What was the point of HDMI's Ethernet (HEC) feature? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-26-2020, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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What was the point of HDMI's Ethernet (HEC) feature?

Was just randomly thinking about this today... Seriously, what device(s) ever supported or made use of this feature? It is only 100Mbps too which I suppose is still enough for content streaming which CE devices are typically doing but it was basically "outdated" when it released, in that respect.

Still I've never seen/heard of any device that supported this. Never even seen Ethernet "injecting" devices either, so how did they even think the Ethernet was going to get in to the HEC format (i.e. into the HDMI cable) to begin with? Was the idea that your AVR was supposed to have an Ethernet input and then serve up ethernet as a switch, and share it over the devices connected to it via the HDMI cables? Were there any that could do this? I'm just at a loss for what they envisioned here. There have actually been AVRs with Ethernet switches built in...but just standard Cat5/6 RJ45 cabling, not any kind of "over HDMI" implementation...at least not that I've known about.

It's kind of funny because this became an HDMI feature just around the time that apps, etc. starting gaining momentum in TVs...yet the Ethernet functionality was still never used.

Is it me or is this one of the most useless and never-used "additional features" ever introduced in HDMI?
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-26-2020, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
Was just randomly thinking about this today... Seriously, what device(s) ever supported or made use of this feature? It is only 100Mbps too which I suppose is still enough for content streaming which CE devices are typically doing but it was basically "outdated" when it released, in that respect.

Still I've never seen/heard of any device that supported this. Never even seen Ethernet "injecting" devices either, so how did they even think the Ethernet was going to get in to the HEC format (i.e. into the HDMI cable) to begin with? Was the idea that your AVR was supposed to have an Ethernet input and then serve up ethernet as a switch, and share it over the devices connected to it via the HDMI cables? Were there any that could do this? I'm just at a loss for what they envisioned here. There have actually been AVRs with Ethernet switches built in...but just standard Cat5/6 RJ45 cabling, not any kind of "over HDMI" implementation...at least not that I've known about.

It's kind of funny because this became an HDMI feature just around the time that apps, etc. starting gaining momentum in TVs...yet the Ethernet functionality was still never used.

Is it me or is this one of the most useless and never-used "additional features" ever introduced in HDMI?

The HDMI ethernet channel was never embraced by the device mfrs so it went unused, even though the cable mfrs used it as a selling feature. Now that eARC is available, in part, on some HDMI 2.0 devices, the ethernet channel is used for eARC. Once HDMI 2.1 is widely available, eARC will be able to be fully utilized using the "ethernet" channel.



My HTS's are hardwired and 100Mbps is plenty enough bandwidth to stream 4k HDR without any issues.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-27-2020, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
My HTS's are hardwired and 100Mbps is plenty enough bandwidth to stream 4k HDR without any issues.
Way more than sufficient. For reference, Netflix recommends 25mb for 4k content, whereas Amazon recommends 15mb. And while Netflix recommends 25, I believe actual output is in the 15-16 range. I've read some Apple TV actual output reaches around 25mb.

So yes, for now 100mb channel seems sufficient. And I would also hard wire. I do the same. Internet dumps at main TV and all those devices are hard wired. Other TVs connect wirelessly.

Keep in mind, regardless of channel size, the ultimate limitation will be the users internet speed and any data caps. If I have 10 devices all requiring 25mb that is a combined 250mb download stream.

I'm currently on a 300mb cable feed, and prior to this was on a gigabit DSL feed. While gigabit had moments of greatness, you have to be hard wired to see max speeds and in my case it was very intermittent service (lots of repairs and service outages) so the 300mb cable service is actually more reliable and constant for me.

However, I have many friends who are < 100mb service and then that gets split amongst all their various devices.

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-27-2020, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nolimits76 View Post
Way more than sufficient. For reference, Netflix recommends 25mb for 4k content, whereas Amazon recommends 15mb. And while Netflix recommends 25, I believe actual output is in the 15-16 range. I've read some Apple TV actual output reaches around 25mb.

