Open Control Architecture (OCA) – an open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV media network devices – has been officially standardized on 4 January 2016 by the Audio Engineering Society Standards Committee (AESSC) in the newly published AES70-2015 standard for audio applications of networks – Open Control Architecture. With the ratification of OCA as AES70, it is now an official public open standard.
Originally proposed as a field-tested specification by the OCA Alliance – a not-for-profit association, of leading professional audio and AV industry manufacturers invested in audio networking, formed to secure the standardization of the OCA as a media networking system control standard for professional applications – the standard has already seen successful implementation in the field on commercially available products from alliance member companies.
Chair for the AESSC, Bruce Olson, comments, “AES70 represents another important step towards the interoperable networked working environment that audio professionals will rely on. The AES will continue to develop the standards necessary to enhance these tools.”
Combining AES70 system control with standard media transport will bring a complete media network solution to the market, one in which devices from diverse manufacturers can readily interoperate. In particular, AES70 includes a complete Discovery specification which will compliment media transport standards and solutions such as AES67. However, AES70 may be implemented with any media transport mechanism, including AVB/TSN and analog cable.
Speaking for the OCA Alliance, Jeff Berryman, chair of the OCA Technical Workgroup and the AES writing group for AES70 says, “The availability of an interoperable control, configuration, monitoring, and diagnostic architecture for media networks will provide new opportunities for highly integrated systems. Such systems will be able to exchange control data and information in ways previously not possible.”
Marc Weber, chair of the OCA Marketing workgroup adds, “This is another major step towards making the OCA / AES70 vision a reality. One where all network devices are talking the same remote control language, AES70. In this emerging world, media system integrators and users will be free to choose the best products for their own purposes, with few compatibility concerns. Systems will have long service lifetimes with rich on-going upgradeability. The OCA Alliance and the AES are looking forward to the growth of a media network ecosystem that will offer standardized system control capabilities for professional audio and AV products and systems.”
The AESSC is the organization responsible for the standards program of the Audio Engineering Society, publishing a number of technical standards, informational documents and technical reports. Under the AES Standards Committee, working groups and task groups, of fully international membership, engage in writing standards covering fields that include topics of specific relevance to professional audio. Complete information, including scopes of working groups and project status is available at http://www.aes.org/standards.
Technically, AES70 is essentially the same as OCA 1.3, the specifications for which have been available on the OCA Alliance website since October, 2014 and which has been used in shipping products that have implemented OCA. However, a few changes have been made. Interested parties are encouraged to download the official standards documents from the references given below.