HDBaseT Explained

HDBaseT Standards

Information supplied from the HDBT Alliance


What is HDBaseT?

HDBaseT is a connectivity standard for whole-home and commercial distribution of uncompressed ultra-high-definition multimedia content. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play, a feature set that converges uncompressed ultra-HD digital video and audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, USB 2.0, up to 100W of power over cable, and various control signals through a single LAN cable for up to 100 meters/328 feet. The latest specification of HDBaseT also enables the transmission of audio & video, Ethernet, USB and controls over fiber optic, for even longer distances.

Audio & Video

HDBaseT delivers ultra-HD/3D and 2K/4K uncompressed video to a network of devices or to a single device (both point-to-point and multipoint-to-multipoint). Since the video is passed through the HDMI chipset, HDBaseT is compatible with all HDMI formats, and supports all key features, including EPG, CEC, EDID, and HDCP. The unique video-coding scheme ensures the highest video quality at zero latency.

In addition, HDBaseT audio is also passed through directly from the HDMI chipset. HDBaseT audio supports all standard formats, including Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS HD-Master Audio.


HDBaseT supports 100Mb Ethernet, enabling communication between televisions, sound systems, computers, and other CE devices as well as access to any stored multimedia content (such as music or video streaming). HDBaseT also supports Ethernet Fallback Mode, which enables seamless integration between an HDBaseT device and an Ethernet-only infrastructure. In such a case, only the Ethernet capabilities of the connection are enabled.


HDBaseT enables multiple control signals for multiple purposes: Consumer Electronic Controls (CEC), Recommended Standard (RS)-232, and infrared (IR). IP control is also enabled due to the support of an Ethernet channel. HDBaseT’s wide range of control options provides manufacturers with virtually endless opportunities.


HDBaseT supports native USB 2.0, and can be configurable either as USB Host or Device. USB expands the functionality supported by HDBaseT to include KVM switches (keyboard-video-mouse), touch-screen functionality, industrial PCs and USB extensions.


Up to 100W of DC power can also be delivered over the same CAT6a cable. This major aspect of 5Play provides the freedom to place equipment where you want it and not where an available power source happens to be installed.

The HDBaseT 5Play

HDBaseT Architecture

HDBaseT uses an asymmetric method, sending video, audio, Ethernet and controls from source to sink, but only 100Mb are transferred back (Ethernet and controls). Unlike conventional data communication which is a symmetrical application by nature, with required a bit error rate (BER) of at least 10 to the minus 12, the asymmetric nature of HDBaseT is based on an innovative DSP engine and an AFE (Application Front End) architecture.
A special line coding scheme was developed to provide a better transfer quality to some kinds of data (audio, controls, Ethernet) without the need to ‘pay’ the protecting overhead for the video content which consumes most of the bandwidth.

HDBaseT uses a proprietary version of Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) technology, where digital data is represented as a coding scheme using different levels of DC voltage at high rates. This enables the 5Play feature-set to be maintained over a single 100 m CAT cable, without the electrical characteristics of the wire affecting performance. Although HDBaseT uses the same coding technology as Ethernet and even has an Ethernet channel, its packet-based technology is different from the traditional Ethernet packets. HDBaseT simply relies on the same physical cabling which provides the inherent benefits of the cost-effective CAT infrastructure.

HDBaseT Benefits

By providing an unprecedented and unique solution, HDBaseT is revolutionizing key industries. HDBaseT provides the ultimate combination of benefits:


Cable length has always been a challenge, until now. HDBaseT technology can be used over 100 m with a single hop or up to 800 m with 8 hops.


HDBaseT delivers video, audio, Ethernet, controls, and power over a single cable, enabling you to reduce your cable assortment down to a single super cable.


HDBaseT requires only a single cable. Elegance. Aesthetics. Grace.


HDBaseT delivers smooth, uncompressed, ultra-high definition video in up to 4K effective resolution. HDBaseT technology fully supports all 3D video standards.


HDBaseT technology uses a standard Cat5e/6 twisted-pair LAN cable with standard RJ-45 connectors, enabling easy termination, deployment, and testing.


HDBaseT relies on low cost Cat5e/6 infrastructure and hence greatly reduces installation costs. In addition, due to HDBaseT’s inherent power transmission capability, electricity infrastructure costs are also reduced.


HDBaseT technology is a true industry standard. HDBaseT Certification Program provides Alliance members with a formal framework that ensures cross-vendor product interoperability and standard compliance.

