TECHNOLOGY APPLICATION GUIDE
What is HDBaseT?
5PLAY™ OVER A SINGLE CATEGORY 6A CABLE
What is it?
Introduced in 2010, HDBaseT enables the distribution of high-definition audio and video, USB, Ethernet, controls and up to 100 watts of power over a single Category 6A cable up to 100 meters (328 feet). By using a standards-based Category 6A cable, HDBaseT allows distribution distances that exceed the typical limits of legacy cables such as HDMI, VGA and USB.
Founded by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor, the HDBaseT alliance has more than 100 members. The goal of HDBaseT is to make cabling simpler, more cost effective and able to offer any combination of features not supported by legacy cabling, such as 5Play. The 5Play feature set allows audio visual, control, ethernet, USB and power over Category 6A cable.
Although it uses Category 6A cable, HDBaseT uses a proprietary version of pulse amplitude modulation (PAM), which means it does not work as a standard Ethernet network.
Why is it important?
With a 10.2 Gbps bit-rate, HDBaseT is more than capable of delivering ultra high-definition (4K) and 3D images. It can also power the display in the way PoE can power cameras and VoIP phones, thus saving the need for an electrician, time and money. For applications or verticals such as commercial installations, education, residential, digital signage, retail, healthcare and hospitality, HDBaseT is now the connectivity of choice and many displays have this capability built-in.
The HDBaseT Alliance runs a certification program in which manufacturers must submit their products for testing by a recognized testing facility (RTF). The RTF verifies that the product operates in accordance with the standard and determines which features are supported. Currently, only Valens has a certified RTF. It will make the selection of cabling and components reliable and rational by verifying manufacturer claims.
The cabling and connectivity must adhere to existing standards such as TIA-568-C and TIA-569-B. Category 6A cable is recommended to alleviate the potential for any cross talk or interference and the larger gauge facilitates PoE. With greater adoption, HDBaseT may become the standard that replaces the myriad of connections that are used in A/V.
On January 6, 2015, IEEE and HDBaseT announced that the HDBaseT standard has been approved for adoption; once the adoption process is complete, it will be known as IEEE 1911. Because HDBaseT is an established technology with very precise specifications, the adoption process is much quicker than if the standard had to be developed by the IEEE from scratch.
HDBaseT Spec. 2.0 is already in the process, and it will allow for fiber-based transmission in verticals—such as medical, government and military—that prefer to use fiber in their deployments. The HDBaseT Alliance is already looking at future enhancements to the technology to facilitate networking and the Internet of Everything (IoE).
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