HDBaseT in HDMI Extenders Over Cat5e/6/7 Cable
The main drawback of HDMI as an A V connection standard when it comes to high definition video distribution is cable length limitation. Installation costs quickly add up when you consider HDMI cables control cables and HDMI repeaters for solving distance limitation. To cope with this limitation a multitude of HDMI extenders over standard cat5e 6 cable became available – each of them providing proprietary solutions to support HDMI extension along with different control signals including CEC IR RS232 USB. The downside in all these implementations is that 150 feet proved to be the maximum distance for 1080p 24bit 60Hz resolution with full HD support guaranteed well under 100 feet. With growing popularity of 3D formats the need for a new technology became apparent.
HDBaseT is a new connectivity technology optimized for home and commercial multimedia distribution promoted by HDBaseT Alliance. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is the 5Play feature which means transmitting full uncompressed high definition video audio 100BaseT Ethernet power and various control signals through a single standard 100m 328ft Cat5e 6 solid cable. HDCP is also handled by the technology.
HDBaseT supports TV and computer video formats including standard enhanced high definition and 3D video as well as all audio standards. HDBaseT delivers full HD 3D and 2K 4K uncompressed video in a point to point connection or a single to multipoint distribution supporting both daisy chain and star topologies. When cascading extension limits can go beyond 100m 328ft – up to eight additional 100m 328ft runs can be combined. This flexibility makes HDBaseT an ideal commercial technology for applications such as digital signage.
HDBaseT supports 100Mb Ethernet enabling televisions hi fi equipment computers and other devices to communicate to each other and to access stored multimedia content. Different types of control signals are also supported by HDBaseT technology starting from Consumer Electronic Control CEC that operates basic functionality such as power on power off play and stop to RS232 USB and infrared IR that operate remote equipment even when located in a different room. This large variety of control signals gives equipment manufacturers and integrators the flexibility to choose the solution that best meets their needs.
The latest addition to the HDBaseT 1.0 specification is Power over HDBaseT or PoH. This enables the transfer of DC power along with data signals over a single Ethernet cable in a manner similar to Power over Ethernet PoE . PoH safely delivers up to 100W over four pairs of Ethernet cable which allows power to be supplied to the attached devices through the cable requiring no additional power supplies. The latest Energy Star 5.3 Specification restricts all TVs to 108W of power consumption regardless of screen size. Energy Star 6.0 Specification targets a cap of 85W for all TVs. At these levels HDBaseT has ample power delivery capabilities for supporting even large displays.
Network Technologies Inc NTI integrates the HDBaseT technology into its new line of HDMI extenders. The ST C6HDMI HDBT extender supports full HD 3D extension to 328ft HDCP CEC IR and optionally SPDIF. The ST C6USBHE HDBT supports all of the features listed for ST C6HDMI HDBT plus 100BaseT Ethernet RS232 and USB support for USB keyboard mouse and an additional USB device such as a USB touch screen monitor USB CAC card reader or USB whiteboard. Both extender models require only one power supply to power the local and remote units which can be attached at either end. SPDIF audio and USB are not standardized in HDBaseT technology therefore NTI employs proprietary solutions in its extenders. The way power is delivered through the Ethernet cable is also a proprietary approach tailored to extender applications and provides flexibility at a lower cost.
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