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HDMI Under Threat From New Ethernet Video Standard

Gordon Kelly


HDMI Under Threat From New Ethernet Video Standard

Oh no, not another new standard! Well yes, and no - and besides, you'll like this one...

'HDBaseT' is being proposed as a direct rival to HDMI and the reason it just might work is it uses standard Ethernet cables. Consequently HDBaseT (it needs a catchier name) would be simple to get off the ground, cheap for both consumers and manufacturers and a genuine technological advance.

The last of these points may come as a surprise given the age of Ethernet and the ballyhoo surrounding HDMI 1.4, and DisplayPort 1.2, but HDBaseT 1.0 carries a number of sizeable benefits. The table below goes into more detail (and also compares against DiiVA), but highlights are support for far greater cable lengths of up 100m, the ability to daisy chain devices together, compatibility with USB and the fact it can carry up to 100W for powering devices.

This last point is particularly cool for cable haters since it could greatly reduce the number for separate power supplies in an average A/V setup. By comparison, neither HDMI 1.4 nor even DisplayPort 1.2 can carry power and DiiVA manages just 5W. Throw in HDBaseT's use of standard RJ-45 connectors - which won't fall out like HDMI and DisplayPort - and it's a convincing argument.

Of course good ideas don't get off the ground all by themselves, so thankfully (and surprisingly) it is brainchild of no less than LG, Samsung, Sony and Valens Semiconductor who clubbed together to form the HDBaseT Alliance a little over six months ago.

The big trio here all promise to have HDBaseT compatible TVs on sale before the end of the year with a major push of the new standard during 2011. Much like the phone industry's sensible move towards Micro USB I really hope it takes off...

Link: HDBaseT

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