Alta Labs Network Switches Work with Dante

Modified on Wed, 06 Mar 2024 at 04:57 PM

Supported Models: S24-POE, S16-POE, S8-POE

Introduction to Dante:

Dante allows for both video and audio signals to traverse a data network, rather than depending on traditional point-to-point cables (HDMI, XLR, RCA, Coax, etc). This allows for greater scalability and versatility in deploying both audio and video in any size project. This knowledge base article applies only to using Alta Labs network switches with Dante-based audio distribution. 

Where can I learn more about Dante solutions?

We recommend visiting the Audinate Website to learn more about Dante products and solutions.

How to configure an Alta Labs network switch to work with Dante:

Audinate provides a comprehensive guide for best practices and deployment strategy on how to connect Dante enabled devices in a project. You can find it here.

Dante enabled devices each need to be connected to an Alta Labs network switch in a “home run” methodology. Dante enabled devices should not be daisy chained together. Each Dante enabled device needs to be connected directly to an Alta Labs network switch.

Special network cables are not required. It is highly recommended you use at least CAT5E Ethernet cabling.

Audinate highly recommends the use of gigabit network switches. Fortunately, if you are using Alta Labs network switches, you are in luck. They are all gigabit switches.

Alta Labs switches do not require any special configuration or policies to be set in order to work with Dante. Our switches do not refresh their MAC tables randomly or at certain intervals. As a result, you do not need to worry about your audio streams cutting out or stopping randomly on your projects, which is a common issue on switches that are less compatible with Dante.

Alta Labs does have a few recommendations to assure your network remains optimized, whether you are using Dante in a mixed network environment, or if you have a dedicated “Dante only” network.

  1. IGMP Snooping: By default, Dante operates in a Unicast format. However, Dante allows for Multicast groups to be set up. If you opt to use Multicast groups, we recommend enabling IGMP Snooping so the Alta Labs network switches can help assure multicast traffic is only sent to ports that subscribed to the appropriate multicast streams. This helps remove any unwanted network congestion, especially if you have more than a few dozen audio endpoints. You can enable IGMP Snooping on a VLAN by accessing any of the switch setting cards on your site. Click the edit (pencil) button next to the selected VLAN. 

A new window will appear where you can toggle IGMP Snooping for that specific VLAN.

  1. VLAN Policy: While not necessary for Dante to function correctly, we recommend deploying a VLAN policy for your Dante-enabled devices and assigning them a VLAN other than default or 1. By doing so, the Alta Labs network switches will automatically prioritize the traffic in the non-native VLANs. This will allow Dante streams to take priority over lesser priority traffic in a mixed network environment.

  1. Energy Efficient Ethernet: Dante does not recommend enabling energy efficient Ethernet on network switches. At the time of writing, enabling Energy Efficient Ethernet is not supported via the standard applications on Alta Labs network switches.

Thank you for choosing Alta Labs for use in your Dante environments!

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