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New HDMI Technology Solutions Become Available

Dec 17, 2007 12:00 PM

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HDMI may be the next-generation connector for full-bandwidth HDTV and lossless audio, but getting it to perform reliably and over long distances has been a major challenge for custom installers. Even one wire is one too many for consumers who want to mount a flatpanel TV in a living room. Several new solutions on the horizon offer promise for the nascent technology.

Honeywell last week introduced an HDMI-to-CAT5 converter that enables audio/video installers to send HDMI signals over long distances using CAT5e or CAT6 wire. The converter system comprises a transmitter and receiver that fit into single-gang, Decora-style wallplates along with a power supply. At the source end, the transmitter transcodes HDMI signals over two CAT5/6 cables. Honeywell says a 1080p signal will travel up to 125ft. over a pair of CAT5e cables or a maximum of 200ft. over a pair of CAT6 cables.

At the receiver end, the powered receiver (with external power supply) transcodes signals back to HDMI. Built-in CURxE light technology is said to automatically correct for any corrupted data resulting from capacitive loading problems and also verifies hot plug detect, 5V, EDID and HDCP compliance, the company says. The system is also compatible with DVI and supports VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, and UXGA computer resolutions along with 1080p, 1080i, 720p and 480p video resolution.

The Honeywell converter system will be available mid-December.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Gennum will demonstrate an HDMI-over-coaxial cable solution that promises up to 100m of guaranteed performance for HDMI 1.3. The solution was developed by Gennum, which provides the silicon for companies including Belden and Gefen. Those products reach HDMI 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 performance over 100m of cable. Gennum will show the product in the HDMI Pavilion in South Hall 2, and in Gefen's booth in South Hall 1.

Pulse-Link, a supplier of Ultra Wideband (UWB) semiconductor products, has announced availability of its CWave HDMI-over-coax and -wireless HDMI designs for consumer electronics device manufacturers. The HDMI solutions claim realtime, high-definition audio and video distribution through the home with guaranteed Quality of Service (QOS). The company says its solutions are low cost, have a small form factor, and are production-ready for quick market entry.

Pulse-Link’s CWave UWB HDMI-over-coax product extends the reach of HDMI over existing coax cable, including splitters, allowing consumers to access high-bandwidth content from entertainment source devices in one room and display it in any other room in the house.

The company also is planning a an HDMI extender for longer-range, secure wireless connectivity between the HDTV display and source devices such as game consoles, DVRs, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD players.

The Tributaries HXC5 is said to send an HDMI signal up to 164ft. (50m) virtually loss-free over a double-run of standard CAT5/5E/6 network cabling. The HXC5 employs balanced/unbalanced signal processing, ensuring full hi-def signal integrity for all video formats up to and including 1080p, and is HDMI v1.2-and HDCP compliant.

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