existing and work-in-progress protocols, each with a distinct heritage. These include the IEEE 1733 variant of AVB, Dante, Livewire, Q-LAN and RAVENNA. With an “interoperability mode” built from existing protocols and compatible with existing network equipment, system integrators and end-users will be able to select and interface the products that best meet their design goals with confidence that the X192-enabled devices work and play well together. And by “interoperability,” Gross means the ability for devices operating under various proprietary Layer-3 protocols to easily exchange audio data. Alternately, manufacturers may find that X192, once fully developed, will meet all their criteria and may decide to implement it as their only networking protocol.

QSC Audio Products, LLC and Telos Systems’ Axia Audio division have become sponsoring members supporting Gross’s work. Gross conceived and developed the CobraNet system for transport of real-time, high-quality audio over Ethernet networks. He is an active contributor to the AVB standards efforts and has helped QSC deploy Q-LAN. Additionally, he holds several patents, has written papers and articles and presented on numerous AV networking topics. In 2006, he was awarded an AES fellowship for his contributions to digital audio networking.

The task group membership is comprised of representatives from prominent audio manufacturers including ALC NetworX and members of the RAVENNA consortium, network equipment and component manufacturers and key end users.

“We strongly support Kevin’s efforts,” says QSC VP of Marketing Gerry Tschetter. “Two years of field experience with the Q-LAN protocol used by Q-Sys networked audio products have proven to us that an IP-based approach to networked audio is the right solution. We are looking forward to working with Kevin on an interoperability definition that expands options for the industry.”

Clark Novak, Marketing Manager for Telos Systems and Axia Audio states, “Telos and Axia have advocated standards-based audio networking since we pioneered Livewire in 2003. The development of a networking standard whose benefits all broadcasters can enjoy is the logical next step for the industry. We’re delighted to be a charter member of the X192 group.”

AES X192

QSC Audio Products, LLC

Axia, a Telos Alliance company