A Kickstarter campaign has been launched by AVB.io, a company founded by CE veteran John Gildred, formerly of Pioneer, in order to bring to market the Brick & Bullet — what the company describes as a “low-cost Ethernet AVB switch and 24/96 live audio adapter.” The company’s goal is to bring affordable, high resolution audio, including that of live performance audio, to the home and small commercial live-venue installations via the network.
The system has a “brick,” which is basically the router, allows uncompressed audio signals to travel up to a total of 300 feet. It’s built on the IEEE 802.1 standards. The other piece is the “bullet,” a small endpoint that can be connected to both the network, and then to any source or speaker that does not already have AVB built in. (MacBook Pros, for example, already have native Ethernet AVB support via Thunderbolt.) This allows you to mix and match AVB and non-AVB equipment while still using digital audio signals and keeping them on the network. Bricks can be daisy-chained together so signals can travel as long a distance as needed.
Control of the products seems to currently only be done via Macs at the moment, and not through a user-friendly interface at that. (This may present an integrator opportunity.) But these products will still appeal to audiophile clients that want to get uncompressed audio all over their houses, and also to small recording studios and live venues for which digital audio was previously an expensive impossibility.
Final pricing isn’t determined yet, but via the Kickstarter campaign, you can get one Brick for $300, or a Brick and two bullets for $850.