Alliance Makes the Case for Open Control Architecture at AES
With the emphasis on networked technologies at this year's 137th AES Convention in Los Angeles earlier this month, the OCA Alliance made considerable progress in promoting the benefits of its proposed Open Control Architecture (OCA) -- both in committee and on the floor of the exhibition. OCA is a standards-based control and monitoring architecture for networked audio devices employing any media transport protocol.
OCA defines communications protocols for reliable and secure control and monitoring of AV device networks of two to 10,000 nodes. AES project "AESX210" is currently working to render OCA into a ratified AES standard. Audio Engineering Society standards committee chair, Bruce C. Olson, stated: "In the AES we are very aware of the importance of networked technologies for the future of professional audio. Any wide-scale audio implementation will require network technologies from different vendors to work together, and that means standards. Transporting audio streams is not enough; it will be necessary to monitor and control audio devices from many vendors across the network, and the AESX210 standards project, based on existing work of Open Control Architecture (OCA), is intended to achieve just that. Public drafts of the standard will all be available early in the new year."
In addition, OCA representative Ethan Wetzell presented the Networked Audio: N11 panel discussion, "How Standardization has Benefited Our Industry and How a Command and Control Standard Can Generate Growth and Innovation." Meanwhile, the alliance showed the benefits of the standards-based Open Control Architecture on its exhibition booth with a live demonstration of control and monitoring across networked audio devices from different manufacturers, interconnected by a common Ethernet and under common control and monitoring by the OCA protocol. A Focusrite RedNet 4 with Ethernet networked studio interface, a Bosch Audio Processing Switch (APS), and a d&b audiotechnik D80 amplifier, were controlled by a proof-of-concept OCA software application, developed by alliance members.
Commenting for the OCA Alliance, Wetzell, from Bosch Communications Systems said, "Our experience at AES this year was an excellent one. The core tenet of the presentation was that standardization can drive innovation. I was delighted that attendees were not only able to see the unique benefits that OCA can bring to media networks but were able to envision the future applications that this will enable. Being able to see equipment interoperating really got 'the gears turning' in a lot of peoples' minds as to what opportunities and applications technology like this will enable."
"The OCA Alliance is grateful to the AES for their ongoing support in media networking standards and we share a common vision for the bright future for our industry that these standards will help create."