InfoComm 2014: New in HDBaseT Products

Since the last InfoComm we’ve seen the next version of HDBaseT burst onto the stage with its point to multipoint and USB stretching capabilities. Dana Zelitzki of the growing HDBaseT Alliance is he 6/05/2014 6:01 AM Eastern

InfoComm 2014: New in HDBaseT Products, Part 1

Jun 5, 2014 10:01 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Part 1

Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

Since the last InfoComm we’ve seen the next version of HDBaseT burst onto the stage with its point to multipoint and USB stretching capabilities. Dana Zelitzki of the growing HDBaseT Alliance is here to let us know what to expect from the new HDBaseT and when we’ll be seeing the hardware built around it. That’s all coming up right now on the SVC Podcast.

Dana, it sure is nice to have you back again on the SVC Podcast. It has been awhile and it’s always fun to set up with an interesting seven hour time difference but all we had to do was kick Skype a couple of times to get us kind of connected across hemispheres. There has been a lot going on with Valens and the HDBaseT Alliance and you have some new members so what’s the grand total so far?

Yes, we have many new members joining the Alliance lately. We currently have 96 member companies in the Alliance, so we’re very close to the 100-member milestone.

And I believe Christie just came onboard with integrated HDBaseT chips in some of their projectors.

Absolutely, yeah. We have lots of new members, including Christie and Philips and other big names. So everyone is planning to join HDBaseT right now.

And with InfoComm, and without spoiling any big surprises for that, what can we be expecting to see from HDBaseT at the show?

So InfoComm, of course, is a very important show for us and many new HDBaseT-enabled products will be launched there. Without spoiling any surprises, I believe our audience can expect to see new HDBaseT displays at InfoComm. This is a real trend in the market right now as more and more display manufacturers integrate HDBaseT technology into their products so stay tuned. In addition, HDBaseT 2.0 chips will be released at that time, so we’ll have HDBaseT 2.0 working demos at InfoComm as well. [Timestamp: 2:24]

And I think probably the most significant event in HDBaseT development over the past year has been the official release of version 2.0 with all its additional capabilities. What are some of those new capabilities in version 2.0?

HDBaseT 2.0 has various new capabilities such as networking, movie screening, and the inherent USB 2.0 support. In addition, it features enhanced performance to support 4K video over longer distances and also support for HDMI 2.0. [Timestamp: 2:56]

And that’s a big development in itself, just going from point-to-point to going point-to-multipoint and all the different possibilities that multipoint brings into play. What about its compatibility with existing HDBaseT where an investment has already been made?

Of course. The new spec is fully backwards compatible with HDBaseT 1.0 devices, so users shouldn’t worry about that at all. [Timestamp: 3:19]

And while we’re on compatibility, in reading some of the specs on this, I see a lot about Ethernet Fallback Mode.

Ethernet Fallback Mode is a feature that enables the HDBaseT protocol to identify when a connected device does not support HDBaseT and rather supports regular Ethernet, and in that case to function as a regular Ethernet host. Since HDBaseT uses RJ-45 connectors and ports that are commonly being used for standard Ethernet connectivity, so it may happen that a user plugs in an Ethernet device to an HDBaseT port. In that case, it will automatically switch to Ethernet mode and will establish an Ethernet link. [Timestamp: 3:59]

InfoComm 2014: New in HDBaseT Products, Part 1

Jun 5, 2014 10:01 AM, With Bennett Liles

So the HDBaseT gear won’t let you get into too much trouble. Now, at InfoComm last time we heard a lot about 5Play and this time around we’re going to be hearing a lot about HomePlay. What is the difference between the 5Play we’re used to hearing about and HomePlay? Refresh us on 5Play.

It refers to the five elements of being sent over an HDBaseT link and those elements are high-definition uncompressed video, audio, Ethernet, controls and power. HomePlay is, of course, based on the 5Play feature set, but it adds to that the new HDBaseT to the old capabilities that we’ve mentioned such as networking and USB 2.0 support, for example. The reason we chose the term HomePlay is that the new spec is designed to bring the quality and user experience to consumer homes. So it really is tailored to address the needs of whole home connectivity rather than the point-to-point connectivity that 5Play was all about. [Timestamp: 4:57]

Sometimes when we hit the show floor at InfoComm we’re inundated with new buzzwords and tech terminology but I have to congratulate the HDBaseT Alliance on keeping things very clear and organized in marketing and press releases. HDBaseT has turned out to be one of the least confusing new developments. Of course, we have different versions. What was the idea behind HDBaseT Class B?

Class B is quite similar in principal to HDBaseT Class A, or what everyone refers to as HDBaseT, except it does not include support for Ethernet, for the Ethernet feature and the HDBaseT length goes only up to 70 meters, so it’s not the full 100 meters of HDBaseT. The idea behind it is quite simple. We wanted to provide the manufacturers with the flexibility to choose a more cost-effective solution when only some of the features are required and only shorter distance is needed. [Timestamp: 5:56]

So if your requirements are fairly light, particularly on the distances to be covered you can save on the hardware now and upgrade later as your needs evolve.


Valens has launched a new series of chips for 4K and digital signage applications. Will we be seeing actual hardware devices with this chipset at InfoComm?

Yeah. We’re very excited about the new Colligo series, but we’ll only be releasing the Colligo chipsets at this time of the InfoComm show. So while we will not see available products just yet, there will be Colligo chipsets and information kits available and demonstrations of Colligo chipsets. [Timestamp: 6:40]

One of the biggest things about version 1.0 is that it really gave HDMI a much needed boost in its distance capability and now version 2.0 gives USB a huge leap in distance coverage. Has this been the main thing in market penetration for HDBaseT version 2.0?

Well, there’s a lot going on with HDBaseT 2.0, but you’re absolutely right. The support for USB is a very significant feature in the HDBaseT 2.0 specifications and is one of the main reasons that many manufacturers will migrate to HDBaseT 2.0 products. I think what’s nice about it is that it also opens the door for new markets and new HDBaseT applications, for example education or industrial computing or USB over long distances. And they’re already looking into HDBaseT thanks to that feature. [Timestamp: 7:33]

There are a lot of possibilities in education where you can stretch USB over far greater distances than before. So when we get to InfoComm, do you know where the HDBaseT Alliance is going to be yet?

The HDBaseT Alliance booth will be at number C6035, and of course you’ll be able to find lots of HDBaseT Alliance members across the InfoComm show floor as well and everyone will be showing off their latest HDBaseT products. [Timestamp: 8:00]

It will be hard not to bump into members of the HDBaseT Alliance at the show these days and I appreciate your taking time out to tell us about what’s happening with HDBaseT right up to the minute and I hope you have a good show.

Thanks a lot, Bennett.

Thanks for joining us for the SVC Podcast with Dana Zelitzki of Valens and the HDBaseT Alliance. Show notes are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Stop by and be with us again next time on the SVC Podcast.

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