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Lee Minich: AV networking requirements expanding

Founded in 1996, Lab X Technologies is a Rochester, New York-based engineering design firm recognized as a global leader in digital AV media transport and network connectivity, with extensive experience in applying IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) and other audio networking standards. Lab X is an influential participant in the AVB community, an extremely active member of AVnu Alliance, and is fully committed to AVnu certified interoperability.

Lab X partners with leading AV manufacturers to accelerate product development cycles, enable digital network interoperability by licensing Xavity AVB connectivity platforms, augmenting internal design teams, providing pre-engineered connectivity modules, developing innovative product concepts, and producing complete turnkey custom solutions.

Lee Minich is the president and founder of Lab X Technologies, an engineering design service firm that provices Xavity(TM) AVB connectivity platforms for professional audio/video equipment manufacturers. Minich has been the Marketing Work Group chairman for AVnu Alliance, a consortium of leading equipment manufacturers, which is focused on compliance and interoperability of AVB (Audio Video Bridging) standards, since September of 2009. His career in the audio/video industry began in1992; since 2000 he has focused on providing audio networking solutions. Minich and Lab X Technologies have extensive design experience with leading proprietary protocols, the company’s primary focus has been on AVB since 2007. Lee Minich holds BSEE and MSEE degrees.

Broadcast Engineering: Have there been changes in broadcast production that make the marriage of audio and video more difficult than had been the case in the past?

Lee Minich: “There is a growing demand for networked AV distribution throughout the broadcast facility. Current technology is point to point, not networked; HD-SDI for video and MADI for audio. These require dedicated switchers and routers and do NOT take advantage of the quantum leaps forward the packet based IT (computer Information Technology) infrastructure has made. Fundamental changes to Ethernet have been made via the IEEE AVB (Audio Video Bridging) standards that allow Ethernet to be a robust, time synchronous distribution backbone.” 

BE: Do you anticipate continued developments in the area of networking?

LM: “Broadcasters will drive towards networked infrastructure for AV content and migrate away from proprietary point to point connections schemes for fiscal reasons. Utilizing networked systems for timing critical content, file based editing and for other facility data needs drastically reduces the cost of maintenance and deployment. Plus, with networked systems, growing bandwidth needs can be dealt with simply by upgrading the network switches.” 

BE: What issues should audio engineers be considering that they may not be aware of?

LM: “Low latency, standards based audio networking via AVB is emerging quickly in the broadcast market. There are already major networks driving their equipment manufacturers to provide Audio Video Bridging interfaces on their gear. Engineers can expect that networked AVB audio will become part of their work flow in the near future.”