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HDMI, DisplayPort GoodBye

New boy on the street what will HDBaseT do?
Sony, Samsung and LG are throwing their weight behind a new AV cable standard that poses yet another threat to the future of HDMI.

HDBaseT carries HD video, audio, network traffic and (perhaps crucially) power over standard Cat 5e/6 Ethernet cable. Its backers are pushing it as an all-in-one connector for devices ranging from PCs to net-connected televisions, games consoles and mobile devices.

The HDBaseT Alliance claims the technology is capable of delivering full 1080p HD video – as well as 3D formats – over a distance of 100m. That alone could give it a crucial advantage over HDMI, which struggles to carry a signal further than 15m without the use of extenders.

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HDBaseT can also carry up to 100 watts of power, meaning it could be used to power peripherals.

The cable is capable of running at gigabit Ethernet speeds and uses the standard RJ-45 socket found on today’s PCs and laptops.

The first specification of HDBaseT has now been finalised, and it will start appearing in devices as soon as the second half of this year, although the Alliance modestly predicts that “the majority of adoption” won’t take place until next year.

By which time, another potential rival to HDMI – Intel’s Light Peak – may well have emerged. Intel’s optical interconnect technology offers an enormous increase in bandwidth over both HDMI and HDBasetT, starting off at 10Gbits/sec, although Intel is already demonstrating prototypes capable of 200Gbits/sec.

Intel’s technology also uses standard connectors, with the optical technology likely to be built into USB cables, although PCs and other USB devices will need a dedicated unit to convert the optical signal into electrical data

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