Extreme Adds AVB 802.1Q Support To Ethernet Switches

Extreme Networks is adding audio video bridging support to its enterprise-class fixed Ethernet switches, making it one of the first of the major switch vendors to tackle audio and video system automation using Ethernet, Extreme claims.

AVB 802.1Q technology can benefit from IP/Ethernet convergence in much the same way VoIP and networked storage did, according to Extreme, which made the announcement in line with this week's Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) conference in Amsterdam.

Using IEEE standards enables easy interoperability and the ability to leverage Extreme switches with lots of different audio and video technologies. It also means simplified cabling, improved A/V delivery via synchronization, and other benefits such as integrated quality of service, said Todd Acree, director of product management at Extreme.

"Anywhere you have audio and video needs is [a place] where this will help," Acree told CRN this week. "Extreme intends to be a leader here."

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AVB and converged Ethernet is a multibillion-dollar market opportunity for channel partners, Acree said. Among other benefits of Extreme's approach, A/V traffic can co-exist with non-A/V traffic using the same Ethernet infrastructure, making it an ideal solution for recording studios, stadiums, performance halls, theme parks and broadcast studios with heavy A/V needs.

Extreme's Summit X440, Summit X460 and Summit X670 switches will be the first with AVB support, the company said. It will soon be added across all Extreme Ethernet products, including the BlackDiamond X8. Acree said Extreme will enable its use with interfaces from 100 Mbps to 100 Gbps, and it will be sold as a software license.

Extreme is partnering with a number of professional A/V companies as part of the launch, including Axon, Biamp Systems, Meyer Sound and Harman. It expects to work with both existing Extreme partners and attract other A/V-focused integrators, Acree added.