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Cynthia Wisehart on Dante AV

Many things that started in 2019, traveled an unanticipated path to 2023. Dante AV is one of those things. In 2019, Audinate made two significant announcements, Dante AV and Dante Embedded Platform/Application Library. The company positioned Dante AV as a unique integrated audio and video-over-IP platform for manufacturers; it was announced at ISE 2019 and debuted at Enterprise Connect in March that year. The case at the time was that Dante AV would bring to video all the benefits that have made Dante the market-leading audio over IP solution: discovery, ease of use and integrated control. Early adopters were Bolin Technology with a promised camera and Patton Electronics with a promised encoder and decoder.

Three months later, at InfoComm 2019 in June, Audinate announced two Dante-as-Software products for manufacturers and developers:  Dante Embedded Platform and  Dante Application Library.  Dante Embedded Platform enables manufacturers to add full Dante functionality in software running on Linux for x86 and ARM processors. The Dante Application Library allows software developers to integrate Dante functionality directly into their PC and Mac applications. Early customers for Dante as software include Analog Devices, QSC, and Zoom.

Eight months later, the world’s timelines and best-laid plans collided with Covid. Supply chain disruptions and market needs brought Dante AV and Dante software together at an accelerated pace.

In September of 2022, Audinate announced it was launching a new family of solutions under the  Dante  AV  brand. The phrase Dante AV became an umbrella (as it should always have been imo) and the Dante AV hardware technology became Dante  AV-Ultra. At the same time Audinate also announced the software-based Dante AV-H for H.26x products for networked video over standard Gigabit networks.

Let’s review: The original  Dante  AV  module has been renamed  Dante  AV  Ultra and is the highest-performing solution in the new  Dante  AV  family. It’s for applications that need the lowest latency and tightly synchronized audio and video. Dante  AV-H  was announced as a new software solution designed to allow OEMs the ability to incorporate  Dante control into existing  H.26x-based IP video product designs.  Dante  AV-H  was designed to provide IT-level management to cost-effective IP video products such as PTZ cameras, encoders and decoders using  Dante  Domain Manager. It integrates industry-standard Dante Audio into AV-over-IP products, giving users the ability to independently route audio and video to wherever it is needed using the popular Dante Controller software.

Since September, the DDM integration for both Dante AV Ultra and Dante AV-H has been all but hashed out. According to product managers at Audinate partner companies, users can now expect to use DDM for video, just as they are accustomed to for audio.

ISE 23 saw the debut of a Dante AV-H PTZ camera from PTZOptics, and also—in one of the most interesting products of the show—Bolin Technology debuted a dual-stream camera for simultaneous Dante AV Ultra and Dante AV-H streams. Dante AV has had a rocky road to market between Audinate learning curve for video, Covid, supply chain, and a necessary but still awkward rebranding that now seems to be settling in. It’s worth paying attention to how Audinate is tackling video and integrating it into one of the most ubiquitous ecosystems in AV.

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