The main drawback of HDMI as an A/V connection standard for high definition video distribution is cable length limitation. Installation costs quickly add up when you consider HDMI cables, control cables and HDMI repeaters for solving distance limitations. As a result, a multitude of HDMI extenders over standard CAT5e/6 cable became available, with each of them providing proprietary solutions to support HDMI extension. The downside was that 150 feet proved to be the maximum distance for 1080p/24bit/60Hz resolution, with HD support guaranteed well under 100 feet. As 3D formats grew in popularity, so did the need for new technology.
HDBaseT is a new connectivity technology optimized for home and commercial multimedia distribution promoted by the HDBaseT Alliance. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is the “5Play” feature—transmitting full uncompressed high definition video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power and various control signals through a single standard 100m/328ft CAT5e/6 solid cable.
HDBaseT supports TV and computer video formats, including standard, enhanced, high definition and 3D video, as well as all audio standards. HDBaseT delivers full HD/3D and 2K/4K uncompressed video in a point to point connection or a single to multipoint distribution supporting both daisy chain and star topologies. When cascading, extension limits can go beyond 100m/328ft – up to eight additional runs can be combined. This flexibility makes HDBaseT an ideal commercial technology for applications like digital signage.
The technology enables televisions, hi-fi equipment, computers, and other devices to communicate with each other and to access stored multimedia content through 100Mb Ethernet support. Different types of control signals are also supported by HDBaseT technology: Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) that operates basic functionality such as power-on, power-off play and stop; RS232; USB; and infrared (IR) that operates remote equipment even when located in a different room. Such a large variety of control signals provides manufacturers and integrators the flexibility to choose the best solution for their needs.
The latest addition to the HDBaseT 1.0 specification is Power over HDBaseT (PoH). This enables the transfer of DC power, along with data signals, over a single Ethernet cable in a manner similar to Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoH safely delivers up to 100W over four pairs of Ethernet cable, which provides power to attached devices through the cable without the need for additional power supplies. The latest Energy Star 5.3 Specification restricts all televisions to 108W of power consumption, regardless of screen size. The developing Energy Star 6.0 Specification targets a cap of 85W for all televisions. At these levels, HDBaseT has ample power delivery capabilities for even supporting large displays in various applications.
Check out NTI’s series of HDBaseT Extenders, Splitters and Matrix Switches:
HDMI HDBase-T Extender with IR & Optional RS232/Ethernet via One CAT5/6
Low-Cost HDMI HDBase-T Extender with IR via One CAT5e/6
HDMI USB KVM Extender over HDBase-T
HDMI HDBase-T Splitter/Extender via CAT5e/6
HDMI Matrix Switch Over HDBase-T with Direct HDMI Inputs & CAT6 Outputs