AVB Glossary

Audio Channel

One monophonic audio signal

Audio Cluster

A group of audio channels in a stream.


  • A single channel of audio
  • A single S/PDIF or AES3 connection which may contain a stereo audio signal with meta-data or an encoded 5.1 surround-sound audio.

Audio Map

A static mapping between an audio Stream’s channels and an Audio Cluster’s channels for Streams and Stream Ports.

Example: The Audio Map allows you to select which Audio Channels within which Audio Clusters in a Stream will be processed. For instance, an Audio Map could select: The “Third Channel” from the second 8 audio channel stream by choosing Channel 0 from Cluster 3 from the second audio stream

Audio Unit

Contains Signal processing for a single Audio Clock Domain.


  • If a device had the capability of doing processing in multiple clock domains at the same time, the processing for each clock domain would be done within a separate Audio Unit.

AVB Interface

An AVB capable network interface capable of sourcing or sinking Streams and participating in an AVB domain.


The Acronym used to refer to IEEE Std 1722.1-2013 (Audio Video Discovery Enumeration Connection and Control)


A logical object within an End Station that can accept and respond to AVDECC messages.


  • A device may contain more than one AVDECC Entity. Typically, an AVB device will only contain one AVDECC Entity. As far as the AVDECC Controller is concerned, two entities on one device is indistinguishable from two devices with one entity each. One use case for having two AVDECC Entities in one device is to partition it - allow one user to use one portion of a device while allowing another user on the network to change settings on another portion of the same device but not allowing the two users to affect each other’s settings.


A machine-readable description of an object within the AVDECC Entity data Model (AEM). Each descriptor has a Descriptor Type and a Descriptor Index.


  • An AVB_INTERFACE Descriptor describes an AVB Interface. A JACK_INPUT descriptor describes an Input Jack. There are descriptors for every user-relevant aspect of the device. A controller program can ask a device for these descriptors to learn about the capabilities of the device to present to the user.

Entity ID

The EUI-64 identifier (IEEE-defined 64-bit Extended Unique Identifier) of an AVDECC Entity. The Entity ID is based on the device’s ethernet port’s MAC address, the value of the top bits of which are purchased by a manufacturer from IEEE. The Entity ID for a specific device is a globally unique number.

Entity Model ID

The EUI-64 identifier of an AVDECC Entity data Model (AEM). This is a unique number that the manufacturer assigns to device every time a new version of the entity model / object layout / processing structure changes.


  • If a controller sees two devices on the network with the same Entity Model ID, then it will know that these two devices have identical capabilities and processing structure without having to interrogate both of the devices.

Input Stream

A Stream that is received by an AVB Listener.


An ingress or egress point of a non-media-stream signal to or from an AVDECC Entity.


  • Typically, a Jack represents a physical connector on a device. A Jack may also be called “Captive” if the logical connector is internal only such as a connection to an amplifier for an embedded speaker driver.

Localized Description

A textual description of an object within the AVDECC Entity data Model (AEM) which can be represented in multiple languages. These descriptions are only set by the manufacturer of a device and the user can not change them.


  • An Input Jack may have a Localized Description which would contain the equivalent to the text that is printed on the Silk Screen on the chassis for the jack. Since manufacturers may have different silkscreens for different markets, the data model can contain the multiple languages as well.


A collection of orthogonal Controls arranged in a two dimensional array.


  • 8 Audio Channel signals are sent to an 8x16 Matrix. The Matrix contains 128 “level” control points (represented in decibels), one for each combination of 8 inputs and 16 outputs. The Matrix mixes each input to each output based on the cross point level and outputs 16 Audio Channel signals.
  • 32 Audio Channel signals are sent to an 32x32 Matrix. The Matrix contains 1024 control points, each with a “level” value (represented in decibels) and “delay” value (represented in seconds), one for each combination of 32 inputs and 32 outputs. The Matrix mixes and delays each input to each output and outputs 32 Audio Channel Signals.


A Control that combines multiple signals into a single output signal.


  • 8 Audio Channel signals are sent to a Mixer. The Mixer contains one “level” control point per input (represented in decibels). The 8 inputs are mixed with the appropriate levels and outputs one Audio Channel signal.

Media component

Fundamental data within an IEEE Std 1722 stream payload.


