HDBaseT is a connectivity standard for whole-home and commercial distribution of uncompressed ultra-high-definition multimedia content. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play, a feature set that converges uncompressed ultra-HD digital video and audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, USB 2.0, up to 100W of power over cable, and various control signals through a single LAN cable for up to 100 meters/328 feet. The latest specification of HDBaseT also enables the transmission of audio & video, Ethernet, USB and controls over fiber optic, for even longer distances.
HDBaseT delivers ultra-HD/3D and 2K/4K uncompressed video to a network of devices or to a single device (both point-to-point and multipoint-to-multipoint). Since the video is passed through the HDMI chipset, HDBaseT is compatible with all HDMI formats, and supports all key features, including EPG, CEC, EDID, and HDCP. The unique video-coding scheme ensures the highest video quality at zero latency.
In addition, 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.
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 an HDBaseT device and an Ethernet-only infrastructure. In such a case, only the Ethernet capabilities of the connection are enabled.
HDBaseT enables multiple control signals for multiple purposes: Consumer Electronic Controls (CEC), Recommended Standard (RS)-232, 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.
HDBaseT supports native USB 2.0, and can be configurable either as USB Host or Device. USB expands the functionality supported by HDBaseT to include KVM switches (keyboard-video-mouse), touch-screen functionality, industrial PCs and USB extensions.
Up to 100W of DC power can also be delivered over the same CAT6a 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.
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.