Oct 9, 2013 9:59 AM, By Bennett Liles
One of the more significant developments in AV during the past three years has been the introduction of HDBaseT. Overcoming the previous distance limitations with TMDS (Transition Minimized Differential Signaling)-based conveyance such as HDMI would have been enough to make news, but the 5Play feature carrying uncompressed video, multichannel sound, control signals, Ethernet, and up to 100W of DC power on a single Cat-5e/6 cable for up to 300ft. has assured its market success. Evidence of this impact is reflected in its wide adoption and the flood of products that have emerged using HDBaseT technology. Projectors, monitors, switchers, and extenders have incorporated HDBaseT conveyance and more are on the way.
The products in this survey are simple signal extenders that employ either the Valens Semiconductor VS100 or VS010 chipset. While they don’t all carry the HDBaseT logo or even mention the name, the Valens chipset provides the features and the compatibility with like devices and their specs reveal the 5Play features. Valens no longer uses the term “HDBaseT Lite” replacing it with the term “Class B” and the VS010 chipset used in some of the hardware listed here enables a smaller set of the 5Play features and allows a conveyance of up to 230ft. for a somewhat lower price.
Fully compliant with HDMI and HDCP standards, the Muse MU500-112 receiver/MU400-111 sender/receiver pair from Altinex extends HDMI, RS-232, and infrared control signals with the Valens VS100 chipset but adds a special power extension that differs from the HDBaseT 100W DC power spec. Altinex uses its own proprietary circuit to carry up to 150W AC for up to 300ft. and it terminates the power on a standard NEMA 5-15 110V AC socket. This line of thinking was so that designers and installers weren’t limited to using displays with integrated chips.
Atlona’s entry is the ATX-HDTX-ROADNET and it is designed primarily for rental and staging applications, and it provides power to the receiver over the category cable, eliminating a separate receiver power unit. Fitted with tough Neutrik etherCON RJ-45 connections, the units provide captive screw terminals for the RS-232 and IR signals while carrying Ethernet and video signal resolutions of 4Kx2K up to 328ft. working with Atlona AT-HDRX-ROADNET receivers. The pairs also carry all embedded audio signals, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and they can be field updated through USB.
Audio Authority designed the HBT200KIT to support 3D video transmission to compatible TVs and carry bidirectional infrared and bidirectional RS-232 along with up to 7.1-channel uncompressed audio and DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD high bit rate audio. The kit includes one HBT200T Transmitter and one HBT200R Receiver to support uncompressed HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p and 48-bit deep color for a maximum transmission distance of 330ft. For video testing, the transmitter also has an HDMI bypass output port. The transmitter panel includes LEDs for power, HDCP, and link activity.
The newest release of the Aurora Multimedia DXW-2 family of HDBaseT wall plate extenders is the DXW-2EU, a 2-gang Decora style wall plate that can convert VGA (YPbPr, S-Video, Video) with audio to HDMI locally and transmit the signal up to 600ft. The sources are selectable with the buttons on the wall plate, or remotely via RS-232 commands sent through the matching receiver device (DXE-CAT-RX, DXM Matrixes, etc). There is also an RJ-45 LAN terminal on the wall plate and two USB ports for powering USB devices and transmitting 480Mbps independently to a different location. This transmitter can be powered from the receiver and it can accept and relay IR control commands.
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