We’ve recently seen a rapid influx of a new generation of entertainment devices like live smart/interactive televisions, 3D video and 4K resolution – which represent a rapid step up in technology. But for these devices to fulfill their potential, they rely on underlying data transport technologies that connects them to other devices and to content sources.
The most popular standard for AV signal transport today is HDMI, which was revolutionary in allowing high-quality video and audio signals to be carried by a single cable. But as we are moving to smarter devices we are also creating a new set of expectations and requirements the HDMI standard seems limited. Clearly we are also seeking to implement more advanced “networked features” like energy management and integrated control systems in more complex multi-room or multi-building installations – which means a simpler, less expensive and more flexible transport system is required.
HDBaseT (developed by Valens Semiconductor and now managed by the HDBaseT alliance), is a new transport technology for the distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content via a Cat5e [or better] cable.
Some of the key benefits it offers comparable to HDMI today are as follows:
Many-in-one cable: Allows the convergence of uncompressed HD video, HD audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, various control signals for home automation, and power (100 watts) for specific devices delivered through a standard CAT5e cable.
Maintains signal quality over a longer distance: HDBaseT range is far greater than that of HDMI, which allows cables to run much longer distances.
Durability and cost: CAT5e cables are more durable and less expensive than HDMI cables and are often already part of home and office environments.
While HDBaseT already popular in the professional AV industry, it’s now seeing rapid growth in acceptance amongst consumer AV products too, further driving its growth into the standard of choice in the smart homes and offices.