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.