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Realtime Linear Audio Distribution Over Networks: A Comparison of Layer 2 and 3 Solutions Using the Example of Ethernet AVB and RAVENNA

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IT networks are increasingly being used to not only transport data files or other best effort traffic, but also real-time audio signals or streams. This article concentrates on the distribution of linear PCM audio in production quality, shows different approaches (layer 2 versus layer 3) and presents different strategies to reliably transport audio bit-perfect across a network by examining two existing media network frameworks (Ethernet AVB and RAVENNA). We discuss the advantages and disadvantages with respect to the field of application of the professional audio domain and the broadcast domain in particular.

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