AES67 set the Audio over IP world buzzing in 2015. If you’re not sure what it is then read my primer on the subject. In that primer I explained that AES67 is a way to send audio between incompatible AoIP networks. It is a transport protocol and part of its appeal is that it is deliberately limited in scope. It doesn’t try to replace AoIP protocols, it makes them more useful by allowing them to stream audio to one another, forming a bridge between incompatible networks.
Originally proposed by the OCA Alliance, in January 2016 the AES published AES70, a complementary standard to AES67, which supplements the audio transport of AES67 with a protocol for device control. Rather than just allowing audio streams created and controlled in host networks to be routed to and “piped out” of that network via AES67, AES70 allows the control and monitoring of all parameters of a network device including the creation and deletion of signal paths, access control, control of processing and even firmware updates. This control data can be delivered over wired ethernet or WiFi.
AES70 can be used with not just AES67, but all the other AoIP systems as well. AES70 doesn’t provide a means of transporting audio, that can be achieved using a host network like Dante, AVB or Ravenna. It can of course be used with AES67, or any of the other transport protocols such as Dante or Ravenna, providing as it does the missing features needed to turn the transport protocol of AES67 into a complete Audio over IP solution. AES70 isn't just designed to complement AES67.
With the introduction of AES70 we might be able to look forward to a time when systems integrators and designers can build a modular system using whatever hardware they want, knowing all the while that it will all be controllable from one central, or multiple distributed sources.
It’s early days but this looks interesting…