10 Things You Need to Know About AVB/TSN

Published: 2016-05-04

AVB/TSN has been a hot topic lately with the expansion of network connected devices, but it’s not necessarily a topic that’s easily understood.

From its definition, to its requirements, to its overall meaning to the pro-AV industry, Graeme Harrison, EVP of marketing for Biamp, answers the following 10 questions regarding AVB/TSN to help you understand the intricate details of this technology.

1. Exactly what is AVB/TSN?

Audio Video Bridging (AVB) is the layman’s term for the set of open technical standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

It was originally developed by the IEEE’s AVB Task Group in 2004, but as the industries that are served by the Task Force expanded, it was renamed Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) in 2012 to reflect a more accurate focus for the expanded scope of the Task Force’s work.

2. What are the requirements for AVB/TSN?

Requirements for AVB/TSN include the ability to synchronize multiple data streams, ensuring these can be rendered quickly and correctly. Examples of this are lip sync and the ability to keep numerous digital speakers properly synchronized and in phase.

The IEEE protocols underpinning AVB/TSN also set up reservations for multiple stream bandwidth (MSRP – IEEE 802.1AS), time synchronization (PTP – IEEE 802.1Qat), forwarding and queuing (FQTSS – IEEE 802.1Qav) and master time clock (IEEE 1722).

This group of capabilities is unique in our industry.

3. Where is AVB/TSN used?

AVB/TSN is used anywhere networked audio/video systems are expected to consistently and quickly deliver synchronized data.

Extensive AVB/TSN solutions have been installed in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Florida where each of the individual buildings across the district are being incorporated into the overall audiovisual solution.

Related: The AVB’’ target=’_blank’>digital signage. This solution enables the Centre to send video to various locations throughout the tower without lip sync issues or bandwidth concerns.

4. What equipment can be used on an AVB/TSN network?

Equipment that can be used on an AVB/TSN network are those that facilitate the transportation of data packets consisting of audio, video, or text. These networks include equipment used in the automotive, consumer electronics, pro AV, and industrial control industries.

So whether the equipment is for transporting data files for robots on the factory floor or for sending audio and video across a distributed network, AVB/TSN is not limited to the pro AV industry, and we will continue to see adoption and implementation increase though various facets of our lives. One of the most compelling advantages is the ease of setup of AVB/TSN-capable networking hardware.

5. What does this all mean for the pro-AV industry?

To understand what this means to our industry, we need to pause and look at key companies — Intel, Cisco, General Electric, and National Instruments — whose job it is to support the development of products belonging to the Internet of Things (IoT), and recognize that AVB/TSN is viewed as enabling the technology that will be part of the “next big thing” or the technological evolution for IoT.

The expectations and requirements for audio and video continue to grow and evolve, demanding more from audio/video capabilities including connecting more people through a variety of devices. As AV solutions evolve, the expectations of what can be accomplished will continue to grow as well.

With AV increasingly residing on the network, it becomes part of a larger IT ecosystem.

The next natural step of the communications evolution is for pro AV to become part of IoT, which means residing nicely on the network by not being a bandwidth hog, keeping data packets in precise order, and doing so in a timely fashion.

This will enable a smoother transition to a truly integrated mixed-use network as AVB/TSN is becoming the deterministic protocol of IoT.

6. How are networked media systems and integrated media networks affected by AVB/TSN?

AVB/TSN is the protocol that enables truly integrated networked media systems (NMS). Almost all of the protocols used in the pro AV industry today only support audio, which is just one part of NMS. AVB/TSN natively supports audio, video, and any other deterministic data and ties it all together neatly and easily.

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