Agreement on a First Common Standard for Audio Contribution using IP

"Manufacturers and broadcasters from N/ACIP, the European Broadcasting Union's technical project group, have reached an agreement on the release of a common standard providing interoperability between audio over IP contribution equipment for radio and TV.

The agreed interoperability standard is based on open IETF standards such as RTP and SIP and can be seen as an extension of the Voice over IP standard to accommodate wideband high quality audio codecs. One of the advantages of using the IETF standard is that it has already been implemented in many markets other than broadcasting and that equipment already exists.

"Network systems and formats such as ISDN, E1, X.21 currently used for audio contribution will tend to become very expensive and disappear. It is therefore necessary to find replacement solutions. In the context of a converged telecommunication world, IP seems the natural choice." says Lars Jonsson, Chairman of the EBU's technical N/ACIP project group.

There are different solutions for audio over IP but, until today, there hasn't been a common framework and consequently no interoperability between equipment. Interoperability is instead crucial for broadcasters as they exchange lots of content. The benefits of this agreement are not evident only for broadcasters but also for manufactures as it will mean increased sales for compatible products.

Created in the beginning of 2006, the N/ACIP group deals with the different aspects of audio contribution over IP. In this group, manufacturers and members of the EBU are working together. The EBU technical group decided to meet manufacturers during IBC 2006 in order to discuss a common interoperability framework standard. Last year's meeting with 15 manufacturers turned out to be a great success and many of them have already started to implement the proposal, making improvements to the common standard. Early interoperability tests have already been carried out successfully."

Source: BroadcastBuyer