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post #1 of 217 Old 01-04-2012, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Without a central location on AVS for information on HDBaseT I thought it would be a good idea to gather information, reviews and thoughts on one of the most exciting prospects in the A/V world. I decided to post this in the HDMI forum since it seems most applicable here but hopefully soon there will be a forum dedicated solely to HDBaseT.

Background:
HDBaseT was created to right many of the wrongs of HDMI. HDMI has become one of the most hated formats in the history of audio and video. While the passage of HD audio and video was welcomed, the difficulties with the HDCP handshake, loss of signal at larger distances and lack of termination options made HDMI a difficult cable to work with.

HDBaseT uses a proprietary version of Pulse Amplitude Modulation to pass the HD video and audio (and more) up to 100 meters or 330 feet without any loss of quality over a standard Cat5e or Cat6 cable.

HDBaseT can pass:
Uncompressed High Definition Video including 3D and 4K resolution (up to 10.2 Gbps)
Standard HD audio formats
100Mb Ethernet
Power over Cable (up to 100 watts)
Various control signals including IR, RS232 and CEC

As of early 2012, HDBaseT is mainly being used as a way of sending HDMI over a single Cat5e/6 cable and in HDMI switchers but will hopefully one day be included directly into A/V devices using the standard RJ-45 connector.

Important Links
HDBaseT Homepage
HDBaseT on Wikipedia
Valens Semiconductor
HDBaseT Technical Info

AVS Threads
Support an HDBaseT forum on AVS
2 Cables vs. one
Central Rack HDBaseT setup
HDBaseT Hopes to Take on HDMI in the Living Room

FAQ
What is HDBaseT?
HDBaseT technology is a consumer electronic (CE) connectivity technology optimized for whole-home and commercial multimedia distribution. HDBaseT can connect all the entertainment devices in a setting through its 5Play feature set, converging uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals through a single 100m/328ft CAT5e/6 cable with RJ45 connectors.

Why is HDBaseT necessary when we have HDMI?
HDBaseT is can send uncompressed video and audio (and more) much longer distances than HDMI over cables that are probably already run throughout your home. It should also work better with the HDCP handshake if you are using devices such as AVRs and switches.

Is HDBaseT very expensive?
Like all new technologies cost is initially fairly high but should come down regularly. While Matrix Switches are still priced out of many individuals budgets, HDBaseT extenders have recently gone below the $200 price point which considering the price for long HDMI cables is actually quite reasonable.

HDBaseT sounds exciting, what can I do to help quicken its adoption?
The best way for HDBaseT to catch on is to spread the information about it and pass on the excitement to more people. Start by requesting an official forum dedicated to HDBaseT at AVS by responding in the Support an HDBaseT forum on AVS thread. If you have the need to send HDMI over a long distance purchase an HDBaseT extender and report back with your review.

Will HDBaseT work with patch panels and wall blocks?
Yes, according to this post, this post and this post, HDBaseT should work through patch panels and wall blocks without issue.

Will HDBaseT work better using Cat6 than Cat5e?
From Colm, "The difference between the two is that Cat 6 has to meet tighter specifications for crosstalk and other things that affect performance. So, all other things being equal, Cat 6 might work in some cases where Cat 5e might not. That said, if Cat 5e works, replacing it with Cat 6 won't improve the picture. If the options are installing Cat 5e or Cat 6, it is pretty much a no-brainer to go with Cat 6 because there is little difference in price."

This is all great in theory but will HDBaseT ever really take off?
While none of us know for sure the future of HDBaseT it certainly has the potential for being the new standard for connecting devices in the home. Looking at the Membership List you can see that three of the four original members were Samsung, Sony and LG, the top three TV manufacturers world wide (source). With that type of muscle behind the technology we have every reason to believe that HDBaseT is here to stay.

