HDBaseT is a killer new technology that’s really starting to take its place in mainstream networking.

It’s an IT admins dream, and it’s fast becoming a favorite of homeowners and installers as well. And for good reason.

This technology provides a solution to many of the challenges networkers face, and with a few exceptions, consumers can plug and play with these new switches and extenders.

So what is HDBaseT? Why is it better?

First of all, like its cousin Power over Ethernet (PoE), HDBaseT provides a data and power solution over a single cable.

PoE targets things like LED Lighting Installations, Surveillance Cameras, Access Points and other mainstream networking configurations. HDBaseT on the other hand, targets entertainment device networks.

It can support the latest gaming consoles, 4K Displays, and control consoles with up to 100W of power. Further, cable lengths can extend up to 100m.

In short, it’s the latest and greatest technology for entertainment device networks in both private and public environments.

Where Did HDBaseT Originate?

Back in 2010, a few top entertainment device technology companies got together and formed an alliance. Specifically…

  • Valens
  • Samsung
  • LG Electronics
  • Sony Pictures

Their goal was simple enough in theory: Enable entertainment technologies to achieve high performance over standard ethernet cable.

Since the original alliance, a host of others companies have joined in. These include Belkin, Belden, Epson, Pioneer, and scores of others.

The result of their collaborative labors? HDBaseT technology!

So What is HDBaseT?

To put it simply, it is a single-cable solution that combines 5 killer features and functions simultaneously.

The 5 features, also known as 5Play, work on Cat5e, Cat6 or 7 Ethernet Cable, but Cat6 and 7 are strongly recommended.

5play features include:

  • Uncompressed HD Video–4K/3D/HD
  • HD Audio
  • Ethernet [Power & Data Delivery]
  • Centralized Point of Control [smart home] PoC
  • 100 W of power

5Play Features

You would plug your device into an HDBaseT or HDMI switch or extenders. It’s that simple. Afterwards your device will be able to receive power, and receive and send data all over the same cable.

The convenience factor of only needing one cable instead of 3 (power, data, and AV) is hard to beat.

HDBaseT Lite has a reduced chipset that limits distances to 60m. It also doesn’t work over Ethernet cables or allow Point of Control. While HDBaseT and HDBaseT Lite are mixable in the same system, your main matrix will need to be HDBaseT or a full 5Play set.

Legacy Ethernet installations are fine for HDBaseT, but Cat6 or Cat7 cables are recommended to get the most out of truly uncompressed (lossless) video signals.

Where Do HDBaseT Solutions Work Wonders?

This technology works well in a large variety of settings. Homes, campuses, shopping malls, and meeting centers in public buildings and hotels to name a few.

Remember, this is a plug and play solution, so new cabling will often not be required. Some of the benefits of HDBaseT from a Cabling instaBenefits of HDBaseTllation perspective are:

  • Reduces the number of cables needed
  • Reduces the cost of cables
  • It takes less time to install because there are fewer cables
  • Less complexity because power supply is the cable itself

This means that it will truly shine when it comes to media streaming like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. It also supports high-bandwidth gaming consoles. Add Blu Ray players, surveillance camera systems and centralized matrix controls into that mix and you’ve got a pretty robust compatibility set.

In other words, HDBaseT helps bring end-users one step closer to fully functional smart homes.

Final Thoughts

HDBaseT opens a number of doors by simplifying cabling requirements and empowering consumers.

If you decide to utilize it in your next install, be sure to future proof the installation by choosing Cat6 or Cat7 cables. Cat5e is okay for HDBaseT Lite solutions, but you’ll need Cat6 or Cat7 to connect to the 5Play HDBaseT hub (a necessary step to support the rest of your home network installation).

PlanetechUSA now proudly offers a series of HDMI products that leverage this technology. To learn more or start taking advantage of this innovative technology, simply click above or contact our support staff.