HDBaseT Applications

By providing an unprecedented and unique solution, HDBaseT is revolutionizing these key industries:

  • Consumer Electronics
  • Custom Installations
  • Professional Projection
  • Digital Signage
  • Industrial PC

Consumer Electronics

HDBaseT technology meets all the requirements of the ever-growing and changing consumer electronics industry. HDBaseT technology provides an all inclusive solution that defines a new standard for a new generation of digital connectivity. Forget about coming up with all sorts of creative ideas to hide the cables in your living room. From simple 2 box TV applications, through multi-zone AV receiver applications, and up to the most cutting-edge complete home networking solutions, the arsenal of HDBaseT’s exceptional feature set provides a simple, most elegant, and aesthetic solution.

Custom Installations

HDBaseT™ technology is integrated in hundreds of products by leading in dozens of AV equipment manufacturers. These products are successfully deployed every day in numerous installations throughout the globe, simplifying the lives of professional installers and integrators.. HDBaseT is used in professional equipment, such as HDBaseT adaptors, extenders, or HDBaseT Switching & Distribution equipment. Either for point to-point connectivity or in point-to-multi-point deployments of complete managed networks – HDBaseT makes your life much easier.

An HDBaseT switching matrix can receive multiple input interfaces, such as HDMI, and deliver the 5Play feature-set to remote HDBaseT-enabled devices over a single 100 m / 328ft Cat5e/6 cable. HDBaseT technology can even be used if only point-to-point AV connection is required or if the end-point is not HDBaseT-enabled.

Professional Projection

HDBaseT offers the best digital projection solution for both professional-grade and consumer-grade projector manufacturers. HDBaseT technology is currently integrated in various leading manufacturers’ commercially available projectors. These projectors are successfully deployed throughout the globe on a daily basis, including in educational institutions and cinemas.

Projector installations typically include point-to-point or point-to-multi-point connection of ceiling-mounted projectors. In many cases, an HDBaseT switching matrix is used to terminate the sources and deliver the 5Play feature-set to all the projectors over a single cable. The integrated control channel enables using IR extenders to facilitate remote control over the switching matrix from all rooms.

Digital Signage

HDBaseT technology provides the ultimate solution for professional integrators or manufacturers of digital signage displays. HDBaseT technology is already integrated in dozens of devices manufactured by leading AV professionals. HDBaseT technology is ideal for any digital signage deployments such as in airports, shopping centers and more. Typically, an HDBaseT switching matrix is used to terminate the sources (i.e., PC or DVD/Blu-ray player) and deliver the 5Play feature-set to the remote digital signage displays. The distance between the source and sink devices (i.e., between the PC and the display) can be up to 100m/328ft at a single hop or up to 800 meters with 8 hops. HDBaseT also supports daisy-chaining of multiple digital signage displays.

Industrial PC (IPC)

HDbaseT enables using a single super cable that takes care of all your IPC requirements, offering video, USB, control, and power over a standard 100m/328ft Cat5e/6 cable. HDBaseT enables powering up multiple remote displays, plug-and-play installation, legacy deployments for existing installations, native HDBaseT deployments, daisy-chain support for IPC-to-multi-display implementations, and a bi-directional USB channel for keyboard, mouse, touch-screen, USB drive, and so on.

HDBaseT 2.0

HDBaseT 2.0 Brings Pro-AV Quality and User Experience to Consumers’ Homes

HDBaseT 2.0 is the latest specification released by HDBaseT Alliance in August 2013. The new specification introduces HDBaseT HomePlay feature set that, based on the HDBaseT 5Play capabilities, will make it simpler and more cost-effective for consumers to turn their entire homes into multimedia entertainment centers. HomePlay features an elegant, affordable plug-and-play solution that will allow the average consumer to enjoy the same multimedia benefits of HDBaseT that the professionals have become accustomed to.

HDBaseT HomePlay defines the adaptations across all seven layers of the Generic communication OSI 7 model to allow the support of time-sensitive, high throughput video/audio and other time sensitive applications.

While HDBaseT 1.0 addresses the Physical and Data Link layers only, HDBaseT 2.0 adds networking, switching and control point capabilities. HDBaseT 1.0 defined a point-to-point connectivity standard, HDBaseT 2.0 defines point-to-multi point connectivity, thereby providing multi-stream support.

Spec 2.0 also adds inherent support for USB 2.0, and other native interfaces which enable manufacturers to remove multiple interfaces and conversion components required for HDBaseT 1.0 products. The result is a smaller and a simpler-to- implement switch.

HDBaseT 1.0 was defined to support the transmission of “video, audio, Ethernet, power and controls, what we refer to as the “5Play” feature set. Spec 2.0 establishes a specification that will allow HDBaseT HomePlay switches to control and distribute multimedia throughout consumers’ homes.

HDBaseT 2.0 represents the culmination of more than two years of development work by both Pro-AV and CE manufacturers, and it offers significant benefits to the pro-AV companies such as native USB2.0 and additional features to improve performance margin including for 4K video and optimize the existing infrastructure and bandwidth.