Note This documentation refers to the ANSI standard E1.31-2016 and the use of TwinCAT3.

DMX is a standard that is widely used for controlling lighting elements in stage and building services applications. Beckhoff offers the EL6851 DMX master terminal and the EL6851-0010 DMX slave terminal for this purpose.

ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) developed Streaming Architecture for Control Networks (sACN in the following) to enable the benefits of Ethernet to be utilised for DMX. It transfers DMX universe data via UDP/IP. The DMX data is embedded in the sACN frame as a complete universe and tunneled through UDP/IP. sACN is defined through ANSI standard E1.31-2009 (in short sACN-2009) and represents a subset of the ACN standard (ANSI standard E1.17).

In 2016, ESTA has enrolled the new version of sACN standard, E1.31-2016 (in short sACN-2016), which added two new frame types, the “Synchronization Frame” and “Universe Discovery Frame”. The Synchronization Frame is a packet that contains only universe synchronization information and it is used to trigger synchronization. The Universe Discovery Frame is a packet that contains a packed list of the universe on which a source is actively operating. This frame allows other devices interested in network traffic to monitor which universes are currently active without to join every multicast group.

Overview 1:

sACN data can be mapped to any data types in TwinCAT.

sACN is a protocol specification for transmitting DMX data and was developed by ESTA.

sACN is simplified to Art-Net™ and the information about Art-Net™ can also be found at our website.

Further information about the market activities of Beckhoff in the market stage and show can be found on our website at: PC-based Control for Stage and Show Technology.


System Requirement:

Technical Data


TwinCAT version

TwinCAT 3.1 build 4022.20 or higher

Visual Studio version

Visual Studio 2013 or higher

Required TwinCAT license

TF6310 licence