Developed by the IEEE, the 802.1 extension to the Ethernet standard, referred to as AVB (Audio Video Bridging) or TSN (Time Sensitive Networking), is now shipping as a standard feature in MOTU's latest generation high-end audio interfaces, ready to have an immediate, positive impact on your pro audio workflow. AVB/TSN audio networking fulfills the promise of a truly professional, scalable audio networking standard that can change the way you think about audio I/O and distribution for your own specific needs.
AVB/TSN has been developed by the IEEE as an international standard specification for transporting high-bandwidth, low-latency audio and video over Ethernet. As a true industry standard, it is not proprietary and controlled by one company, allowing for open interoperability across devices and brands, with consistent, non-disruptive adoption of refinements to the specification, as it evolves.
AVB/TSN audio networking works very similarly to regular Ethernet. The only difference is that you use AVB/TSN switches instead of Ethernet routers, and you use a higher grade of ethernet cables (shielded CAT-5e or CAT-6), which are affordable and easily purchased wherever networking supplies are sold. However, AVB/TSN goes way beyond Ethernet. By design, bandwidth is high, latency is low, and audio streaming is guaranteed to be uninterrupted.
In a nutshell, AVB/TSN audio networking gives you two important benefits: 1) flexible, convenient control of your entire audio system from any web host on the same network — even Wi-Fi devices like an iPad or iPhone, and 2) endless possibilities for expanding your system or constructing a customized installation. Here are just a few ideas.
Because AVB/TSN is an open industry standard specification, there are no expensive licensing fees that must be passed on to you. Instead, cost goes directly towards achieving the highest possible networking performance for your dollar.
AVB/TSN is designed to handle hundreds of audio channels over a network. A MOTU network (with AVB/TSN-equipped MOTU interfaces and the MOTU AVB Switch™) can stream over 512 channels. In addition, each MOTU device can broadcast multiple 8-channel network streams and simultaneously listen to multiple 8-channel network streams. The 8A can handle 8 streams (64 channels) in and out, simultaneously, while other models, such as the 16A, can handle 16 streams each way (128 channels in and out).
Standard AVB/TSN network latency is fixed at 2 ms. MOTU network latency is an astonishing 0.625 ms (fixed), even over 7 "hops" (switches) and hundreds of meters of cable. That's only 30 samples when the system is operating at 48 kHz. When adding the ultra-low processor latency of MOTU interfaces, that's an astonishing 0.92 ms point to point, over seven switches and potentially hundreds of meters of network cables. By comparison, other proprietary networking systems have unpredictable, variable latency in the 2-5 ms range.
|I/O + Network||44 (0.92 ms)|
AVB/TSN provides its own network-wide time base for better-than-sample-accurate phase lock across all connected devices. Timing accuracy is down to the nanosecond. Better yet, a MOTU network provides one-click synchronization: click the "Become Clock Master" button in the MOTU web app for the MOTU device you choose as the clock master, and all other devices on the network immediately resolve to it.
AVB/TSN’s Stream Reservation Protocol provides Guaranteed Quality of Service for each and every audio stream. Once a point-to-point network connection is established, AVB/TSN guarantees that the audio stream will never be interrupted by any other network traffic of any kind.
A MOTU audio network has been designed from the ground up to provide automatic device discovery, enumeration, and connection management. Just plug your MOTU interfaces into a standard AVB/TSN switch and go. You don’t need an IT professional to configure the network. AVB/TSN is a self-managing network protocol.
AVB/TSN can coexist with standard ethernet networks, for connecting standard ethernet devices like Airports or other Wi-Fi routers, Ethernet switches, and even entire Ethernet networks in your home, office or studio. This gives you control of your networked devices from anywhere in your facility and access to the internet for instant firmware updates served from MOTU's cloud servers.
A single AVB/TSN audio network connection can be up to 100 meters with a standard copper wire CAT-5e or CAT-6 cable. Fiber-optic cable runs can be much longer. With multiple switches — up to seven “hops” (switch-to-switch connections) — you can create a network that covers very large distances, if necessary.
MOTU is first to combine AVB/TSN audio networking with Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity. MOTU audio networks do not require PCIe slots. Instead, you can conveniently connect your host computer(s) through USB or Thunderbolt.
A MOTU audio network can host as many computers as can be physically connected, with complete access by all hosts to all connected devices and audio streams. All computers and all network devices run in sync with each other, resolved to the network's master clock.
MOTU audio networks employ a star configuration, which is much more flexible than daisy-chain scenarios by allowing for multiple branches that can be fed to multiple destinations.
A MOTU audio network can be controlled from MOTU's web app, which runs within any web browser running on any networked laptop, tablet, or smart phone — even over Wi-Fi. Control your system from multiple devices at the same time, from any OS platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.)