Dante is the de-facto standard for digital audio networking and distributes hundreds of uncompressed, multi-channel digital audio channels via standard Ethernet networks with near-zero latency and perfect synchronization. Dante allows audio, control, and all other data to coexist effectively on the same network. Dante is used in more than 3,000 Dante-enabled audio products from more than 500 manufacturers.

Dante also allows for low-impact integration. Copper wire and XLR cables don’t need to be run between rooms in a Dante installation. By using the network, Dante allows for an installation or upgrade that requires minimal work and little-to-no destruction of a wall or ceiling. Connected Design spoke with Brad Price, senior product marketing manager at Audinate, to find out more.

What was Audinate’s plan in starting work with the professional AV market?

Audinate’s Dante began life in the live sound world, but we always knew that ultimately we would expand to other areas of AV. While we did want it to mature and grow in its own garden at first, we quickly saw the interest for it bleed over into new verticals. Today, Dante is ubiquitous in corporate, worship, education, transportation, live performance, and other “pro” verticals. And, of course, we are now seeing Dante heading into the home.

That’s right, we are now seeing Dante show up in more and more residential products. Why is that?

That bleed-over into other verticals continues with this move into the residential space. Dante is a good idea in many, many locations, and homes are no different. Dante is easy to use, easy to install, easy to manage, easy to add new products to – and, ultimately, it sounds great. This interoperability, scalability, and flexibility means the move into the residential world was inevitable.

What specific benefits do you see for the residential and CI space?

The big benefit is AV over distance. Custom install and large home installations are seeing Dante become more and more standard. Again, the scalability, the ability to work on a standard network, and the ease-of-use and quality are all obvious choices for this work.

That said, we are also seeing more and more business uses – such as studio recording and broadcasting – move into the home. This was necessitated by the pandemic in 2020, but the discovery from those workflows was that Dante makes at-home audio work both easy and effective. 

What partners are you working with in this space?

Harman Luxury, StreamUnlimited, LEA, ELAN, PowerSoft, JBL Synthesis

Is there a different flavor of Dante for commercial and residential?

No difference at all. All the benefits of Dante are available in every installation, no matter where it is located.

Is a wired network required?

It is. Without diving into the technical aspects of this too deeply, it is our belief that WiFi is currently not at a point where we are comfortable recommending it to users. Is that to say it will never get to that point? Certainly not! We will continue to innovate with Dante and look for more ways to make it more accessible in more integrations. That said, for now, standard 1 GB network cables are the minimum requirement for effectively using Dante.

What are the main technical questions you get from the residential integrator community? Does Dante meet the needs of the channel?

Right now the main question we get is “what can Dante do for a residential installation.” We share much of the information above along with some key technical answers.

How long can one network cable be and still effectively transmit Dante? About 300 feet. The distance is exponentially larger when you use switches and routers in a large network.

How many channels of audio can you route? A standard, 1 GB network can route 512 channels of audio. The number goes up if you utilize more modern networking infrastructure.

People typically don’t immediately talk about sync, but it does eventually come up. The short answer: we do it and we do it in a way that kind of feels like it “just works” and that’s a nice element to add to the pitch. 

A lot of questions also get answered very specifically in our free Dante Certification Program.