The purpose of this article is to detail current information and known issues involving the use of the most common AVDECC controllers with the Series III AVB Ecosystem. The two most common AVDECC controllers are the Apple AVDECC controller (Beta) and the Hive controller available on github (Emilien Vallot, Christophe Calmejane and other contributors).
NOTE: The information shown in either AVDECC controller covered here can sometimes be inaccurate. There are bugs in both AVDECC control software applications, so if information displayed at any given time does not seem correct, it may be necessary to quit and relaunch the application to be sure what you are seeing is a clear picture of the current state of entities and stream connections on your AVB Network.
Apple AVDECC Controller
The Apple AVDECC controller (known as “AVB Audio Configuration”) is not an officially supported utility within Mac OS, however it has been part of the Mac operating system for a while now. We recommend using the utility in Mac OS 10.15.6 or later for the most stable release. The computer running this utility will need either ethernet or WiFi connection to your AVB network in order to view and control AVB entities on your network. To launch the Apple ”AVB Audio Configuration” utility directly, it is necessary to open an application such as Terminal and enter the following command:
Alternatively, if you have Universal Control installed, you can also launch the Apple AVDECC controller from the Settings Menu:
The Apple AVDECC utility has different views that can be selected under the “Window” tab, however we will focus on the two required to make AVB connections here.
AVDECC Entity Controller
In this view, all AVB entities are listed in the left column. When one of them is selected, all of the AVDECC information for that device will be displayed on the right. Some of the more important fields to understand in this view are:
Name - Entity name is displayed here and can be edited
Sampling Rate - Current sample rate is shown and can be changed here
Clock Source - Clock source is shown and can be changed here
Stream Format - For each available AVB Input and Output Stream, this field shows current stream format and the format can be changed here
AVDECC Connection Matrix
In this view, stream connections can be made between AVB entities on the network. The legend at the top left corner indicates the state of each stream in relation to other streams based on whether they are compatible for connection based on similar stream format and sample rate. The labels at the top of the matrix represent “Talker” streams and the ones along the left side represent “Listener” streams.
NOTE: To learn specifically about Mac AVB audio stream routing and changes made to Apple’s AVB Audio Configuration utility that were introduced in MacOS Big Sur, please see the following Knowledge Base article.
Hive AVDECC Controller
The Hive AVDECC controller is available for Mac or PC and displays similar information for AVB entities on a network, however it displays them in a slightly different manner. The computer running this utility will need an ethernet connection to your AVB network in order to view and control AVB entities on your network. No special NIC is necessary for PC ethernet connection and control.
This section shows the devices on the AVB network as well as basic information for each. The default fields shown can be edited to hide certain info columns and show others.
When one of the entities in this list is selected, further information for the device is shown in the Entity Model Inspector window.
Entity Model Inspector
Entity properties are further broken down here and can be selected individually for view and control, such as the ability to view and control attributes of each steam separately.
In this section, stream connections can be made between AVB entities on the network that have compatible stream format and sample rate. The legend can be selected (“Show Legend” button) to view the state of each stream in relation to other streams based on whether they are compatible for connection. The labels at the top of the matrix represent “Listener” streams and the ones along the left side represent “Talker” streams. Both are conveniently labeled for quick reference.
NOTE: The Hive controller sends constant device reconnect messages for all entities on an AVB network. Leaving the Hive controller open after making connections on a Series III AVB Ecosystem can cause issues over time that increase in frequency and can eventually cause devices to completely lose clock sync. It is strongly recommended to close the Hive software once your ecosystem connections have been made. The Apple ”AVB Audio Configuration” utility does not exhibit this issue on a Series III AVB Ecosystem and can be left open after connections are made for network monitoring purposes if desired.