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Why Digital Networking?

Challenges of Analog Distribution

In an analog AV implementation, a key element of the system is that the logical and physical connections are one and the same. This means that most connections are point-to-point and individual cables represent each channel. Implementing a complex audio system requires careful design which must be undertaken in advance. This creates complex challenges for both the designer and the system installer.

Analog audio requires a physical copper cable for routing signals, but these systems offer little flexibility to accommodate unplanned changes. Moving or adding equipment in a location will add significant costs as AV system integrators need to run separate conduits for signals of differing voltages and pull heavy copper wire through them.

Digital Media Networking

Digital media distribution significantly reduces implementation by separating the logical and physical connection attributes of the AV system. In so doing a digital network can offer significant costs saving in time and money, while providing better performance than analog wiring.  Digital audio distribution eliminates masses of bulky, heavy, expensive, and inflexible copper wires. Installation is made simple using digital networking; a single lightweight, inexpensive CAT5 cable can carry all the required inputs and outputs as digital audio data.

IP (Internet Protocol) over Ethernet is the most widely deployed approach to networking and represents the best available foundation technology for media networking. Cat 5 cables, switches and other hardware components used to build such networks are mass-market items in the IT domain.

Dante: Next Generation Media Networking

Audinate’s patent pending Dante™ technology is a flexible Internet Protocol (IP) and Ethernet based digital AV network technology that eliminates the many bulky cables needed to provide point-to-point wiring for analog AV installations.

With Dante, existing infrastructure can be used for high performance audio as well as for ordinary control, monitoring or business data traffic. Digital networks utilize standard Ethernet over IP offering high bandwidth capable of transporting hundreds of high quality channels over 100MBs or 1 Gigabit Ethernet.

Set-up and configuring the system is made easy as well, saving enormous installation costs and long term cost of ownership on a digital network. The physical connecting point is irrelevant: audio signals can be made available anywhere and everywhere. Patching and routing now become logical functions configured in software, not via physical wired links.

Benefits of Using Dante Digital Networks:


  • Cost savings for audio distribution system – no need for heavy, expensive copper analog cable
  • Separates logical and physical connections
  • Any number of I/Os can connect to the network w/o bulky cables
  • Actual connection managed by software
  • Large bandwidth over a single cable
  • Improved audio quality- Does not suffer from hum, ground loops, audio quality degradation with long cable runs
  • Integrated media and control- Control signals can be included on the network without additional cabling
  • Leverage off the shelf IT equipment  to take full advantage of IT industry developments in functionality, reliability, availability and cost savings.