The last time CIE's HowToAV spoke to HDBaseT’s Daniel Schwartzberg was seven years ago! and we understand there have been some updates to HDBaseT since then.
The last time we talked, we were discussing Spec 2.0. Now it's time for all of the latest on HDBaseT Spec 3.0.
HDBaseT was introduced to the AV industry over 10 years ago as a solution for long distance transmission of all of the various data types needed in professional AV installations. Before the introduction of HDBaseT and various other ‘AV over IP or AV over Ethernet’ technologies, audio visual installations required individual cables for HDMI, for Ethernet, control signals, etc. These cables were strictly limited length and transmission distance capabilities, and most of them couldn't easily be field terminated. This made it difficult for installers to place AV equipment where they wanted it within the limitations of the cabling.
HDBaseT developers – Valens - came along and said, "Okay, we can do this much better!" What they did was take all of those different protocols and converged them into a new protocol called HDBaseT. This protocol can run over a single, long-reach, category cable that can be terminated in the field. With HDBaseT, you can transmit five different signals over one cable, referred to as ‘Five Play’. These five signals are:
This revolutionised the AV industry by simplifying cabling and making installations much easier for installers. Rather than struggling with multiple short-length cables, we can now run a single, standard Ethernet cable with all 5 play elements simultaneously transmitted.
Another of the key benefits of HDBaseT is that it uses existing network cable infrastructure, so the distances it can cover are much greater than HDMI. An HDMI cable can only transmit up to around 10-20 metres. With HDBaseT, transmission distances can be increased up to 100 metres and beyond.
The latest version of the HDBaseT standard, HDBaseT Spec 3, brings several improvements over the previous versions and promises to push the boundaries of connectivity even further.
HDBaseT Spec 3 supports a higher bandwidth of up to 48 Gbps, which enables the transmission of uncompressed 8K video with HDR (high dynamic range, as well as 10K resolution at lower refresh rates. This makes HDBaseT Spec 3 suitable for the latest display technologies, such as OLED, QLED, and microLED, which demand higher resolutions, colour accuracy and contrast. With HDBaseT Spec 3, users can enjoy immersive and lifelike visuals with minimal latency, noise or signal loss.
HDBaseT Spec 3 extends the reach of the signal up to 100 metres (328 feet) over a single CAT6a or CAT7 cable, twice the distance of HDBaseT Spec 2. This allows users to connect remote AV devices without the need for additional repeaters, extenders or converters. HDBaseT 3 also supports PoE (Power over Ethernet) up to 90W, which can power devices such as displays, speakers and receivers, etc, reducing the need for separate power cables and outlets.
HDBaseT version 3 incorporates advanced audio features, including support for eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) and multichannel audio, which deliver high-quality sound from various sources, such as Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and streaming services. HDBaseT Spec 3 also supports lip-sync correction and audio delay compensation, which ensure the audio and video are perfectly synchronized, even when the signals are transmitted over long distances.
HDBaseT Spec 3 is backward compatible with previous versions of HDBaseT, which means that users can add HDBaseT spec 3 devices to existing systems without having to immediately replace all legacy cables or devices. This saves time, money and resources and ensures that users can enjoy the latest features and benefits of HDBaseT technology without any hassle.
The new HDBaseT 3 is a game-changer in the field of connectivity, offering higher resolutions, longer distances, better audio, smarter control and seamless integration.