What is MNA?
The Media Networking Alliance (MNA) is a non-profit trade association that has been formed to promote adoption and support adopters of the newly ratified AES67-2013 standard, through a program of education, marketing and ongoing technical support.
What is AES67?
AES67 is a standard to enable high-performance audio-over-IP streaming interoperability between the various IP based audio networking products currently available, based on existing standards such as Dante, Livewire, Q-LAN and RAVENNA. It is not a new technology but a bridging compliance mode common to all IP-Networks; a mode you can put an AES67 compliant device into, on any participating network. AES67 operates over standard layer 3 Ethernet networks and as such, is routable and fully scalable, like any common modern IT network.
Why was the Media Networking Alliance (MNA) formed when AES sets the standard?
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) is a standards setting organization. As such, its role is not as a promoter of standards. The MNA was formed because people in the industry saw a need to both promote and support the proliferation of AES67. The companies who are a part of the MNA see the many benefits to the industry as a whole to having a true industry standard for audio network interoperability. We believe that the industry benefits when standards are open.
The members of the AES67 committee have the task of developing an audio interoperability standard that they believe will serve the needs of the professional audio industry the best.
The MNA has the role of promoting the adoption of AES67 industry wide, as well as providing additional education and technical resources, but the MNA is not directly involved in the creation of the standard.
Why do we need an interoperability standard?
Given the reality of several different popular “audio network standards” in use today, and the desire to be able to communicate between products of various vendors which may not be using the same exact network technology, a means to interoperate was clearly needed. Each network standard has its advantages for a particular product or end user. A true standard that is support by a true standards organization such as the Audio Engineering Society assure users of the various networks (that are AES67 compliant) that they can freely design their systems with confidence, knowing that the products in their systems will be able to interoperate.
Who makes money from the use of AES67?
No one makes money from AES67 directly. It is truly a standard from a standards organization. It is available to anyone and there are no fees associated with its use. That said, companies may sell products, components, or reference designs that incorporate the AES67 technology.
Who formed the MNA?
The initial steering committee members are employees of Bosch Security Systems, Lawo, QSC, The Telos Alliance and Yamaha. This demonstrates the diversity of those whose customers have a need for industry-wide interoperability. These companies are from three continents and represent both the installed sound industry, live sound and the broadcast industry. The MNA will serve the needs of all its members and will not target one specific industry segment.
Why should I, or my company, join the MNA?
There are many reasons to become a part of the MNA. The MNA will provide education resources to its members and as it develops and grows will become a valuable resource for technical support. As a part of the MNA community, you will have access to this as a member benefit.
AES67 benefits the pro audio industry at large and as a MNA member, you have the opportunity to play an active part in the future of our industry and media networks as they evolve.
What are the membership levels and costs?
There are two membership levels;
Full Membership has a fee of $10,000 per annum.
Associate Membership has a fee of $1,000 per annum.
Full membership benefits may be downloaded here Member class matrix
Will MNA help me develop my technology?
MNA will not directly help individuals or companies develop technology. However, the atmosphere at MNA and the education and technical information provided by MNA may well assist members in creating their products and technology.
How can the MNA help test my product?
In itself, the MNA cannot help you to test your product. However, if you were to become a MNA member, then you would be able to participate in the technical workgroups and liaise with other AES67 equipment manufacturers, which could aide you in conducting your own interoperability testing.
If I want to implement AES67 in my products do you have testing facilities I can use to verify that I have implemented AES67 correctly and will interoperate?
The MNA does not operate an interoperability testing program. The AES has, so far, hosted two interoperability plug-fests which may be attended by any organization or individual with an AES67 implementation. AES67 is based on well-adopted and well-understood existing network protocols. Implementations and testing already exist in support of these protocols. The AES has drafted a Performance Compliance Implementation Statement (PICS) that can assist in developing a test plan for an AES67 implementation. Members of the SC-02-12-M task group have access to this draft and membership in SC-02-12 is open to individuals involved in AES67 development or deployment.
Are you partnered with a university for testing facility?
No, there is no compliance organization or testing facility (commercial or educational) associated with AES67. Many standards interoperate well without such initiatives and, since AES67 is a standard based on existing standards, there is considerable experience amassed and engineering already completed that should serve to ease interoperability issues.
What will MNA do with respect to marketing AES67?
It is envisioned that MNA will promote AES67 through a number of avenues. We will conduct promotional events and demonstrations at industry trade shows, involving the members directly. We will continue to publish articles, press releases and white papers to further educate the pro audio community on the benefits of AES67. Members of the MNA will be highly encouraged to speak at industry events and trade shows to further the message.
What products support AES67?
AES67 is supported in a growing number of products from MNA members and others. RH Consulting published an app called “Networked Audio Devices” which lists all networked audio devices currently available. Activating the filter for “AES67 support” lists AES67enabled devices. The app is currently available for iOS only and can be downloaded from the iTunes store.
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