July 5, 2010 report
HDMI could soon be replaced by new cable technology
(PhysOrg.com) -- A new audio/video cable techology is being developed that might spell the end of HDMI cables, which are currently used to connect a wide range of audio and video devices. The new technology is known as HDBaseT and carries audio and video signals and power on standard Cat 5e/6 Ethernet cables.
The new technology has been developed over the last six months by four technology companies: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Samsung, LG, and Valens Semiconductor, which together form the HDBaseT Alliance. The group hopes the new technology and products conforming to it will begin to be shipped later this year and predict its use will become widespread during next year and beyond.
The HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable was introduced in 2003 and has been gaining popularity, especially with the rise of Blu-ray and the adoption of high definition television, so much so that almost all televisions now ship with HDMI technology.
HDMI has advantages over other types of audio/video cables but also has disadvantages such as switching delays and cable length limitations, both of which are addressed by HDBaseT. HDMI only carries uncompressed audio and video signals. Wireless technologies such as WiGig, WHDI and Wireless HD offer alternative options, but they cannot transfer power to devices as HDBaseT can.
HDBaseT is a network-based standard called “5PlayTM” that enables a single cable to carry high definition video, audio, up to 100 watts of power, 100BaseT Ethernet, and control signals simultaneously. The cables, which are inexpensive Cat5e/6 type rather than expensive HDMI, can be up to 100 meters in length. The HDMI ports are replaced by standard RJ-45 connectors. The HDBaseT specification supports the latest HD video, 3D, and high resolution 2K x 4K (4096 by 2160).
Chairman of the Alliance, Ariel Sobelman, said the new technology is “poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport to meet the ever-changing trends in the digital media market.”
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