HDBaseT allows multiple AV signals to be simultaneously transmitted over single, standard Category 5e, 6 or 7 cable.
Full HDBaseT 5Play allows for the transmission of HD video, audio, power-over-cable, 100BaseT Ethernet and control signals (such as RS-232, infrared, etc) all at the same time over a single Cat cable.
Full HDBaseT is capable of transmission distances of up to 100 metres.
HDBaseT Lite is a reduced function version which will simultaneously transmit HD video, audio and control signals over distances of up to 60 metres.
In addition, where a system features multiple AV Sources and multiple AV Displays - and transmission distances to end points vary; full, 5Play and Lite receivers can be used together on the same system (as long as the Transmitter device is full HDBaseT).
And which is the best to choose for your AV installation? But before we compare the two, perhaps we should take a little look at what HDBaseT is all about and how this amazing new technology is taking over the AV installation market!
Up until recent years, the transmission of multiple signals from source to display has required multiple cables and has been limited (with signals such as HDMI) to relatively short transmission distances. So if we think about sending a HDMI video signal, control signals such RS232 and IR and Ethernet connection, we're already looking at running multiple specific cables from point to point, which can of course be costly and time consuming.
HDBaseT is the new standard in AV connectivity and transmission which now allows us to transmit multiple signals simultaneously over standard Category 5, 6 or 7 cable - the standard cable infrastructure found in most commercial properties and now increasingly being integrated into residential environments, as smart home technology becomes more popular.
So, in the case of HDBaseT 5Play as we call it, we can now run HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, control signals and Power-over-cable all at the same time over a single standard category cable. And if that isn't enough, we can transmit all these signals together over distances of up to 100 metres!
So there's no wonder that all of the major players in audio visual manufacture are now designing HDBaseT connectivity into both professional and residential AV products.
As you might expect, the Lite version refers to the 'diet' version of HDBaseT, offering a reduced functionality and - importantly - lower cost multiple signal transmission over single Cat cable.
To recap, the 5Play version refers to the simultaneous transmission of uncompressed HD video, audio, Ethernet, control signals and power-over-cable. This 'full fat' version is capable of transmitting all these signals at the same time over distances of up to 100 metres.
Lite version uses a reduced chip set technology which still simultaneously transits uncompressed HD video, audio and control signals, but does not include Ethernet or power-over-cable. In addition HDBaseT Lite transmits these signals to a reduced distance of 60 metres.
If your AV installation doesn't need all those signals and you don't have as far to travel between source and display, Lite is a great alternative!
Importantly, in situations where we have multiple sources (such as DVD, BluRay, Apple TV, etc) being distributed to multiple displays or zones where some of the transmission distances require 100 metres and some no more than 60 metres, we can easily mix full HDBaseT and Lite receivers in the same system - as long as our transmitter or source matrix is full HDBaseT.
HDBaseT technology is truly taking over thanks to the huge flexibility and benefits both to the AV integrator and to the end user.
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