Inspired by Sound and Video Contractor’s AVB Demystified webinar with Dave Theis, welcome to our AVB Demystified 5-part blog series.

The AV industry has experienced huge growth in the last 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Evolutions in computer technology are constantly pushing the boundaries of what end users expect out of their audio systems. With the increase in scale and complexity of installations in recent years, AV integrators began looking for system solutions that could accommodate their clients’ growing needs for more flexible and scalable options in their AV systems.

What Is AVB?

AVB is a collection of IEEE 802.1 standards that have increased the capacity for safe information exchange, support, and AV product standardization. Commonly referred to as a switch, the purpose of an audio video bridge is to provide time-synchronized, low latency streaming capabilities for audio and video data that guarantees bandwidth reservation.

were developed to provide an answer for installations that required lower latency and higher channel counts. The promise of AVB is a single network to transmit audio, video, and other forms of data via “smart” switches that can process AVB traffic without compromising network integrity. Using AVB, an AV/IT administrator can have a mixed data network, making their responsibilities to manage the AV systems much more time- and cost-effective than today’s practice of segmenting audio traffic onto their own VLANs. Integrating AVB technology into their current IT infrastructure will be a giant step forward and a radical shift in design philosophy for most system administrators.

Here are the AVB-related IEEE standards:

  • 802.1AS: Timing and Synchronization for Time-Sensitive Applications
  • 802.1Qat: Stream Reservation Protocol (SRP)
  • 802.1Qav: Forwarding and Queuing for Time-Sensitive Streams
  • 802.1BA: Audio Video Bridging Systems
  • 1722 is a Layer 2 transport protocol for time sensitive applications in bridged LANs. Relates to media talker and listener endpoints only.
  • 1733 is a Layer 3 transport protocol for time sensitive applications in LANs that leverage Real-Time Transport Protocols (RTP) and RTP Control Protocols (RTCP), two protocols commonly used in VoIP.
  • P1722.1 is responsible for AVB device discovery, enumeration, connection management and control for 1722-based devices. It is currently going through the balloting process prior to acceptance.

There are a lot of myths out there about AVB, and we’ve debunked them one at a time in a previous post, Debunking Some Myths About AVB. For specifics on the differences between Layer 2 and Layer 3 networking, you’ll want to read Are Layer 2 or Layer 3 Protocols Better? Yes. by our director of engineering, Jason Damori.

In the next AVB Demystified post, we’ll discuss exactly how AVB works and some of its key features.