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CobraNet – Faster and more reliable

September 16th, 2011 Posted in OMNITRONIC, worth knowing Tags: ,


Cobra Net, that’s the solution for complex multi-channel installations for the audio field.

There are many solutions for multi-channel installations but not all of them will prove satisfactory. OMNITRONIC presents with its new CobraNet™ transmitters and processors today’s latest approach opening the door to a faster and more reliable audio solution, because existing local area networks (LAN) can be used.

Today the professional audio branch is often confronted with different needs: Fast working, tight schedules, low budgets and complex tasks must be considered. This balancing act can only succeed with a recent and well-engineered audio technology. CobraNet™ is such a technical solution not only making promises but also keeping them. The system was developed by Cirrus Logic (former Peak Audio) and is a combination of software, hardware and network protocols allowing real-time uncompressed, multi-channel, low-latency digital audio distribution over a standard Ethernet network. CobraNet™ is transmitted using standard Ethernet packets and a standard network infrastructure – this can be a financial advantage for large-scale audio installations like stadiums or convention centers, because they don’t need to install a new cable system.

The system usually reaches a bandwidth between 10 to 100 Mbit/s but can easily be upgraded to 1 Gbit. Additionally, CobraNet™ technology can carry asynchronous control data without conflict to the isochronous data. Up to 64 channels (20Bit/48 kHz) can be carried simultaneously over a Cat-5 cable. CobraNet™ currently supports a 48 kHz sampler frequency with a 16, 20 or 24 bitrate. A respectively configured network can handle up to 3,000 audio channels.

Transmission range
What’s the transmission range of CobraNet™? The restrictions for Fast Ethernet ranges also apply to CobraNet™installations: Up to 100 meters when using Cat-5 cables, up to two kilometers over multimode fibers. Longer distances can only be realized over a monomode fiber.


Cabling: – 64 channels of uncompressed digital audio are carried through a single, inexpensive Cat-5 cable. Analog cabling would have required 64 separate analog audio cables – each costing the same or more than a Cat-5 cable. As a standard Ethernet network can also be used for CobraNet™there are no acquisition costs for network hardware.

Flexibility: – A well-structured network allows high flexibility for future changes. Audio routing can be changed within seconds without additional wiring.

Reliability: – For critical applications, CobraNet™ devices can be wired with a redundant link. If one cable or switch fails, the other link takes over the connection immediately.

Audio quality: – As the audio signal is digital it is almost insusceptible to electromagnetic interference, crosstalk or voltage drop due to cable impedance.


Latency: – Delays in the CobraNet™ system are from 1 to 5 milliseconds. Further delays can occur when converting back and forth from analog to digital. For live performances this delays can be unacceptable.

Hardware cost: – Although you can save money in cabling the devices which encode and decode the CobraNet™ signal are quite expensive, because every manufacturer has to pay royalties for each CobraNet™ device. But with the OMNITRONIC CobraNet™ devices you can reduce costs sustainably and build up big systems.

Application example:

A congress is supposed to take several days and there are program modifications. Many visitors attend a presentation so that some of them were put in an overflow room. But in the planning these room were not considered for transmission. In an analog system this rooms would have been wired completely new and some system changes would have been done. With a CobraNet™system these changes can be made easily with network commands within minutes. There is no more reason to send a technician on pulling strips during the event.

Take a look to our Omnitronic CobraNet product list.

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