Low-priced home digital media connections promised
HDBaseT to your PC, Blu-ray and more
HDMI cables used to connect a multitude of every day home audio and video devices may become a thing of the past if a new standard by the HDBaseT Alliance catches on.
"HDBaseT technology is poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport to meet the ever-changing trends in the digital media market," Alliance president and chairman Ariel Sobelman said in a statement accompanying the HDBaseT 1.0 spec's ratification Wednesday.
HDBaseT is a network-based standard that will let devices be connected over relatively inexpensive Cat5e/6 cables up to 100 meters in length, with HDMI ports being replaced by good ol' RJ-45 connectors. If your home or office is wired with Cat5e/6 and you've gone wireless for your internet needs, those cables may again come in handy as your entertainment backbone.
The HDBaseT Alliance was founded by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures, and Valens Semiconductor. The "cornerstone" of the HDBaseT 1.0 spec, as described in Wednesday's announcement, is something the Alliance calls "5Play" technology that supports the transmission of uncompressed HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, and 100W of power over Cat5e/6 with various control signals.
The HDBaseT spec supports not only 1080p HD video (1920-by-1080), but also 3D and the next-gen high-resolution 2Kx4K standard (4096-by-2160) — which, by the way, is also supported by HDMI 1.4.
The networking setup, whether in a star topology or a daisy chain, will enable you to link up a variety of devices — think displays, DVRs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, PCs, handsets, whatever — in a dedicated entertainment network, all powered over the aforementioned Cat5e/6 cable.
Well, that's the Alliance's claim, in any case — those 100 watts couldn't power most large-screen displays, a lacking that would make additional power sources inevitable.
The HDBaseT spec will be available for licensing in the second half of this year, and although the Alliance expects products conforming to it to appear shortly thereafter, 2011 is their target for widespread adoption. ®
Stupid, useless fecking connection standard
This is nowt more than some big players trying to get licensing rights on something so they make more money. They get this in then everyone else has to start paying them a license fee to put the new ports on the back of their products and we'll all need to go out and buy new tv's, blu-ray players, consoles etc as our old uns will be incompatible.
Then, just as we get used to the new standard, having spent a fortune getting the new kit some other consortium will come up with something else and the process will start again.
How are they going to persuade people to buy gold plated oxygen free cat 5 cables for $100,
Oh wait, I know! the same way they do with HDMI, use a VCR for the "non monster cable" TV :D
over 100W is possible
I designed a PoE system for a major Japanese supplier which put over 100W down the cable, using 3 of the 4 pairs, the other pair was audio data.
All the voltages were ELV safe (i.e. touchable) and the current density was within NASA's safety limits.
It dissipated about one Watt per metre in the cable at full load, that's the problem, there's hardly any copper in CAT5 cable.
Getting all this and Gbit data will be a trickier prospect though. It would be most useful if they do it. Best of luck to them.