June 2015 Newsletter: Why we prefer HDBaseT to HDMI
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Why we use HDBaseT? Welcome to the June 2015 newsletter from the Electric Playground, the home technology specialist. This month we wanted to introduce and explain why we prefer a HDBaseT system for distributing video signals around a house rather than using long HDMI cables.
Firstly whats wrong with HDMI cables? When HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables were first introduced they were a great step forward, combining eight different cables into one. For short distances, like from a Blu-Ray player to the back of a TV, they're brilliant. Unfortunately HDMI cables tend to have reliability issues when they're longer than 10 metres. Not great when you want to distribute video over an entire house. The first problem is they're just not designed for long distances. The use of long HDMI cable runs can lead to signal degradation resulting in a fuzzy picture or even complete loss. In some cases you may not even get a signal to start with. Even the HDMI trade association recommends boosters for distances up to 30m. Over 30m and they recommend sending signals over different cable types altogether. Secondly their lack of flexibility when being laid can cause further issues and can easily result in permanent damage. They simply don't bend well. If one fails and its plastered into a wall you've got problems.
So what is HDBaseT? HDBaseT is a technology that allows us to pass a HDMI signal over a network cable (Cat5/5e/6/7) for distances up to 100m long with no loss of quality. By taking an HDMI signal from a source, say a Blu-Ray, passing it through a transmitter and connecting it too a Cat6 network cable we can distribute the signal to where ever the cable ends. By fitting a receiver to the cable end and connecting it to another HDMI cable connected to say a TV, the signal is just the same as if we connected it to the original Blu-Ray via a short HDMI cable. This example is a very basic one but this technology has really opened up opportunity's for whole house audio visual systems. We're no longer shackled by distance. By using a full'5Play' HDBaseT system it allows us to transmit not only video and audio, but LAN (internet), power (up to 100W) and control (RS232 and 2 way IR) over a network cable. With the run of a simple network cable from a central audio visual hub, each room in the house can have access to any source, be it a Sky box or a Blu-Ray player, and most importantly control it from that room.
Why it doesn't pay to go cheap?
For whole house distribution systems the HDBaseT system is a no brainer. Its far cheaper and much more reliable than any HDMI system.
However at what point do you make the leap from HDMI to HDBaseT?
We say if in doubt go for the HDBaseT system. It maybe the more expensive option but its going to work. Why take a chance.
Remember to always buy equipment from a quality manufacturer of HDBaseT equipment. Our personal choice is CYP. Click the logo below to have a look at their website.
There are 'cheaper' solutions out there but these are just clones of the ones made by the big manufacturers. We find cheap ones tend to over heat easily and become unreliable. They also tend not to be upgradable when new technology comes on the market.
Can we help? I hope this has given you a bit of background to as why we use HDBaseT systems. If you found it useful why not sign up to our full mailing list for all future monthly newsletters and back issues. Lastly if we can be of any help or you would just like to have a chat about any of the above please feel free to call on 0800 878 6168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks Andrew Jackson Co-Founder The Electric Playground