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One Cable – That's the HDBaseT Technology Way

Ultra-high definition multimedia content over a single cable. That's the beauty of HDBaseT technology.

Around for just about five years now, HDBaseT technology gained popularity when LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Valens formed the HDBaseT Alliance. Today, it's the standard for distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content. As an installer, integrator, or even consumer of electronics you should be aware of the technology's benefits, best practices, and challenges.

For starters, HDBaseT makes your life much easier. No more multiple cables and connectors in your home and business. Thanks to the 5Play™ feature set, which converges uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable, and other control signals through a single LAN cable for up to 328 ft. (100 m).

While the technology was developed to work with CAT5e cables, installers and integrators recommend CAT6 cables for better performance and error-free transmission. And, for even longer distances, the latest HDBaseT 2.0 specification enables the transmission of audio and video, Ethernet, USB, and controls over fiber optic cable.

So, why should you take advantage of HDBaseT technology? Our friends at HDBaseT Alliance put together a quick list of HDBaseT benefits on their website, which I've shared below.

HDBaseT technology benefits: 1. Distance Cable length has always been a challenge, until now. HDBaseT technology can be used over 100 m [328 ft.] with a single hop or up to 800 m [almost a half a mile] with 8 hops.

2. 5Play HDBaseT delivers video, audio, Ethernet, controls, and power over a single cable, enabling you to reduce your cable assortment down to a single super cable.

3. Elegance HDBaseT requires only a single cable. Elegance. Aesthetics. Grace.

4. Quality HDBaseT delivers smooth, uncompressed, ultra-high definition video in up to 4K effective resolution. HDBaseT technology fully supports all 3D video standards.

5. Simplicity HDBaseT technology uses a standard CAT5e/6 twisted-pair LAN cable with standard RJ-45 connectors, enabling easy termination, deployment, and testing.

6. Affordability HDBaseT relies on low cost CAT5e/6 infrastructure and hence greatly reduces installation costs. In addition, due to HDBaseT's inherent power transmission capability, electricity infrastructure costs are also reduced.

7. Standard HDBaseT technology is a true industry standard. HDBaseT Certification Program provides Alliance members with a formal framework that ensures cross-vendor product interoperability and standard compliance.

To add to their list, HDBaseT also is the only standard that delivers uncompressed Ultra-HD 4K video for up to 328 ft. (100m).

Given all these capabilities and backing by the HDBaseT Alliance, it's hard to imagine there could be any HDBaseT challenges. As with any newer technology, they exist.

How to avoid HDBaseT system deployment issues Not all electronic products on the market are HDBaseT-certified. For example, not all manufacturers follow the HDBaseT Alliance recommendations for power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. Technologists must be able to determine interoperability of different HDBaseT products.

The Alliance presents recommendations and workable solutions to reduce connectivity challenges. To find out more, download the Alliance's white paper, HDBaseT™ Do's & Don'ts and Best Practices. The resource covers the good and acceptable HDBaseT practices, the bad practices that should be avoided, and the recommended and preferred practices. It even includes a checklist for your next HDBaseT system implementation.

Ready to set up your next HDBaseT system? Black Box is an HDBaseT Alliance adopter member and has the largest selection of HDBaseT cables in the industry. Get free, application engineering from a Black Box technical specialist today at 877-877-2269.

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