What is HDBaseT-Lite?
See Post #3.
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post #2 of 217 Old 01-04-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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HDBaseT Products and Reviews

HDMI Extenders
Monoprice Extender ------- Reviews
Monoprice Extender with Ethernet ------ Reviews
Atlona HDMI Extender
Gefen Extra Long HDMI Extender -------- Brief Review
TE HD1 Professional
Kordz Extender
Octava HDCATS-100

HDBaseT Splitters
Monoprice 1x4 HDBaseT splitter
Monoprice 1x8 HDBaseT splitter


HDBaseT Matrix Switches
Atlona HDBaseT 8x8 Matrix Switch
Atlona HDBaseT 16x16 Matrix Switch
Atlona HDBaseT 4x4 Matrix Switch - To be introduced at ISE 2012 (1/31/12-2/2/12)
HDanywhere 4x4 and 8x8 Matrix




Other HDBaseT Solutions
Crestron Digital Media
AMX Matrix Switch

Note, Crestron and AMX require professional programming to incorporate their products
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post #4 of 217 Old 01-04-2012, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

...three of the four original members were Samsung, Sony and LG, the top three TV manufacturers world wide...

Well, two anyway. Sony Pictures doesn't manufacture TVs. I think they are in it because of content protection concerns. The fourth member is Valens Semiconductor, the originator of the technology with obvious interests. And so far, neither Samsung nor LG has a product that I am aware of that incorporates HDBaseT. All the real interest so far seems to be from manufacturers of "extender" devices
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post #5 of 217 Old 01-04-2012, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Will HDBaseT work better using Cat6 than Cat5e?

The difference between the two is that Cat 6 has to meet tighter specifications for crosstalk and other things that affect performance. So, all other things being equal, Cat 6 might work in some cases where Cat 5e might not. That said, if Cat 5e works, replacing it with Cat 6 won't improve the picture. If the options are installing Cat 5e or Cat 6, it is pretty much a no-brainer to go with Cat 6 because there is little difference in price.
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post #6 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 12:35 AM
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I can see how home integrators would like this format for some devices, but I can't see this going mainstream....it's too complex with too many variables for the typical user.

PoE is compelling, but not for a typical consumer either. I don't think it will make it into any TVs anytime soon. I saw no references to content protection either, though I'm sure it will have to comply with HDCP somehow.


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post #7 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

I saw no references to content protection either, though I'm sure it will have to comply with HDCP somehow.

HDMI and HDCP just ride on top of HDBaseT, unchanged from their current implementation. HDMI/HDCP in->HDMI/HDCP out.
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post #8 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

...I can't see this going mainstream....it's too complex with too many variables for the typical user.

I think it is totally transparent to the end user. Plug in a Cat 5e/6 cable, that is it. No different than plugging in a HDMI cable. I think the reason you won't see it in mainstream products is that it doesn't offer a significant advantage to the manufacturer. They still have to incorporate HDMI, plus they have to incorporate additional hardware to support HDBaseT.
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post #9 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

HDMI and HDCP just ride on top of HDBaseT, unchanged from their current implementation. HDMI/HDCP in->HDMI/HDCP out.

That woud be true in extenders, but doesn't cover if HDBaseT was an actual connection on the source or the display, right?


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post #10 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

I think it is totally transparent to the end user. Plug in a Cat 5e/6 cable, that is it. No different than plugging in a HDMI cable. I think the reason you won't see it in mainstream products is that it doesn't offer a significant advantage to the manufacturer. They still have to incorporate HDMI, plus they have to incorporate additional hardware to support HDBaseT.

If you're using it only as an A/V connection, and even the ethernet, that maybe a benefit. But to use the full capability, including the PoE that's supposed to power displays on the other end, that creeps into complexity. And what would be controlling all the variables for all those features?


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post #11 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

HDMI and HDCP just ride on top of HDBaseT, unchanged from their current implementation. HDMI/HDCP in->HDMI/HDCP out.

Speaking of insidious DRM, you are saying there are not ANY additional DRM countermeasures built into HDBaseT? Not even somthing like a maximum of ~ 6 hops to prevent all of those neighborhoods who will run cables from house to houses and "steal/share" all of hollywood precious content?

