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InfoComm 2014: New in HDBaseT Products, Part 1

Jun 5, 2014 10:01 AM, With Bennett Liles

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So the HDBaseT gear won’t let you get into too much trouble. Now, at InfoComm last time we heard a lot about 5Play and this time around we’re going to be hearing a lot about HomePlay. What is the difference between the 5Play we’re used to hearing about and HomePlay? Refresh us on 5Play.

It refers to the five elements of being sent over an HDBaseT link and those elements are high-definition uncompressed video, audio, Ethernet, controls and power. HomePlay is, of course, based on the 5Play feature set, but it adds to that the new HDBaseT to the old capabilities that we’ve mentioned such as networking and USB 2.0 support, for example. The reason we chose the term HomePlay is that the new spec is designed to bring the quality and user experience to consumer homes. So it really is tailored to address the needs of whole home connectivity rather than the point-to-point connectivity that 5Play was all about. [Timestamp: 4:57]

Sometimes when we hit the show floor at InfoComm we’re inundated with new buzzwords and tech terminology but I have to congratulate the HDBaseT Alliance on keeping things very clear and organized in marketing and press releases. HDBaseT has turned out to be one of the least confusing new developments. Of course, we have different versions. What was the idea behind HDBaseT Class B?

Class B is quite similar in principal to HDBaseT Class A, or what everyone refers to as HDBaseT, except it does not include support for Ethernet, for the Ethernet feature and the HDBaseT length goes only up to 70 meters, so it’s not the full 100 meters of HDBaseT. The idea behind it is quite simple. We wanted to provide the manufacturers with the flexibility to choose a more cost-effective solution when only some of the features are required and only shorter distance is needed. [Timestamp: 5:56]

So if your requirements are fairly light, particularly on the distances to be covered you can save on the hardware now and upgrade later as your needs evolve.


Valens has launched a new series of chips for 4K and digital signage applications. Will we be seeing actual hardware devices with this chipset at InfoComm?

Yeah. We’re very excited about the new Colligo series, but we’ll only be releasing the Colligo chipsets at this time of the InfoComm show. So while we will not see available products just yet, there will be Colligo chipsets and information kits available and demonstrations of Colligo chipsets. [Timestamp: 6:40]

One of the biggest things about version 1.0 is that it really gave HDMI a much needed boost in its distance capability and now version 2.0 gives USB a huge leap in distance coverage. Has this been the main thing in market penetration for HDBaseT version 2.0?

Well, there’s a lot going on with HDBaseT 2.0, but you’re absolutely right. The support for USB is a very significant feature in the HDBaseT 2.0 specifications and is one of the main reasons that many manufacturers will migrate to HDBaseT 2.0 products. I think what’s nice about it is that it also opens the door for new markets and new HDBaseT applications, for example education or industrial computing or USB over long distances. And they’re already looking into HDBaseT thanks to that feature. [Timestamp: 7:33]

There are a lot of possibilities in education where you can stretch USB over far greater distances than before. So when we get to InfoComm, do you know where the HDBaseT Alliance is going to be yet?

The HDBaseT Alliance booth will be at number C6035, and of course you’ll be able to find lots of HDBaseT Alliance members across the InfoComm show floor as well and everyone will be showing off their latest HDBaseT products. [Timestamp: 8:00]

It will be hard not to bump into members of the HDBaseT Alliance at the show these days and I appreciate your taking time out to tell us about what’s happening with HDBaseT right up to the minute and I hope you have a good show.

Thanks a lot, Bennett.

Thanks for joining us for the SVC Podcast with Dana Zelitzki of Valens and the HDBaseT Alliance. Show notes are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Stop by and be with us again next time on the SVC Podcast.

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