New Industry Alliance Set Up to Manage AV-over-IP Standards (Sort of) – Don’t Expect Much

sdvoe_0117AptoVision, Aquantia, Christie Digital, NETGEAR, Sony and ZeeVee today announced that they have formed the SDVoE Alliance to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in ProAV environments, and to create an ecosystem around SDVoE technology that allows software to define AV applications.

Many AV distribution and processing applications that demand zero-latency and could potentially benefit from SDVoE technology, which provides an end-to-end hardware and software platform for AV extension, switching, processing and control through advanced chipset technology, common control APIs and interoperability. SDVoE network architectures are based on off-the-shelf Ethernet switches thus offering substantial cost savings and greater system flexibility and scalability over traditional approaches such as point-to-point extension and circuit-based AV matrix switching.

SDVoE Alliance founding members claim to bring different perspectives to the SDVoE initiative spanning the entire ecosystem with expertise in chipsets (AptoVision, Aquantia), switches and storage (NETGEAR), and AV end points (Christie Digital, Sony and ZeeVee). The SDVoE Alliance already benefits from over 35 shipping products and numerous installations in healthcare, enterprise, entertainment, hospitality, retail, houses of worship, government, military, industry and security.

The alliance seeks to:

  • Standardize adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments
  • Offer end users increased flexibility, with applications more tailored to their particular needs, and the opportunity to reduce both capital and operating expenses
  • Enable more cost-effective architectures for AV signal distribution using Ethernet switches
  • Provide a reliable and more versatile alternative to point-to-point extension and circuit switches
  • Facilitate true AV/IT convergence such that high-quality AV networks and data networks can simultaneously share a single infrastructure platform
  • Bring ecosystem partners — AV equipment manufacturers, AV software developers, switch manufacturers, chipset designers, technology providers and system integrators — together under a single banner to foster collaboration
  • Bring awareness to new opportunities by educating the industry and offering training in the new paradigm
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So, here’s the problem with this: There’s no diversity on this alliance. And, note that the big switching and distribution companies aren’t listed — for example, Extron, Crestron, AMX, Kramer, etc. And, until they do, this is a useless alliance. And, industry alliances like this don’t successfully create standards when the people with a vested interest in their own technology being used (i.e. AptoVision has a reference design for sending AV-over-IP that’s being sold as BlueRiver NT) are on the committee. And, in this case, they started it. In fact, the so-called “industry alliance” press release was sent via Janet Matey — the Marketing & Communications Manager for AptoVision (look here, she’s listed right on there website as the Media Contact for AptoVision) who is also now in the position of Marketing Coordinator for the SDVoE initiative.

So, do you really think this is an independent alliance working on independent standards?

Here are more details on the alliance.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..