If that is the case and there is no additional DRM layers, then the content owners will never "bless" the interconnect for use in consumer devices.
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post #12 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 03:34 PM
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Unfortunately the specifications appear to be under NDA and require a annual $10,000 "membership" fee.
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post #13 of 217 Old 01-05-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

That woud be true in extenders, but doesn't cover if HDBaseT was an actual connection on the source or the display, right?

I don't see the difference. HDBaseT is not a replacement for HDMI. Take a look at the HDBaseT chipset pinouts. The output from the receiver is HDMI. The video is still sent a raster line at a time. The source and the sink still have to negotiate the details. HDCP encryption still applies. All HDBaseT does is overcome the distance limitation built into HDMI, that and add a few additional capabilities like power

IIRC Valens demonstrated a prototype TV with a HDBaseT input compete with power over HDBaseT at CES last year. The TV was connected to a HDBaseT switch. The source devices were connected to the switch via HDMI. Move that to commercial gear and I think what you wind up with is the addition of a HDBaseT input to some TVs and a HDBaseT output to some AVRs. I don't think we will ever see it on source devices.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Speaking of insidious DRM, you are saying there are not ANY additional DRM countermeasures built into HDBaseT?

No, I didn't say anything about that one way or the other.
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post #15 of 217 Old 01-06-2012, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

I don't see the difference. HDBaseT is not a replacement for HDMI. Take a look at the HDBaseT chipset pinouts. The output from the receiver is HDMI. The video is still sent a raster line at a time. The source and the sink still have to negotiate the details. HDCP encryption still applies. All HDBaseT does is overcome the distance limitation built into HDMI, that and add a few additional capabilities like power

IIRC Valens demonstrated a prototype TV with a HDBaseT input compete with power over HDBaseT at CES last year. The TV was connected to a HDBaseT switch. The source devices were connected to the switch via HDMI. Move that to commercial gear and I think what you wind up with is the addition of a HDBaseT input to some TVs and a HDBaseT output to some AVRs. I don't think we will ever see it on source devices.

Actually, yes. The poster is promoting HDBaseT be used as a connection type, which means it would supplant or complement HDMI. If that is the case, it would have to have it's own copy protection scheme.

What benefit would there be for a typical consumer if source devices don't utilize the features the cable type is touting? Other than the longer distance, that is.


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post #16 of 217 Old 01-06-2012, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

What benefit would there be for a typical consumer if source devices don't utilize the features the cable type is touting? Other than the longer distance, that is.

Ah, that is the $64,000 question. Maybe that is why we don't see the big CE manufacturers adopting this technology yet.
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post #17 of 217 Old 01-06-2012, 05:48 AM
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HDBaseT has an imposed limitation of 100m - though you can cascade HDBaseT devices; not sure how many times is actually practical vs. theoretical! I've seen a x3 test rig.

There will be Display products with a single HDBaseT RJ45 connector for the installer market.

The various online webinars I've listened through do foresee manufacturers dropping HDMI Input/output sockets on some kit and adopting a purely RJ45 HDBaseT' landscape.

PoH (Power over HDBaseT) is going to be fun for Matrix developers to implement!!!

I've been using an HDBaseT extender at home on a ropey old bit of CAT5 (55m) carrying 1080i50 and 1080p24/60 for the last 10 months and it is very stable.

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post #18 of 217 Old 01-10-2012, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there anybody at CES who can comment on the presence of HDBaseT at the show? While I'm sure there are a lot of HDMI extenders using the technology, I'm particularly interested in switchers and other products with HDBaseT.
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post #19 of 217 Old 01-10-2012, 11:51 PM
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I'm not at the Show - though the HDBaseT Alliance have been promoting its presence at CES heavily to the Trade - they may be a good place to start for info on who is exhibiting what in terms of Switch and Distribution products incorporating HDBaseT.

http://ces12.mapyourshow.com/5_0/exh...exhid=T0008653

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post #20 of 217 Old 01-11-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Without a central location on AVS for information on HDBaseT I thought it would be a good idea to gather information, reviews and thoughts on one of the most exciting prospects in the A/V world.

