What is HDBaseT™?

HDBaseT is a connectivity standard for whole-home and commercial distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology combines uncompressed Ultra HD video, audio, 100Mb Ethernet, power over cable, and control signals through a single Cat 5e/6a cable. HDBaseT is optimized for professional AV installations and provides a simple, cost-effective solution for transmitting Ultra HD signals up to 100 meters.


Are there other standards that compete with HDBaseT? Is HDBaseT futureproof or do you think there will be other standards that disrupt the space?

The technology is always evolving, but HDBaseT is futureproof. AV over IP has been and will be discussed a lot, but they have different characteristics and are suitable for different situations and cases. For example, if you would like uncompressed video, HDBaseT is probably more suitable since most of the AV over IP will be compressed, especially 1G solutions. Another example is in healthcare. Clinical reviews need to be precise and clear, so uncompressed video is preferred. However, if you need unbalanced numbers on the input sources and output displays, and compressed video with 1 to 3 frames of latency is OK for you, AV over IP can be an option. In hospitality, a bar may only have 8 input sources but 60 TVs. It’s essential to know the fundamental and characteristics of different solutions and technologies so integrators can choose the most suitable one for their customers.


What are the advantages of HDBaseT?

Since its introduction in 2010, HDBaseT has revolutionized the video distribution sector.  It brings a rich feature set, increased reach, and better performance than existing solutions.  The cornerstone of the technology is called “5Play” and is the converged and simultaneous delivery of uncompressed ultra-high-definition digital video and audio, Ethernet, USB, control signals and power over a single cable.

Before HDBaseT, video professionals had serious challenges to contend with, but mainly: How to deliver high-quality content over a reasonable cable (both in terms of cost and ease of installation), for more than a few meters/feet. Usually the answer involves some serious compromises on quality, distance, cost and/or complexity. For example, before HDBaseT, you had to use multiple cable types to transmit the “5 Play”, but with HDBaseT, you can use 1 Cat 5e/6a cable. Less wiring + fewer cables = easier installation.

Prior to HDBaseT, if you used various extensions and products from different vendors and ran into issues, you would have to call each of those vendors to trouble shoot, which is time consuming. With HDBaseT, you only have one vendor since the product integrates all 5 Play signals.

HDBaseT also provides longer distance. For example, with RS232, maximum length cables are 50 feet, but with HDBaseT, you can extend up to 330 feet.

Additional advantages of HDBaseT include:

  • Signal convergence/Long distance transmission: audio and video, Ethernet, controls, USB, and power over a single Cat 6/6a cable up to 100 meters. One cable eliminates clutter and simplifies installation with reduced infrastructure costs and low cabling weight.

  • Ultra HD and high-quality audio: supports full HD, 3D, and 4Kx2K, Dolby True HD, and DTS HD Master Audio.

  • Anti-jamming design: anti-jamming technology resists signal interference during high-quality video transmissions.

  • Flexible control: provides multiple control signals: CEC, RS–232, Ethernet, IR and USB2.0.

  • Affordability: HDBaseT relies on low-cost infrastructure without compromising on performance, reducing installation and maintenance costs.


What are some of the applications of HDBaseT, and what markets will be impacted the most?

HDBaseT is optimized for different markets, addressing the specific needs of industry sectors including corporate, hospitality, education, healthcare, retail, cinema, government, transportation, and many others. Across the board, the common need is to be able to distribute high-quality signals over the best, lowest-cost infrastructure, for the longest distance possible. HDBaseT eliminates cable clutter without compromising performance and quality, and is ideal for applications, including but not limited, to digital signage, meeting room, classroom, and control room. Any application requiring video extension can gain the benefits from HDBaseT, as it allows for the perfect combination of video extension, switching, and video wall applications.


Use Cases

Corporate: Artear (Television Production and Broadcasting company)

To keep setting the pace for regional news broadcasting and creative, high-quality content, Artear decided to build a state-of-the-art newsroom at its site. The project involved the creation of two large video walls to display up-to-the-minute content, 24/7 for news editors and marketing content creators, and to display in real-time the content streams from live channels, social media platforms and outside broadcasting vehicles.

Read more here.


Hospitality (integrated with control system): The Bierkeller

Three jointly-owned pubs, located in an entertainment complex, were looking for a way to control the 60 televisions located across their three venues.

The Bierkeller, UK

Read more here.


Education (utilizing Power over HDBaseT): A Primary School

A primary school was looking for a major upgrade to its A/V multimedia system. The school required up to 1080p signal transmission from 6 different sources (VGA and HDMI) to 1 website and 13 displays (VGA and HDMI) across their campus. The solution needed to extend up to 60 meters across three floors and carry a diverse range of source content, including the headmaster’s addresses during assembly and other events (camera), school announcements (camera), experiments and science projects (digital overhead projector), and educational movies (DVD player).

Read more here.


Control room: A Financial Institution

A major financial services and trading corporation decided to expand and update its system of news and data feeds. The upgraded system would need to consolidate control of all company video walls into a single, centralized system with distributed security, access, and reconfiguration controls. The goal of this project was providing convenient, intuitive control of data and station feeds among all floor traders, while also integrating company marketing and signage channels into a centralized monitoring and control system available only to the chief trading officer.

Read more here.


Who needs to update their education on HDBaseT and why?

Anyone who is doing, or about to do, Pro AV related solutions, design, and installations. This includes system integrators, vendors, consultants, end users, engineering teams, etc. Education is important because the HDBaseT technology is still evolving – there are still some heads-up, do’s and don’ts that are imperative to know when building an HDBaseT installation successfully. HDBaseT education also allows those involved to discuss and exchange ideas and insights with other individuals in the Pro AV world.


What is the importance of HDBaseT certification, and what does the certification course cover?

The HDBaseT certification Program assists installers and integrators in determining interoperability of different HDBaseT products, allowing them to build reliable HDBaseT installations successfully. Providing them with a framework to follow ensures their products are compliant and part of an established product ecosystem. The certification course targets both the beginner and expert installer, and includes technology principles, installation dos and don’ts, best practices, product certification and interoperability, and a hands-on tutorial and demonstration. Those who finish the training receive AVIXA CTS 1.5 RUs as well as the HDBaseT Installer Certificate.

Read more about building a reliable HDBaseT installation successfully here.

ATEN will offer an HDBaseT Certification course at the upcoming InfoComm show, June 6-8 in Las Vegas, in their booth #C3444.

To register, visit:

June 6 (2-3:30pm): http://www.cvent.com/d/rgqlh2

June 7 (10-11:30am): http://www.cvent.com/d/dgqlhw

June 7 (2-3:30pm): http://www.cvent.com/d/pgqlhs

June 8 (10-11:30am): http://www.cvent.com/d/3gqlhs


About YT Liang
YT Liang is a product manager at ATEN Technology, Inc., a global manufacturer of KVM and Pro AV connectivity solutions, helping customers achieve stability, solve complex problems, and become more efficient in their day-to-day operations. For more information, visit: www.aten.com/us/en/ and follow @ATENConnect on Twitter.