  • A single channel of audio
  • A single S/PDIF or AES3 connection containing stereo audio and meta data
  • A single S/PDIF or AES3 connection containing encoded 5.1 audio
  • MPEG video

Object Name

A 64 character UTF8 name of an object which the user may be able to set, if the device allows it.


  • Almost all objects (Descriptors) can have a user settable name. The most likely objects to have user settable names are the device (Entity), Stream Inputs, Stream Outputs, Input Jacks, and Output Jacks.


An ingress or egress point of a signal for a Unit (one clock domain).


  • There are Audio Ports, Video Ports, and Sensor Ports, which correspond to processing done in Audio Units, Video Units, and Sensor Units.

Sub-Signal, Signal, Multi-channel Signal

'part of' or 'one or more media components'.


  • Video portion from MPEG Video data
  • Audio from an MPEG Video data
  • Closed captioning from MPEG Video data
  • A single S/PDIF or AES3 connection.
  • A single audio channel

Signal Selector

A Control for switchable signal routing.


  • A Signal Selector would be used to select audio coming from an analog input jack signal, a digital input jack signal, or an audio channel signal from an AVB stream. Only one source may be selected at a time.

Signal Splitter

A Control for splitting a signal into multiple sub-signals.


  • A Signal Splitter would be used to extract the 6 individual Audio Channels from an encoded 5.1 encoded S/PDIF signal. In this case, there would be one S/PDIF signal going into the Signal Splitter, and there would be 6 single audio channel signals coming out of the signal splitter.
  • A Signal Splitter would be used to extract the video media component and the audio media component from an MPEG transport stream. In this case there would be one MPEG video signal going into the Signal Splitter, and there would be one video signal and one MP3 encoded audio stream signal coming out of the signal splitter.

Signal Demultiplexer

A Control for demultiplexing a signal into multiple signals.


  • MIDI data sent over an AVB Stream is transported in an Audio Cluster. One Audio Cluster contains up separate 8 MIDI Cables worth of MIDI data which are all multiplexed together. A Signal Demultiplexer would be used to extract the 8 MIDI cables from the one Audio Cluster into 8 individual MIDI cable signals.


A unidirectional flow of IEEE Std 1722 frames with the same StreamID.


  • A stream can be a single channel of audio
  • An MPEG video stream with embedded audio
  • An 8 channel stream
  • One or more S/PDIF lines
  • SMPTE time code
  • MIDI messages

Stream Input

A Stream Input defines a the part of a device that receives a single AVB Stream and tracks the format and stream status.

Stream Port Input

An ingress point of an AVB Stream into an Audio Unit


  • The Stream Input receives the AVB stream and sends it to the appropriate Audio Unit for processing within a Clock Domain via a Stream Port Input.

IEEE 1722.1 Protocol Features


IEEE 1722.1 provides the Audio Video Discovery, Enumeration, Connection management, and Control (AVDECC) protocol for AVB devices.


  • Advertising
  • Querying (Global and Specific)
  • Support for redundant networks

Enumeration and Control

  • Describe the internal structure of the device from the stream entry/exit through to the "physical" entry/exit
  • Describe the internal structure within the different limitations of the device (channel limits at different sample rates, etc)
  • Describe the internal latency through the device from the defined timing reference plane to the "physical" world (or the define latency from reference plane to reference plane via the DSP)
  • Describes and controls the clocking model within the device to configure media clocking sources, sample rate converters, etc.
  • Describe the AVB capabilities of the interfaces and provide the current AVB related information (802.1AS GMID, MSRP domain) for each AVB interface
  • Describe and control the mapping of media sources and sinks to channels within the stream sinks and sources
  • Describe and control the signal chains (DSP, mute, volume, mixers, selectors, etc) through the device
  • Provide user settable names for many objects within the device including stream, media sources and sinks (jacks), controls, etc
  • Describe and control generic control points within the device (location information, enables, video camera controls, etc)
  • Perform key management for securing the network
  • Perform basic authentication of controllers
  • Enable and disable transport and stream security
  • Distributes updates to interested controllers
  • Provides diagnostic information such as avb interface event counters and errors, stream packet event counters and errors, and clock domain lock status, as well as vendor specific counters when necessary.
  • Transport AVC protocol, HDCP IIA key exchange protocol, and vendor specific protocols.

Connection Management

  • Connection/disconnection of streams
  • Persistent connections
  • Status query for both AVDECC Listeners and AVDECC Talkers
  • Transport of relevant SRP data