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Audio Contribution over IP

  • Recommendation for interoperability between Audio over IP equipment is published on EBU website: TECH3326 (update: 05/2008)
  • Tutorial on Audio contribution over IP is published: TECH3329

  • (8th Sept. 2007): Manufacturers and broadcasters find agreement on a first common standard for audio contribution using IP. See press release


  • Streaming of high quality audio over IP networks is being increasingly used by broadcasters and others to provide high-quality audio contribution feeds (for example to provide audio links between a sports venue or concert hall and the broadcaster's studios)
  • In the past these links have made widespread use of ISDN services but these are becoming increasingly difficult or expensive to obtain in some parts of Europe and are being phased out in others
  • Different manufacturers already provide units that are capable of transferring audio over IP connections, but these are generally not interoperable (i.e equipment from different manufacturers cannot be mixed on a given link)

EBU project group N/ACIP

  • The EBU has established a project group, N/ACIP, to work in close cooperation with manufacturers to develop an interoperability standard for equipment for audio contribution over IP
  • The group will also create EBU recommendations on operational practices allowing its members and others to share experience and knowledge and help each other to get the best out of audio contribution links established over IP connections
  • The group aims to publicise its work as well as make the interoperability standard and the operational recommendations available via this web page

Participating manufacturers

The following codec manufacturers are already participating or monitoring the activities of the group. Many of them already started to implement parts of the provisional standard. A first meeting with broadcasters and manufacturers has happened during IBC 2006 and follow-up meetings are planned in future.

Technical aspects

Many different aspects have to be considered in order to ensure even a minimum degtree of interoperability:

  • Audio coding: including coding algorithm, bitrate, delay and error resilience.
  • Transport protocols: including encapsulation of audio frames, loss recovery mechanisms and delay.
  • Signalling: including session control, connection setup and codec negotiation.
  • Network profiles: including the definition of a number of different profiles for different types of managed IP networks and for public Internet connections.

It is intended that the interoperability standard will be based on open standards e.g.IETF standards such as RTP (a transport protocol) and SIP (a session intiation protocol).


The EBU project group N/ACIP is open to all EBU members, non-members may also be invited by the chairman.

The EBU N/ACIP group works collaboratively by correspondence and through a private Wiki. It also meets about four times a year. Once a year a meeting with manufacturers takes place to exchange views and to work on developing the interoperability standard.


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