So yes, for now 100mb channel seems sufficient. And I would also hard wire. I do the same. Internet dumps at main TV and all those devices are hard wired. Other TVs connect wirelessly.

Keep in mind, regardless of channel size, the ultimate limitation will be the users internet speed and any data caps. If I have 10 devices all requiring 25mb that is a combined 250mb download stream.

I'm currently on a 300mb cable feed, and prior to this was on a gigabit DSL feed. While gigabit had moments of greatness, you have to be hard wired to see max speeds and in my case it was very intermittent service (lots of repairs and service outages) so the 300mb cable service is actually more reliable and constant for me.

However, I have many friends who are < 100mb service and then that gets split amongst all their various devices.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Our speeds are consistently >300Mbps down and 12 up. Only the HTS's are hardwired (tv's, UHD/BD players, receivers, and AppleTV's (HD and 4k). Everything else is WiFi (about 14 devices at any one time) and we never have any issues. Fortunately, no one here is an online gamer .

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-03-2020, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
Was just randomly thinking about this today... Seriously, what device(s) ever supported or made use of this feature? It is only 100Mbps too which I suppose is still enough for content streaming which CE devices are typically doing but it was basically "outdated" when it released, in that respect.
Along with ARC it was meant to reduce the number of cables required between all the devices. It was really outdated because it was half duplex so you're sharing that 100Mbps for both down and up. So with the returning ack packets and packet collisions you'll be getting 60-80Mbps. The nail in the coffin was 802.11n which was released the same year.

Some people have had issues watching Bly-ray rips on the C9's 100Mbps LAN connection because of occasional spikes in the data rate. Game consoles all now have 1Gbps ports and you can easily download games at more than 100Mbps. So the 100Mbps half duplex link would not age well. Especially shared among multiple devices.

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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
Still I've never seen/heard of any device that supported this. Never even seen Ethernet "injecting" devices either, so how did they even think the Ethernet was going to get in to the HEC format (i.e. into the HDMI cable) to begin with?
No commercial products were ever released to my knowledge. They envisioned the TV would have the Enthernet port. In reality it would probably be the AVR as that became the hub of almost all A/V systems, mainly do to the fact that ARC sucked and TVs never had enough HDMI ports.

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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
Is it me or is this one of the most useless and never-used "additional features" ever introduced in HDMI?
It was completely useless until eARC came out. So some good came out of it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-03-2020, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
Our speeds are consistently >300Mbps down and 12 up. Only the HTS's are hardwired (tv's, UHD/BD players, receivers, and AppleTV's (HD and 4k). Everything else is WiFi (about 14 devices at any one time) and we never have any issues. Fortunately, no one here is an online gamer .
I have 1.5Gbps down and 1Gbps up service over here. The two game consoles can pull 300-500Mbps easily so the 100Mbps HDMI Ethernet would have been a joke right now. Not to mention the half duplex would have been brutal for gaming.

My PC can get slightly more than 1Gbps downloading from Steam. The consoles could probably hit 940Mpbs if Microsoft and Sony had better content delivery servers. Valve kicks their ass with Steam's content servers.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-03-2020, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by avernar View Post
I have 1.5Gbps down and 1Gbps up service over here. The two game consoles can pull 300-500Mbps easily so the 100Mbps HDMI Ethernet would have been a joke right now. Not to mention the half duplex would have been brutal for gaming.

My PC can get slightly more than 1Gbps downloading from Steam. The consoles could probably hit 940Mpbs if Microsoft and Sony had better content delivery servers. Valve kicks their ass with Steam's content servers.

And that's the problem for gamers. It shouldn't be but it is. For those of us who don't game, I can run 4k HDR movies with my hard wired connection and keep my 15 or so other devices connected to WiFi with zero issues, and that includes WiFi-C (WiFi Calling), Facetime, etc. So I'm happy, so far, with my hard wired solution.

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