It is nice that HDBaseT can go 100 meters but besides that what makes HDBaseT an exciting prospect? It is very expensive compared to HDMI and has only half the bandwidth of DisplayPort.
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post #21 of 217 Old 01-11-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

It is nice that HDBaseT can go 100 meters but besides that what makes HDBaseT an exciting prospect? It is very expensive compared to HDMI and has only half the bandwidth of DisplayPort.

Obviously just my own opinion but specifically that it can go 100 meters on the most common cable that is already run through most homes (cat5e). And from early reviews works as one would expect it to.

Price will likely come down over the next year or two and the current bandwidth of supporting 5play seems to be plenty future proof for a while.

I will admit that it is most exciting with respect to video distribution and clean installations. If you have all local sources and aren't worried about some exposed wiring (not wall mounting) than the benefits of HDBaseT decrease.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Obviously just my own opinion but specifically that it can go 100 meters on the most common cable that is already run through most homes (cat5e).

What percentage of homes in the United States are wired for Ethernet?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

And from early reviews works as one would expect it to.

There are less than 20 HDBaseT products on the market which is a very, very small number when compared to the number of HDMI products that have been released. Even than one of the customer reviews of an HDBaseT extender mentions that he couldn't get it to work when it was used to connect to an AV receiver.


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Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Price will likely come down over the next year or two and the current bandwidth of supporting 5play seems to be plenty future proof for a while.

Just my opinion but HDBaseT having a bandwidth that is only half that of DisplayPort doesn't seem that future proof.
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post #23 of 217 Old 01-12-2012, 01:06 AM
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Some big bore conduit is the only way to be future proof' assuming you assume cables will always be involved!

HDBaseT is a big step forward for the Installer market where folk are having to deliver HDMI for customers who only have a single piece of wire pre-installed and or are having the usual HDMI nightmares with the more common HDMI over Twisted Pair solutions.

HDBaseT is not foolproof - HDCP, EDID, poor Source, Repeater and Sink firmware and other anomalies can still catch you out - though the instances are far rarer than with other point to point solutions for extending HDMI.

The price is coming down - partly due to new lower cost silicon and partly down to folk being able to take the decision on purchasing higher volumes of silicon as they see the Installer market adopt HDBaseT.

The current premium' you pay for HDBaseT is nothing compared with the number of lost man hours most installers will have suffered with other HDMI extender solutions.

DisplayPort can have 1000x the bandwidth - would make no difference it's not relevant as it hasn't had widespread adoption.

CAT6 may not be in every home but it is relatively simple to install into many homes.

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crestron also makes extensive use of it. as do others.

cost is already coming down. new chipsets are going to offer lower cost solutions.

most of the major display players have HDBaseT products in the pipeline.

At Infocomm and Cedia, samsung had a prototype display in the HDBaseT booth. it has a single wire into it. it got video, internet, IR, serial, and all its power all from the single RJ45 connection on it.

another exciting aspect is that in matrixes and other products, solving EDID and HDCP issues is no longer an add on issue. it is baked right into the chipset. so the management of all this stuff gets easier and far more reliable.

i am the general manager of commercial products at Atlona. and i can tell you that this is a game changer. imagine if you wanted to put the 400 disk changer in the garage, or the sat receiver due to whatever reason. and all the wires you need to buy and then pull. add an HDBaseT extender set and one cat 5e cable and now it is in the garage increasing your overall WAF and you can control it via its remote in the living room with no xantech or anything else needed by using the two way IR. or since ethernet is there as well, via the ipad or whatever.

there is also a VERY exciting product roadmap moving forward from valens.

and we have not even started to talk about the things it does for commercial installs.

it is very exciting in all corners

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post #25 of 217 Old 01-12-2012, 10:05 AM
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as far as bandwidth, with 10.2 gig and the ability to handle 4k... seems to me that we are covered for quite a while.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

HDBaseT is a big step forward for the Installer market where folk are having to deliver HDMI for customers who only have a single piece of wire pre-installed and or are having the usual HDMI nightmares with the more common HDMI over Twisted Pair solutions.

