MERGING+ANUBIS SPS; BY POPULAR DEMAND
New interface product ticks the broadcasters’ boxes
Puidoux: August 2020. The 2019launch of MERGING+ANUBIS caused a ripple of excitement when first shown at a series of exhibitions (remember them) from March onwards. This powerful and innovative interface was clearly more than just another AD/DA converter with industry-leading specifications. Sales in the first year reached a four figure total and the diversity of the customers exceeded expectations. The fact that Anubis was an extremely powerful RAVENNA/AES67 hub was very quickly realised by major international broadcasters looking to move their operations to regional data centers linked by IP. Anubis was ST2110 compliant from day one, so that enabled the monitoring of large numbers of AES67 audio streams in a very compact and affordable package. The results, often in conjunction with the MERGING+HAPI, were outstandingly successful but there was one request that followed. Was there a way to make Anubis ST2022-7 compliant?
The original concept for Anubis was for a low-cost, extremely high-quality interface that would be at home in a studio, post-production suite, or similar environment where a redundant network topology would not be anticipated. The adapting of Anubis to fulfil certain roles, now and in the future, was anticipated and would be tailored by software. The initial Monitor Mission allowed for listening to the chosen sources on multiple speaker sets or headphones and this made it perfectly adaptable to monitoring incoming streams from remote locations. Providing SPS (Seamless Protection Switching) was a bigger challenge because this was a hardware issue. There needed to be a second RJ45 connection on the rear panel. The response from the Merging engineering team was immediate and development started on a new product that has appeared in months despite the additional challenge of sourcing components and dealing with global lockdowns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MERGING+ANUBIS SPS is now shipping with full ST2022-7 compliance. Perhaps not surprisingly, the initial deliveries have been made to dB Broadcast for installation at locations for a multi-national mass media company and a pan-European television sports network. A quantity of Anubis SPS is also following the original Anubis to the world’s premier multi-national technical production partner as a key element of its remote production facilities.
The same discussions with key broadcasters revealed that discovery and control of IP sources is a major challenge and although Anubis, when controlled via ANEMAN is capable of handling large numbers of RAVENNA/AES67 audio streams, the overall network management compliance needs to be addressed. Anubis SPS also adds NMOS IS-04 (Discovery & Registration) and IS-05 (Device Connection Management) to its list of features which is a major step forward in the easier integration into a complete IP infrastructure. In addition, Merging is simultaneously launching its Merging Audio Device, which coupled with Anubis SPS, opens remarkable possibilities. MAD is a multi-ASIO driver (also with WDM support) that has an infrastructure option that supports ST2022-7, ST2110, NMOS and Virtual Machine control. This latter feature specifically recognizes that centralized data centers and server-based installations are now the new normal way to manage the global nature of the broadcast industry in the most efficient way.
Merging is now offering a compact desktop controller/monitor with a host of other features that can interface with other NMOS compliant equipment and capable of monitoring Virtual Machines, all with full redundancy. This provides a scenario where local production satellites can use Anubis SPS in their workflow and feed ST2022-7 back to the central resource, which is similarly equipped to receive the streams on the same equipment which is fully integrated into the VM environment. Furthermore, it should be remembered that Anubis is fully capable of monitoring all the immersive audio standards that are increasingly being incorporated into the broadcast workflow. The Anubis SPS and the MAD Infrastructure option cost just over $2,000 USD which is remarkably reasonable for such a feature-rich combination.
Merging’s recording customers can also benefit from the second RJ45 connection. The convenience of using RAVENNA networks for recording has been well proven for many years and the amount of equipment needed for remote sessions has been drastically reduced. However, there has been the need to include a managed network switch even if you only had one stagebox. Now it is possible to go with a laptop, Anubis SPS and a Horus or Hapi and leave the switch at home. The second port is connected to your stagebox instead being the redundant path. Those Merging customers recording in high-resolution formats will be thrilled to hear that Anubis SPS is also available in a Premium version, as is the regular Anubis product that still continues as it is for those who don’t need this facility.
A valuable addition to all Anubis products is the introduction of a comprehensive parametric EQ with extensive filtering on all outputs. This is another popular request and significantly enhances its role as the primary monitoring device on desktops everywhere. More Anubis features are planned over coming months, thereby protecting the investment of the early adopter.
Merging’s continued participation in IP Showcase events plus the ongoing involvement with AIMS has ensured that products are compliant. With the cancellation of the last testing event in Houston, Anubis SPS does carry the JTNM Self-Tested badge for now, although the original Anubis has been physically tested. The Anubis SPS and MAD Infrastructure package further reinforce Merging’s position as a key solution provider to the broadcast and installation industries.
Merging Technologies is a Swiss manufacturer with 30 years of experience in developing groundbreaking, professional Audio and Video products for a wide range of entertainment and media industries. With a dedicated user base in the elite end of the music, film, television, mastering and performances industries, Merging is committed to developing product ranges with unrivalled quality and flexibility, no matter what the application. Merging builds tools for people who want more from their systems, have an inherent need to push boundaries, and believe that quality always comes first.
RAVENNA is a solution for real-time distribution of audio and other media content in IP-based network environments. Utilizing standardized network protocols and technologies, RAVENNA can operate on existing network infrastructures. RAVENNA is designed to meet the strict requirements of the pro audio market featuring low latency, full signal transparency and high reliability and is fully AES67 and ST2110 compatible. With a capacity of nearly 8 x MADI streams over a single Gigabit Ethernet link, it is also the first and only Layer-3 based IP audio protocol with full support for high-channel count DXD and DSD signals.
While primarily targeting the professional broadcast market, RAVENNA is also suitable for deployment in other pro audio market segments like live sound, install market and recording. Possible fields of application include (but are not limited to) in-house signal distribution in broadcasting houses, theatres, concert halls and other fixed installations, flexible setups at venues and live events, OB van support, inter-facility links across WAN connections and in production & recording applications. http://ravenna.alcnetworx.com