I had an article all ready to go comparing HDBitT and HDBaseT. I would highlight the advantages of HDBitT; how HDBaseT was significantly more expensive, costly to upgrade, rigid in deployment and much more difficult to diagnose if issues arose.
However, with the recent updates/upgrades to HDBaseT, several of those advantages have gone away.
The most significant upgrade to HDBaseT is the ability to add additional units one at a time. This eliminates the need to purchase costly additional send/receive units for each set of four ports.
What are HDBaseT and HDBitT?
HDBaseT is a consumer and commercial connectivity standard for sending high-definition (HD) audio and video, IR send/receive, Ethernet and 100W of power over a single cable. It reduces cable clutter and maintains signal performance and HD quality. HDBitT provides HD audio & video and IR send/receive, but does not provide remote power over Ethernet.
HDBaseT has three major benefits over standard HDMI cabling:
- Remote power (power over Ethernet)
- Ethernet drop
- IR send/receive
Does HDBitT still have a place in the market?
HDBitT does have a place in the market for home and small business use. If you do not need receiver power, HDBitT is still a significantly smaller investment for the ultimate home entertainment center, recording studio or local sports bar.
As noted in the graph below, the HDBitT start-up cost is about half that of HDBaseT. The network requirements are also reasonable for home and small business use; HDBaseT requires a 10GB network, which is likely unrealistic (and sometimes unattainable) as you will incur additional expenses to upgrade to 10GB network appliances for home use. Many units also have longer signal length for both 4K and 1080, especially at the lower price points.
So, what is the right choice for you?
There are going to be instances where HDBitT still makes more sense (e.g., a bar that already has power throughout and needs to keep cost as low as possible). However, the advantages that HDBitT once had have really narrowed, as HDBaseT now has the ability to go over the network and is now able to scale without needing costly additional ports. The 100w power remote stands out more and is clearly the better solution once manufacturers start to utilize it.
However, note that if you are looking to upgrade your current system, legacy HDBaseT is not eligible to upgrade to this new protocol. You may have to repurchase all new HDBaseT equipment.
Jacob Macias is a Product Manager at CableWholesale.
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