FAQ

SDVoE Alliance

SDVoE is an initialism for “Software Defined Video over Ethernet”. The SDVoE Alliance is a nonprofit consortium of technology providers collaborating to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and to create an ecosystem around SDVoE technology allowing software to define AV applications.

The alliance seeks to:

  • Standardize adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments
  • Enable a hardware/software platform that offers applications better tailored to individual user’s needs
  • Enable a system architecture that is more flexible, reliable, and cost-effective than point-to-point connectivity and circuit switches
  • Facilitate true AV/IT convergence, allowing high quality AV networks and data networks to share a single infrastructure
  • Bring ecosystem partners – equipment manufacturers, software developers, chipset designers, and system integrators — together under a single banner to foster collaboration
  • Bring awareness to new opportunities by educating the industry and offering training in the new paradigm

The founding members the SDVoE Alliance are Semtech, Aquantia, Christie Digital, NETGEAR, Sony and ZeeVee. A growing list of SDVoE Alliance members is available on the alliance website.

It is universally acknowledged that the transition of the AV industry to IP-based solutions is inevitable. There are, however, too many different approaches in play that are confusing the market and customers, which has led to slow adoption. The SDVoE Alliance brings the leading companies in the space together, offering a unified platform to unleash the true creativity of the industry that will be expressed through software.

The alliance participates in tradeshows and conferences, publishes white papers and case studies and promotes SDVoE technology, and solutions based on the technology, to system integrators, designers and consultants. Training and installer certification are a crucial part of the mandate.

The founding members the SDVoE Alliance are Semtech, Aquantia, Christie Digital, NETGEAR, Sony and ZeeVee. All interested parties are invited to join the SDVoE Alliance as contributing or adopting members and work toward its goals. Contact us to apply for membership.

The alliance is managed by its board of directors, which includes a representative from each of the founding member companies plus one additional director elected annually. Directors may propose initiatives for the alliance which must be approved by the board of directors.

Companies are invited to request an application to join the SDVoE Alliance. Contact us.

The alliance does not manage or control any IP directly. It is focused on education and training. All IP related to SDVoE technology is the sole property of the individual member companies.

SDVoE Technology

SDVoE is an initialism for “Software Defined Video over Ethernet”. SDVoE technology creates a flexible hardware and software platform which can enable many applications including matrix switches, KVM extenders, video wall controllers and image processors. It can also be integrated into specialty sources and displays, all networkable. But beyond that, SDVoE technology paves the way for the creation of new classes of applications not yet conceived.

As the AV industry inevitably transitions to IP-based solutions, the effect is that switching and distribution are commoditized by Ethernet (the ultimate bit-moving technology). So where will AV manufacturers add value? Creating powerful endpoint processors and software applications are key. Endpoints that convert between AV signals (HDMI) and Ethernet can contain processing engines that reformat and reconstruct audio and video signals as needed (scaling to a display; putting up a video wall; downmixing audio, etc.). The software that creates user experiences by telling those endpoints what to do is the other area ripe for innovation.

SDVoE technology is the standardized interface between the endpoints and the software that provides the momentum to create new classes of applications.

SDVoE technology is:

  • The most widely adopted networked AV standard in the industry, delivering HDMI over Ethernet with zero latency
  • The only turnkey solution for zero-latency AV over IP available to AV equipment manufacturers
  • A full stack solution, clearly specifying an approach to every layer of the OSI network model, from the physical infrastructure to an application programming interface (API).
  • A comprehensive API that provides a simple interface to control complex tasks like video routing, scaling, aspect ratio management, video wall processing, image compositing, audio downmixing, and much more.

All AV distribution applications that demand zero-latency, uncompromised video can benefit from SDVoE technology. It offers substantial cost savings and greater system flexibility and scalability over traditional approaches.

Markets include:

  • Education
  • Medical/Healthcare
  • Corporate/Enterprise
  • Entertainment/Hospitality/Retail
  • Cultural & Event Centers
  • House of Worship
  • Government
  • Military
  • Simulation & Training
  • Industrial
  • Control Room
  • Security

Matrix switches, KVM extenders, video wall processors, multiviewers and operating room video distribution systems are just a few of the many use cases for SDVoE technology. The real beauty of SDVoE technology, however, is that now a single software platform exists for development so entirely new applications can emerge, limited only by developers’ imaginations.

Remember when email began to displace snail mail and fax, no one predicted that the communications industry would become the social media arena we have today. Another example is the travel industry that has evolved from travel agents to expedia.com to Airbnb. Or think about the iPhone – it’s just a good platform for the creativity of application developers. Truly unique applications can only appear once the platform has been created, and SDVoE is the platform for AV over IP.

SDVoE technology does not replace other industry standards such as HDMI, HDCP, High Dynamic Range (HDR), BT.2020 etc. It just makes transporting them so easy that users and even product developers don’t have to think much about them.

For example:

  • HDMI is carried without modification of its fundamental clock timing which maintains synchronized AV signals across the asynchronous Ethernet network.
  • BT.2020, HDR and WGR are all supported.
  • High resolution audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio are transported without modification.

SDVoE technology relies on many global IT standards such as TCP, UDP, IGMP, IP, and Ethernet (IEEE 802.11).

Absolutely! Most member companies offer SDVoE products today and many more are in development.

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