In my conversations with customers, I’m beginning to hear a recurring theme in relation to AVB (Audio Video Bridging): “I’ve been AVB’d to death. Enough with the hype – when will we see real product in action?”

I can understand the frustration. It does feel as though we’ve been talking about AVB for a very long time now. There has been a lot of talk and excitement about it impacting our industry and our businesses. The fact is, AVB is still an emerging technology. It’s not a protocol that could be simply thrown in to any product and quickly released into the field. It takes time to develop product around a new technology and to understand what the technology brings to the party. That’s why you’ve heard so much about it over the past couple of years. We all need to learn about it, so when there is AVB-ready product, the field is ready too.

The AVnu Alliance – the consortium dedicated to advancing the AVB standard – took a big step in the right direction recently when they contracted the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to serve as its interoperability testing house. UNH has established itself as a well-respected test house for Ethernet devices. Their involvement will hasten progress with testing interoperability and compatibility of switches and end points.

The question is still: Is AVB a reality at this point? The short answer: Yes. The long answer is for some companies it is a reality and for others it is becoming a reality.

InfoComm 2012 is where all of the hard work, product development and patience is really going to be on display. I can say with confidence that InfoComm attendees will see real hardware interfacing over AVB, and it’s going to be a big milestone for the AVnu Alliance, AVB and our industry.

It starts with the AVB networking conference held on the Tuesday before InfoComm, which will feature several companies with new AVB products to show. These companies, along with Biamp are Harman, LabX, Extreme Networks, Riedel Communications, Meyer and AVID. I’ll be presenting, along with my counterparts from these other participating companies, and we’ll be giving application-specific information and examples of how and where AVB technology is used.

I encourage a visit to the AVnu Pavilion (C11309) in conjunction with attending one of our Tesira® presentations at the Biamp booth (C9730). The pavilion will feature a wide range of AVB presentations during the whole show, and an AVB interoperability demo that incorporates devices from 15 member companies.

Beyond the AVnu Pavilion, attendees should get out and talk to as many different manufacturers as possible. If you’re interested in AVB, then seek out manufacturers focused specifically on AVB. Talk to them all. It will provide you with a more complete picture of how manufacturers are incorporating AVB and will help you form your own opinion of the AVB landscape. Obviously AVB won’t be successful without switches, so be sure to visit with Extreme Networks to talk about their new AVB switches.

We’re happy to talk AVB if you stop by our booth (C9730). AVB is very real for Biamp and our customers. It’s not ‘vaporware’ – AVB has arrived. We started shipping Tesira a few weeks ago and it is going into convention centers, conference centers, meeting rooms, training rooms and many other applications. You cannot get more real than installing the product and knowing it has to perform.

There’s one final AVB question that a lot of customers and partners ask me – what Cisco and HP have planned. I don’t have any insight on the answer right now, but I’m happy to discuss theories if you want to stop by our booth during InfoComm.

In my opinion, AVB is getting there and new products that utilize AVB will continue to be introduced by Biamp and other companies. At InfoComm you’ll see the real products ready to go into the field. From what I’ve seen, AVB has definitely moved beyond the hype.