With 30 member companies launching more than 70 products at InfoComm 2014, “the ecosystem is expanding” for the HDBaseT Alliance, says Malcolm Edwards, general manager of the Americas for Valens Semiconductor and a spokesman for the Alliance.
In particular, projectors and digital signage mark two categories where the HDBaseT Alliance is seeing more interest and more products. Among the projectors earning the HDBaseT stamp of approval are a pair from Sony, the first two products from that company to be HDBaseT-certified, says Edwards.
Speaking of certification, the Alliance’s compliance testing program, which is the only way companies are permitted to put the HDBaseT logo on their products, has made manufacturers more willing to go through those rigors, says Edwards. Also, HDBaseT’s new 2.0 chipset from Vales has a USB port added to the base and allows streaming over fiber.
While those in and out of AV are finally understanding HDBaseT is a different technology than another one that’s continuing to grow, AVB, that doesn’t mean the two alliances are at odds, says Edwards. Even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be doing anything together any time soon either. As HDBaseT spokeswoman Dana Zelitski says, “AVB is a complementary technology for us.”
In addition to new HDBaseT projectors from Christie, Panasonic, Hitachi, NEC, Sony and others, InfoComm 2014 has also seen the launch of displays from Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, NEC and more.
“You can’t ignore the market momentum in displays,” says Zelitski, pointing to applications in digital signage, video walls and 4K.
Related: CI Coverage from InfoComm 2014
Edwards sees AVB like any other innovation in the industry, noting, “We’re looking at other technologies all the time. We’re looking in front of us and behind us.”
He sees potential for HDBaseT to grow in the health care vertical market and notes HDBaseT has long been 4K-compliant. Zelitski adds IT, the industrial market and consumer electronics as areas where there alliance can grow in the next year.
What remains somewhat a mystery to Edwards, though, is whether this will (finally) be the year of 4K.
“It’s still about the content,” he says. “Digital signage guys want 4K so they create their own content. That’ll help drive some of the volume, but when is Comcast and DirecTV going to start broadcasting 4K?”
HDMI is a complex and ever-evolving technology that is at the heart of today’s digital entertainment.