Have you ever been annoyed by the clutter of unsightly cables running from the back of your flat-screen HDTV? If a coalition boasting some of the biggest names in consumer electronics has its way, your frustrations could soon be over.
LG Electronics, Electronics, Sony Picture Entertainment and Valen Semiconductors have this week announced the formal incorporation of HDBaseT Alliance, which has devised a HDBaseT cable that can carry not only audio and video signals, but also USB, internet network connection and even electricity. The finalised specifications for HDBaseT version 1.0 were submitted along with the incorporation.
The good news is that you won’t need to purchase new cables to benefit from HDBaseT since the technology is designed to run on simple, existing network connections (in the form of inexpensive Cat5e/Cat 6 ethernet cables with RJ45 connectors). Just like standard LAN wiring, the maximum cable length for HDBaseT goes up to 100 metres, far surpassing those of HDMI and DisplayPort cables.
According to the specifications, a HDBaseT cable is also capable of transmitting up to 100W of charging electric power from another devise (e.g a set-top box), as well as 100Mbps Ethernet connection (purportedly scalable up to 1 Gbps or Gigabit per second). The latter advantage becomes all the more important as popularity of internet-connected TVs grows.
Given its all-encompassing transmission capabilities, HDBaseT poses a direct threat to the HDMI interface which is the current de factor standard digital connection on HDTVs and compatible devices. HDBaseT 1.0 already offers similar amount of bandwidth as HDMI 1.4, meaning that it is fully capable of delivering full HD 1080p and stereoscopic 3D video signals.
Of course, it is very likely that consumers will need to purchase new HDBaseT-ready equipments to take advantage of this “unifying” technology. Available for licensing later this year, the first products sporting HDBaseT connections may appear towards the end of 2010, but a bigger roll-out is scheduled for sometime next year.
Reference: HDBaseT Comparison Table