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Author Topic: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive  (Read 859 times)

Andrew Broughton

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DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« on: November 08, 2018, 02:01:13 pm »

So, it's true! DiGiCo and A&H are becoming one.


The Area4 is basically a dLive. Uses the same Director software even. The I/O boxes are basically the same too.
https://www.digico.biz/4rea4/


The big question is what the hell is the new A3232 audio-over-CAT5 protocol? Anyone have any insight into that (as if we need yet another audio protocol!)
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 06:07:00 pm »

So, it's true! DiGiCo and A&H are becoming one.


The Area4 is basically a dLive. Uses the same Director software even. The I/O boxes are basically the same too.
https://www.digico.biz/4rea4/


The big question is what the hell is the new A3232 audio-over-CAT5 protocol? Anyone have any insight into that (as if we need yet another audio protocol!)

You're not kidding. The A168 looks identical to the DX168!

Quote
A3232 & AStar Ports
DiGiCo's new A3232 ports are capable of up to 32 inputs and 32 outputs over a proprietary Ethernet connection. The A3232 ports connect to the new range of 4REA4 remote I/O racks including the A168 STAGE and the A164 WALL and Floor units. These racks can also be cascaded on a single A3232 port or used as pairs of redundant devices. Two new ASTAR ports expand this further with each capable of up to 128 inputs and 128 outputs when connected to the ASTAR unit, which then splits the 128 I/O into four A3232 ports. This allows installers to have a single run back to the processing engine, but with distributed remote local I/O where it’s needed.

Seems to me the A3232 protocol is A&H's DX protocol which is 32x32...

And ASTAR is gigaACE

http://www.allen-heath.com/media/DX-System-Guide-ISS_1.pdf
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 06:13:09 pm by Nathan Riddle »
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 06:54:52 pm »

You're not kidding. The A168 looks identical to the DX168!
Which is the same again as the AB168
https://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/ab168-qu/

I wonder if all the guts are the same and they just use different firmware to choose the digital protocol. Would be very cool were that the case. Just think - they could add in Dante and AES50 and all the other dozens of audio-over-cat5 protocols...
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Jeremy Young

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 07:36:08 pm »

Which is the same again as the AB168
https://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/ab168-qu/

I wonder if all the guts are the same and they just use different firmware to choose the digital protocol. Would be very cool were that the case. Just think - they could add in Dante and AES50 and all the other dozens of audio-over-cat5 protocols...


The AB168 and DX168 are different, FWIW.  The AB168 was for the QU and GLD series, and operates at 48khz only.  The DX168 is the new version that was launched for the new SQ series and Dlive and operates at 96khz.  A subtle difference, but worthy of noting.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 07:38:08 pm »


The AB168 and DX168 are different, FWIW.  The AB168 was for the QU and GLD series, and operates at 48khz only.  The DX168 is the new version that was launched for the new SQ series and Dlive and operates at 96khz.  A subtle difference, but worthy of noting.
Still would make a lot of sense from a manufacturing standpoint if the internals were the same and just firmware changed between the products.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 08:45:11 pm »

Still would make a lot of sense from a manufacturing standpoint if the internals were the same and just firmware changed between the products.

The preamps circuitry is different. dLive vs QU/GLD. Though you could argue that the firmware could change the sound quality too *shrug*

I guarantee the A168 and DX168 are identical down to the IP packet. [I of course don't know for sure, but everything screams they are the same]
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Thomas Dameron

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 09:41:42 pm »

Which is the same again as the AB168
https://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/ab168-qu/

I might be wrong, but I believe a dx168 can do 96k, where a ab168 is 48k only.  Similar to Rio/Tio1608.

I agree with all of your points about protocol overload, but I will say that I've been happy with the zero setup nature of the A&H products.  No flexibility, no operator error.  It's good for what it is, but kind of surprised to see that they're using it in something like the Area4 that's purpose is to get into a larger ecosystem. 

thomas d.

 
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Scott Mullane

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 06:42:25 pm »

It is my understanding that the Area4 products are simply rebadged d-live installation focussed products. This allows for Digico to enter the installation market albeit at a different price point.

The fact that the protocol is d-live and not previous proprietary Digico speaks volumes.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 11:42:45 pm »

The d-Live protocol makes a lot of sense for the A&H system. My understanding is that using Dante or other protocols would increase latency. The GigaACE protocol allow for a surprisingly low 50us latency. Overall input to output latency on the DLive is 0.7ms.
I think it was only the Cadac that can beat that?

Anyway, I really HOPE that the A3232 protocol IS in fact the DX protocol used on the dLive. Being able to use that stage box with the LCD scribble strips would be pretty incredible!
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-Andy

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Michael Kofei

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Re: DiGiCo Area4 and dLive
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 01:11:07 pm »

So, it's true! DiGiCo and A&H are becoming one.

Digico and Allen & Heath (and some others) are collaborating under the same roof for quite some time now: Audiotonix
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