First HDBaseT Product Now Available

The HDBaseT Alliance has announced the availability of the first product certified by the entity; the device in question is an extender for HDMI 1.3 over CAT5 produced by accessories expert, Gefen.

The Certification Program will provide a formal framework to support HDBaseT products entering the market. Ariel Sobelman, president of the HDBaseT Alliance, said "This is an important milestone for the Alliance in promoting industry-wide adoption of HDBaseT technology for whole-home and commercial multimedia content distribution.”

HDBaseT technology allows the use of LAN cables to transmit full HD digital video, audio, data using 100BaseT Ethernet, various control signals as well as supplying up to 100w of power.

Unlike other existing similar technologies, HDBaseT allows for existing Cat5e/6 cabling to be recycled and can operate with a maximum cable length of 100m without repeaters and up to 800m with the support of multiple hops.

It uses an industry-standard RJ-45 connector and can transmit uncompressed video and audio at up to 10.2Gbps. HDBaseT also offers support for USB and HDCP.

One can therefore envision a scenario where a desktop computer uses only one cable for data transfer and power.

It remains to be seen however whether electronics manufacturers will adopt yet another connector although to be honest, Ethernet ports have started to creep into many appliances, from TVs to set top boxes and tablets as well.