InfoComm 2018: Justin Kennington on the SDVoE/Dante Link-up

InfoComm 2018: Justin Kennington on the SDVoE/Dante Link-up

Ahead of the official announcement that Audinate has joined the SDVoE Alliance, we spoke to Alliance president Justin Kennington about what this means for the industry.

What can now happen now that Audinate is an SDVoE member that couldn’t have happened before?

The answer to this question, frankly, lies more in the future, and is something we are still mapping out. The exciting thing about Audinate’s membership of the SDVoE Alliance is that it opens the door to interesting new (potentially very tight) forms of integration of the two technologies – the leading standard for high-performance audio networking with the only standard for no-compromise video over IP.

Please tell me more about the integrated AV control environment that both parties are working on.

What we will be showing [at InfoComm] is just the first step – it is Dante Controller modified to add communication with the SDVoE API. This way, the Dante Controller can be used to discover and control Dante devices and SDVoE devices together in its widely-familiar interface.

Our SDVoE 20/20 stage AV system will include a mix of SDVoE and Dante endpoints to create the presentation environment. That system includes a single instance of the SDVoE API, and several members with software products (including Audinate) will present. Each of them brings their own control layer, which connects to the unified SDVoE API and hardware, demonstrating the wide differences in problems that can be solved by software-defined video. In the case of Audinate, the problem being solved is “I wish I could manage my network audio and my network video through a single control environment.”

Audinate will be promoting a similar demonstration in their booth.

We have no timetable for a specific release yet established. Stay tuned – this partnership is very new.

Other companies have already demonstrated using Dante for video (such as Visionary Solutions at ISE this year with its PacketAV Duet). What is different about what this announcement potentially brings?

To me, this question is simply “What’s different comparing SDVoE to any single 1G product?” What’s different is the SDVoE ecosystem. PacketAV’s product is fine, I’m sure (I have never evaluated it), but it’s a walled garden – a single product from a single manufacturer. SDVoE now boasts 40 members (and growing), all of whom are building interoperable products that work with the SDVoE standard, controlled by the common SDVoE API.

To me, the position of SDVoE in the market is a much clearer match to the position of Dante. Both technologies rely on an interoperable hardware layer and a common control API to enabled manufacturers to produce a really broad ecosystem of well-differentiated hardware and software products. In other words, SDVoE, like Dante, is not a product, but a platform upon which the AV industry can build the next generation of applications. To me, this was the biggest impact Dante had on the market, and it reflects SDVoE’s position well.

Overall I would say that I am very excited about this new member in the Alliance, and I am really looking forward to the opportunities for collaboration that this will encourage between Audinate and many other Alliance members.