Over the years, we at HDBaseT Alliance have seen many articles comparing HDBaseT with other technologies. In general, we welcome them, as we believe more education is always beneficial. Any reputable integrator will look at all the options available before settling down on any one technology, topology or architecture in any given project. However, I recently came across a column comparing HDBaseT and HDBitT on Commercial Integrator that put me on edge, given the inaccuracy of data regarding HDBaseT.
Let’s clarify some items about HDBaseT:
1.) “Current” vs. “Old” HDBaseT
It is not clear to me what is being discussed here. Is it Spec 1.0 vs. Spec 2.0? Is HDBaseT vs. HDBaseT-IP? Even when we look at some of the comparison parameters, we can’t quite reach a decision, as some of these are clearly wrong.
Spec 1.0 is the original HDBaseT standard. Spec 2.0 adds more features to Spec 1.0, e.g., USB functionality, fiber as a medium, and multipoint-to-multipoint transmission. HDBaseT-IP has been recently announced and adds the option of using a standard IP switch to transmit HDBaseT. (Shameless plug: Visit the HDBaseT Alliance booth 3761 at InfoComm 2017 to see how that works).
2.) “… rigid in deployment”
One of the advantage of HDBaseT is flexibility, so I am not sure where “rigid in deployment” comes into play. Your display is not HDBaseT-enabled? No problem, a small extender box can solve that problem. Your source must be placed far away?
HDBaseT can support 100m/328ft, or even longer distances with daisy-chaining or fiber installations. There is no power source nearby? HDBaseT (as the author does point out) can transmit up to 100W of power over the same Cat cable.
3.) “…much more difficult to diagnose if issues arose”
Not true. There are several HDBaseT testing solutions in the market that are available to installers, both for offsite and onsite testing. (Another shameless plug: Alliance members Teledyne LeCroy and Media Solutions will be showcasing their testing equipment at the HDBaseT Alliance booth (3761) at InfoComm.)
4.) “HDBaseT requires a 10GB network”
Are we talking about HDBaseT-IP? Again, this is not clear, because traditional HDBaseT, i.e., not HDBaseT-IP, does not run over IP networks. Each HDBaseT port transmits 8Gbps (the equivalent of 10Gbps HDMI), and there is no need for a ‘network’. The new HDBaseT-IP flavor does run over a standard IP network and switches, and will eventually bring 10G, 5G, 2.5G and even 1G options to the market.
5.) Ultimately, it is all about the customer requirements
Is latency-free, uncompressed transmission critical for the best quality possible? Is cost the main component, even if it means lower transmission quality? At the end of the day, it is the installer’s job to understand the customer needs and provide the solution that best fits those demands.
6.) “…legacy HDBaseT is not eligible to upgrade to this new protocol”
We are not quite sure what this means, but what we are missing here is that all HDBaseT versions are interoperable with each other, future-proofing your installation and leveraging any sunk investment. That’s the whole point of a “standard.”
Even though we felt the article was leaning towards HDBaseT as a better alternative, we felt the need to clarify some issues. You are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any questions, or to continue the discussion at the HDBaseT Installer’s Forum.
Sandra Welfeld handles communications for HDBaseT Alliance.