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What is HDBaseT?

HDBaseT is a connectivity standard for whole-home and commercial distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play™, a feature set that converges uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals through a single LAN cable.

The HDBaseT 5Play™ feature set enables delivering the following over a single 100m / 328ft CAT5e / 6 cable:

Video

HDBaseT delivers full HD / 3D and 2K / 4K uncompressed video to a network of devices or to a single device (point-to-point ). Since the video is passed through the HDMI chipset, HDBaseT supports all key HDMI 1.4 features, including EPG, CEC, EDID, and HDCP. The unique video-coding scheme ensures the highest video quality at zero latency.

Audio

HDBaseT audio is also passed through directly from the HDMI chipset. HDBaseT audio supports all standard formats, including Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS HD-Master Audio.

Ethernet

HDBaseT supports 100Mb Ethernet, enabling communication between televisions, sound systems, computers, and other CE devices as well as access to any stored multimedia content (such as music or video streaming). HDBaseT also supports Ethernet Fallback Mode, which enables seamless integration between a HDBaseT device and an Ethernet-only infrastructure. In such a case, only the Ethernet capabilities of the connection are enabled.

Control

HDBaseT enables multiple control signals for multiple purposes: Consumer Electronic Controls (CEC), Recommended Standard (RS)-232, USB, and infrared (IR). IP control is also enabled due to the support of an Ethernet channel. HDBaseT’s wide range of control options provides manufacturers with virtually endless opportunities.

Power

Up to 100W of DC power can also be delivered over the same CAT5e/6 cable. This major aspect of 5Play provides the freedom to place equipment where you want it and not where an available power source happens to be installed.

The HDBaseT 5Play

HDBaseT Architecture

HDBaseT uses an asymmetric method, sending video, audio, Ethernet and controls from source to sink, but only 100Mb are transferred back (Ethernet and controls). Unlike conventional data communication which is a symmetrical application by nature, with required a bit error rate (BER) of at least 10 to the minus 12, the asymmetric nature of HDBaseT is based on an innovative DSP engine and an AFE (Application Front End) architecture.
A special line coding scheme was developed to provide a better transfer quality to some kinds of data (audio, controls, Ethernet) without the need to 'pay' the protecting overhead for the video content which consumes most of the bandwidth.

HDBaseT uses a proprietary version of Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) technology, where digital data is represented as a coding scheme using different levels of DC voltage at high rates. This enables the 5Play feature-set to be maintained over a single 100 m CAT cable, without the electrical characteristics of the wire affecting performance. Although HDBaseT uses the same coding technology as Ethernet and even has an Ethernet channel, its packet-based technology is different from the traditional Ethernet packets. HDBaseT simply relies on the same physical cabling which provides the inherent benefits of the cost-effective CAT infrastructure.