The Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the OCA Alliance have jointly announced that an AES standards project has been founded to consider OCA, the Open Control Architecture, for a public standard for control and monitoring of professional media networks.
The goal of this project, identified as AES-X210, “Open Control Architecture (OCA),” is to produce a public, open, and royalty-free communications protocol standard for reliable and secure control and monitoring of interconnected audio devices in networks of 2 to 10,000 elements.
When the standard is complete, it is hoped that OCA will find broad acceptance in the media systems industry, and open a new era in standardized, interoperable control of devices from diverse manufacturers.
OCA will be a control and monitoring standard, not a media transport standard. It is intended to operate seamlessly with a wide range of media transport standards such as AES-X192, “High-performance streaming audio-over-IP interoperability” - currently in development - and IEEE AVB.
Together, these standards will offer a path to complete network application solutions for future media networks that include both media transport and system control functionality.
OCA is substantially based on work done in the early 1990’s by the AES24 project, a pioneering effort in network system control. Although AES24 never reached full standards status, it offered a number of advanced concepts, which have found their way into various developments over the years.
In the coming months, the AES-X210 task group, part of AES working group SC-02-12 on Audio Applications of Networks, will be meeting to render the current OCA 1.1 specification into standards form and to shepherd its processing through the AES open standards process. Interested individuals are encouraged to participate.
The full standards participation policy is available from the AES Standards website. (Direct link is here.) During this period, the OCA Alliance will undertake various initiatives to support the work of AES-X210, and to define proposals for future extensions to the standard.
AES Standards Committee Chair Bruce C. Olson remarks, “AES Standards has been deeply involved with standards for digital audio since starting work in 1977. The AES-X210 project to standardize OCA takes us to the next important milestone by integrating control with transport of audio over a variety of networks.
“Combined with a number of other projects in this exciting area of audio the AES continues to lead the world in audio standards, which enable a thriving marketplace for compatible products from competing manufacturers. We are very pleased to collaborate with the leading manufacturers in the OCA Alliance on this standards project.”