Livewire™, the standards-based Audio-over-IP protocol that touched off the networked-studio revolution in 2003, is now Livewire+, with integrated AES67 compliance — giving the highly-successful networking system, which powers more than 5,500 broadcast facilities worldwide, “future-proof” AES compliance.
“AoIP system interoperability is at the top of everyone’s wish list,” says Telos Alliance Marketing Manager Clark Novak. “Livewire+ is fully compliant with the AES67 specification, which means that anyone with Livewire+ studios can have the interoperability they want right now — no waiting!”
“The best part is, if you have Livewire in your studios today, you can have Livewire+ in them tomorrow,” continues Novak. “Our latest no-charge software update for Axia xNode audio interfaces contains Livewire+. You can plug any AES67 device into a Livewire+ network and start exchanging audio now.”
The technology that enables Livewire+ and AES67 to coexist within a common Ethernet switch fabric is possible, in part, from The Telos Alliance’s longstanding commitment to standards and interoperability.
“Since 2003, we’ve actively advocated for and promoted open standards for AoIP,” says Marty Sacks, Telos Alliance VP of Sales, Support & Marketing. “We make Livewire freely available to hardware manufacturers with no per-unit royalties. We’ve shared our tech with more than 80 Livewire Partners, whose products comprise the largest ecosystem of interoperable AoIP equipment in the world. When the Audio Engineering Society began discussing a formal standard, we were the first to commit, becoming a founding and sustaining member of the X.192 group that defined the AES67 standard. We even contributed our own patented technology to help speed the process. And we’re founding members of the Media Networking Alliance, formed to help implement industry adoption of AES67.
Says Sacks, “You might say that AES67 has a good bit of Livewire in its DNA!”
Rather than being content to comply only with today’s standards, Telos Alliance developers have gone several steps further, future-proofing Livewire+ by making it extensible — able to easily include compliance with future AoIP standards as they are ratified.
“AES67 is a great start toward interoperability, but actually provides only a subset of the many functions that Livewire+ performs today,” says Novak. “Everyone knows Axia invented AoIP for broadcast, using established IP networking standards. What they may not know is that these standards had never been combined to support broadcast-level audio transport before. As a result, we had to synthesize crucial links between networking technologies.”
Livewire’s innovations included command logic and PAD that “rode along” with audio streams, point-to-multipoint audio, audio sources with backfed audio channels, and the ability for sources to “advertise” their availability to all networked devices — capabilities essential for broadcast plants, but lacking in earlier networked audio systems.
Those same essential capabilities are functions that AES67 alone doesn’t provide, notes Novak.
“Along with shared audio, there’s a whole world of other functionality that broadcasters expect — like device start/stop logic, monitor mutes, on-air tallies, the ability to control peripherals from the console, to sense when an audio source is live and ready for air, the ability for playout systems to control fader on/off functions, and much more.
“With Livewire+, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Livewire+ with AES67provides all the things that broadcasters want today, and is extensible so that specifications for future interoperability, such as those being considered by the AES X.210 working group, can be included once ratified as a standard. Livewire+ can never become obsolete.”
Axia Audio provides the world’s most popular IP-Audio networking system for broadcast. More than 5,500 radio studios are equipped with Axia AoIP networks, and over 60,000 connected devices, such as codecs, audio processors, phone systems, and digital delivery systems, are in the field. Livewire+ utilizes standard Ethernet to easily route and share audio and logic throughout broadcast plants; Axia networks have a total system capacity of more than 10,000 audio streams, and can carry hundreds of digital stereo channels (plus machine logic and PAD) over a single CAT-6 cable.
Over 80 Axia partners, including companies such as Nautel, AudioScience, BSI, RCS, ENCO and International Datacasting, make broadcast equipment that connects to Livewire+ networks.