HDBaseT: Shaping the Future of Digital Connectivity

Single cable solution provides true all-in-one connectivity while eliminating common installation pitfalls. 8/17/2011 2:30 PM Eastern

HDBaseT: Shaping the Future of Digital Connectivity

Aug 17, 2011 6:30 PM, by Micha Risling

Single cable solution provides true all-in-one connectivity while eliminating common installation pitfalls.

Current connectivity technologies restrict the delivery of content and place limitations on contractors and consumers in terms of cable reach, feature capabilities, ease of installation, and overall flexibility. The growing demand for converged distribution of HD multimedia content, combined with the cost and complexity of installing existing technologies, is driving the industry toward a new HD digital connectivity standard. Supported by a cross‐industry alliance incorporated by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Valens Semiconductor, a new technology—HDBaseT—is revolutionizing the distribution of HD multimedia content.

HDBaseT technology is a multimedia connectivity standard optimized for long-distance distribution of data and multimedia content. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play, an unrivaled feature set that sends full uncompressed HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable, and various control signals through a single 100 meter/328ft. Cat-5e/6 LAN cable.

Unlike other distribution technologies currently available, HDBaseT is the only single-cable technology that provides wired multimedia connectivity up to 100 meters, full uncompressed HD video, as well as up to 100W of power. The LAN-based technology makes it possible to cut the assortment of cables for audio, video, CE device connectors, and even the power source. This form of networking—whether it is done point-to-point, by daisy-chaining devices, or through star topology—can be applied in both the consumer home and in B2B cases such as digital signage networking.

For the home, an HDBaseT media hub can manage numerous devices and seamlessly push the 5Play feature set from a chosen device to an HDBaseT-enabled display located anywhere. HDBaseT also supports a variety of commercial installations. For the professional and commercial integrator market, HDBaseT technology solves the installer’s need for performance over longer distance, ease of installation, reliability, flexibility, and cost of installation—without compromising on quality.

For many connectivity technologies, distance is a main limitation. With HDBaseT, distance is no longer a concern because it can run over a 100 meter/328ft. Cat-5e/6 cable and support multi-hops (8x100 meters) with fewer cables and less mess. Cat-5 cable is a proven quality method for transferring HD and new 3D formats and ensures reliability and low latency while supporting various controls. In addition, power over cable capabilities eliminate the electrician; HDBaseT sends 100W of power simultaneously through the 5Play feature set, eliminating the need for a power outlet to be installed near the display. Requiring only a single, low-cost LAN cable with standard RJ-45 connectors, HDBaseT-based network installations significantly cut down the cost of an installation.

The HDBaseT Alliance has set an ambitious target to improve the installation process and enhance the viewer experience. The unmatched 5Play offering enables the industry to deploy HD systems that are cheaper, more installation friendly, more reliable, and are capable of dealing with the new HD video format and future 3D content. This high reliability, low maintenance, and scalable technology provides installers with the flexibility to quickly, costeffectively, and confidently complete even the largest scale jobs.

Manufacturers, installers, and consumers alike require a dependable connectivity solution that can be implemented easily and economically for a variety of installation scenarios. Exceeding these requirements, HDBaseT is well-positioned to become the preferred industry technology for simplified networking and single-wire connectivity.

Micha Risling is the marketing chair of the HDBaseT Alliance, the cross-industry alliance formed to promote and standardize the HDBaseTM technology for distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content.

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