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Inside the HDBaseT 2.0 Specification, Part 2

Oct 22, 2013 10:43 AM, With Bennett Liles

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In part one a while back we were talking about the USB capability with HDBaseT spec 2.0 and in addition to being important for the residential market it has some implications for the academic area. You’ve got very large deployments, high up-time, a wide range of daily users …

Yeah, I agree. … and gear being turned off and on dozens of times a day. PowerPoint’s one of the most-used applications in the classroom and the computers it runs on are often the source of equipment problems and user errors so there is some interest in so-called PC-less presentation where the visuals come straight from a flash drive to the classroom projector, and with the HDBaseT 2.0 version not having to run a separate USB extension in all of those classrooms to do that.

I agree. Yes. Absolutely. And you said you had a special interest in the education market and university installations, and yes this is a great application for HDBaseT and we’ve done very well in this market. [Timestamp: 6:21]

Right, and dealing with that large a scale you can start with outboarding everything on standalone extenders, then begin to phase in projectors and source devices with native HDBaseT and repurpose the original separate extenders moving them down the line to other classroom buildings for the first wave of deployment there.

Yes, absolutely and you don’t need to be concerned about all the equipment becoming obsolete or you’re not dependent on a single vendor. This is the point and the big benefit of HDBaseT being a standard technology.

We also have now what’s called HDBaseT Class B with a slightly smaller feature set and I believe a 230ft. distance using the Valens VS010 chipset. What was the main reason for introducing HDBaseT Class B?

Actually we just wanted to offer more flexibility to our customers and provide them with a more cost-effective solution, especially when only selected functionality is required; when not the entire 5-Play feature set is required, and when the distance requirements are shorter. It’s been about two years, I think, since this chip was introduced to market and it proved to be very, very successful. [Timestamp: 7:31]

And so with the next wave of the HDBaseT features being built-in, do you see a long future for the extender market on this? I know we’re going to be seeing these devices for a good while, but do you envision a time when HDBaseT will just be an integral part of all of the hardware?

Hopefully we’ll have an HDBaseT world in a few years from now. But actually no, I don’t see these HDBaseT extenders disappearing. I do expect that we’ll see more and more native HDBaseT devices, but the more HDBaseT products and the more HDBaseT installations you have you will see also more and more HDBaseT extenders. First of all, sometimes all the installer needs is just to extend his HDMI equipment and HDBaseT extenders are a great, cost-effective solution for that. But also, as you said, it’s really a transition process and with HDBaseT penetrating to new markets and especially to consumer homes, well no one likes it when their old devices become obsolete. So instead of throwing away your old device, you’ll use an HDBaseT extender and with penetrating into the consumer electronics market, I can even anticipate new types of phone factors for HDBaseT dongles, let’s say. So I don’t see them disappearing from the market any time soon. [Timestamp: 8:57]

I know that it’s not a terribly pressing issue right now, but do you see a time coming since we have power use on a lot of the smaller projectors coming down, some future possibility of running projectors on the HDBaseT power and simplifying things even more?

Wouldn’t that be great, first of all? There are two things that can happen in that respect. The first thing that can happen is that projectors will become more and more power efficient and eventually will go below the 100W limit, which is a trend but most projectors today cannot. The second thing that can happen is that HDBaseT will be able to send more than 100W of power, and actually the technology itself is already able to do that, and even significantly so if you talk about shorter distances than 100 meters. But in the standard itself, we limited the technology to sending 100W of power in order to comply with the UL safety regulations. So one direction that the Alliance is working on is to work with the UL organization in order to increase the power we’re sending and still be compliant. [Timestamp: 10:06]

In the initial wave of this technology a few years ago it really took off fast. How did the marketing of HDBaseT differ from what’s usually seen in this industry? I mean you already had the chips produced and pretty much ready to go and the Alliance set up when you unveiled the technology didn’t you?

Yes. Actually the initial version of the technology, Valens was already ready with the chip sets when the Alliance announced just because forming the Alliance was also a long process. So we actually worked on the specification with our founders, with LG, Samsung, and Sony Pictures already before the Alliance actually was ready to go public. But if you ask about the difference in the marketing, I think we need to differentiate between Valens marketing and HDBaseT Alliance marketing, and in that respect I personally have two different jobs. When I’m wearing the Valens hat, I guess my marketing work is pretty standard like any other chip company selling solutions to pro AV and CE manufacturers. But when I’m wearing my HDBaseT Alliance hat, this is where the marketing job is kind of unique and I have to say very interesting because as an alliance we’re working to promote HDBaseT technology. We’re not working to promote a specific product. I think the recent release of 2.0 specification is a great example. We wanted to share the new technology with the public. We wanted to let them know what to expect even if there aren’t any HDBaseT 2.0-compliant products just yet. [Timestamp: 11:38]

So what’s Valens working on now? What are your goals for the near future? You’ve just come out with the 2.0 spec, so that’s out on the table. Are there more things on the drawing board?

So of course releasing a 2.0-compliant chip is our top priority right now, but yes we are looking at other markets as well. We’re active in the CCTV market, in the industrial PCs market. HDBaseT is a great application for other markets besides pro AV and we’re looking at that directions as well. [Timestamp: 12:07]

Alright, well I’m sure there’s a lot more coming from Valens. Dana Zelitzki and HDBaseT 2.0 from Valens. Thanks for explaining some things and it’s been a pleasure to have you on the SVC Podcast.

My pleasure. Thank you.

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