HDBaseT works well as an HDMI extender but I don't think it has any chance of replacing HDMI.


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DisplayPort can have 1000x the bandwidth - would make no difference it's not relevant as it hasn't had widespread adoption.

I would mention that DisplayPort has many more products on the market than HDBaseT.


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At Infocomm and Cedia, samsung had a prototype display in the HDBaseT booth. it has a single wire into it. it got video, internet, IR, serial, and all its power all from the single RJ45 connection on it.

CE companies have also shown off prototype displays with DiiVA. In fact Samsung even released a few displays that had a DiiVA connection (the displays also had HDMI connections as well).


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as far as bandwidth, with 10.2 gig and the ability to handle 4k... seems to me that we are covered for quite a while.

10.2 Gbps is barely enough for 2160p30. On the other hand DisplayPort is currently capable of 21.6 Gbps and the recently released AMD Radeon 7970 can output 2160p60 over DisplayPort.
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post #27 of 217 Old 01-12-2012, 11:51 PM
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so obviously you are a massive fan of display port.

it is a great interface with great possibilities.

however if you want to go 100 metres, or via a repeater up to 900 metres over cat5e, then i wish you luck.

nobody suggested replacing hdmi. this is a transport mechanism for hdmi and a bunch of other stuff.

as a company that makes this stuff, we are very excited by it and are dropping much of our display port stuff as it seems to be going away. but we are expanding HDBaseT as fast as we can.

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post #28 of 217 Old 01-13-2012, 01:15 AM
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Hi Richard

Many folk seem to think HDBaseT is trying to replace' HDMI - that's not the case!

HDBaseT relies on HDMI it can't exist without it and as Dizzman says like it or not HDMI is here to stay - HDBaseT gives Installers and DIY'ers a fighting chance when it comes to running long run cables be it point-to-point, one-to-many or many-to-many.

DisplayPort has been a non-starter in the Ci market - it's simply failed to gain any traction or widespread adoption.

Joe

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post #29 of 217 Old 01-13-2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

nobody suggested replacing hdmi.

The original post sounded to me like it was promoting more than an HDMI extender:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

...
HDBaseT was created to right many of the wrongs of HDMI.
...
As of early 2012, HDBaseT is mainly being used as a way of sending HDMI over a single Cat5e/6 cable and in HDMI switchers but will hopefully one day be included directly into A/V devices using the standard RJ-45 connector.
...
HDBaseT Hopes to Take on HDMI in the Living Room
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The best way for HDBaseT to catch on is to spread the information about it and pass on the excitement to more people.
...
While none of us know for sure the future of HDBaseT it certainly has the potential for being the new standard for connecting devices in the home.
...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

as a company that makes this stuff, we are very excited by it and are dropping much of our display port stuff as it seems to be going away. but we are expanding HDBaseT as fast as we can.

DisplayPort is a computer interface and I don't think it even tried to compete with HDMI. DisplayPort though does look like it is on a path to replace VGA/DVI and there are over a hundred computer monitors with a DisplayPort input on the market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

Many folk seem to think HDBaseT is trying to replace' HDMI - that's not the case!

HDBaseT relies on HDMI it can't exist without it and as Dizzman says like it or not HDMI is here to stay

There certainly are people who think that HDBaseT could replace HDMI and I have read plenty of online articles which promote that idea. Also you may be right that it isn't even technically possible. I have seen diagrams for HDBaseT (such as this one) in which it shows an HDMI chip connecting to the HDBaseT chip.
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post #30 of 217 Old 01-13-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

There certainly are people who think that HDBaseT could replace HDMI and I have read plenty of online articles which promote that idea.

Check the dates on the articles. When HDBaseT was first announced, there were lots of writers for AV magazines that made that jumped to that conclusion. It became obvious real quick they didn't know what they were talking about. One just has to look at the pin outs of the Valens chips to see that HDMI is still there. Their current products aren't going to replace HDMI. Of course, they could have something in the works we don't know of that they hope will...
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