Sonifex AVN-CU2-DANTE - Configurable Dante Commentary Unit for 2 Commentators
The AVN-CU2-DANTE takes a new approach to provide a multi-purpose configurable tool for commentary teams. Its power lies in the impressive mix engine which overlays the usual Dante® Controller settings. Once Dante® flows have been made, inputs and outputs can be mixed freely to AoIP or physical inputs and outputs, controlled using the programmable buttons and rotary encoders, which control the gain and pan of inputs, outputs or cross-points, allowing total flexibility for different situations.
It can be used in any number of different commentary situations, controlled manually or remotely and controls can be ‘locked down’ so that they can’t be tampered with or altered, to guarantee reliable operation. Housed in a rugged and intuitive, user-friendly package, it’s a truly different way of looking at how commentary units should operate.
Traditional commentary units have fixed analogue and digital I/O and fixed controls in fixed positions on the unit. Their inputs and outputs are defined at hardware design and are thus limited by that initial design, including limited routing, mixing and DSP of the audio pathways.
We’ve taken a different approach with the AVN-CU2-DANTE. It was designed from the ground up to be totally flexible in operation and the use of Dante AoIP means that inputs and outputs can be added as required (up to a max of 16 per unit). Because any physical analogue or digital input can be mixed and routed with any Dante AoIP input to any physical output or Dante output, you can define your own audio pathways. Additionally you can choose which of those pathways need to be controlled (volume and pan) by the use of rotary encoders. Using a built-in web GUI, up to 4 nameable pages of 6 rotary encoders (24 in total) can be placed on the mix matrix at inputs, outputs or cross-points. Each rotary encoder has a separate colour-coded meter section showing the channel name, detailed level metering and left/right panning on a bright daylight reading display. Colours can be programmed per encoder to quickly identify particular source groups, so headphone source selection becomes intuitive.
The AVN-CU2-DANTE provides two mic/line inputs with a wide, adjustable gain range and has two stereo headphone outputs with lockable jack sockets, suitable for operation by two commentators.
It’s powered using Power over Ethernet (PoE), using Neutrik EtherCON connectors, with primary and secondary ports for power and data redundancy. There’s an additional 4 pin XLR 12V DC input. The unit supports up to 16 input and output AoIP channels and up to 16 simultaneous input and output AoIP streams.
The 6 push-button rotary encoders control input and output levels and panning. The 12 key-cap buttons are fully configurable for any button function.
Metering is available per input/output, with output metering configurable as pre or post level adjustment. The top of the display shows output metering, a limiter indication and the name of the output. An adjustable limiter is available on every output and is applied automatically to prevent signal clipping.
The unit has 2 x locking mic/line inputs with +48V phantom power indication and 2 x headphone outputs on locking 6.35mm jack sockets.
Four wire I/O on rear panel RJ45 connectors provide an AES3 or analogue input and output that can be assigned as mic outputs (line level), talkback outputs, programme inputs or talkback inputs as desired.
In addition, the AES/analogue connections can be used as an insert or exit point into/out from the AoIP network.
The unit has dual redundant network ports on both RJ45 (PoE using 2 x Neutrik EtherCON® connectors) and SFP cages for long fibre runs.
There are 10 x configurable GPIO on a 15 way D-type connector with 1 x switched changeover output.
All of the buttons have key-cap text and can be configured. There are some standard operations available:
- 2 x On-Air buttons can be used to connect mic audio to the main output, either over AoIP or via the AES digital audio connection. The On-Air buttons can be locked if required.
- A Menu button can be used to access limited setup options on the TFT display.
- 2 x Page buttons change the display and encoders to monitor an additional set of sources, mix points or outputs. Up to 4 pages can be pre-programmed, e.g. one for talkback inputs, one for outputs, one to monitor other sources.
- 2 x Cough buttons take the commentator off-air while pressed.
- A User button can be programmed to perform any function using the web server.
- 4 x T/B (talkback) buttons can be configured to initiate talkback over AoIP or AES digital audio connection, using 4 x talkback busses. The talkback buttons operate with lazy talkback, taking the commentator off-air when invoked.
- 6 x rotary encoders.
- 4 x pages of 6 rotary encoder positions (24 in total).
The illuminated ‘Sonifex’ logo acts as a power indication and there are illuminated LEDs to indicate network clock status, AoIP Primary and AoIP Secondary link status, PoE Primary, PoE Secondary and DC power active.