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What is HDBaseT, and How Will it Change the Future of Video | Datavideo

What is HDBaseT, and How Will it Change the Future of Video?

Sep 21 2016

HDBaseT technology is a new standard for video and data transmission that may soon replace HDMI. In most video productions, each shooting location requires setting up at least 2 to 3 cables, depending on whether you are using remote-controlled cameras or cameras that need to transmit Tally signals.

Imagine if you could now satisfy all these needs with just one cable. If this sounds futuristic, then you are living in the future, as such a workflow already exists.

HDBaseT technology supports:

  • Uncompressed HDMI digital audio and video
  • Ethernet (100BaseT)
  • Control (RS-232 serial and IR)
  • Power

The HDBaseT Alliance's "5Play" feature enables transmission of high-definition video, audio, control signals, and up to 100W of power over a single CAT5e or CAT6 cable up to 100 meters.

The usual workflow involves plugging the power into the transmitter, connecting the HDMI video with the camera control interface, and the RS-232 control key. The transmitter integrates all data and transmits it through the CAT5e or CAT6 cable to a receiver box, which then redistributes the signals and power to the camera. Some cameras use an HDMI line to connect to the receiver box while receiving control signals and power through an Ethernet cable. This method, known as "PoE" or "Power over Ethernet," will become more widely known with the release of new products this year. This workflow requires a transmitter, receiver, and 5 to 6 cables. For those who find this method complex, there are simpler solutions.

HDBaseT's workflow can supply the HDBaseT signal directly through the camera's built-in transmitter, eliminating the need to split the Ethernet signal into 2 to 3 cables. As HDBaseT technology efficiently handles all signal data, it is convenient and enhances the efficiency of camera signal transmission.

Currently, two cameras offer this transmission method: Datavideo's PTC-150T HD/SD Pan-Tilt Camera and AJA's RovoCam 4K Camera.


The Datavideo PTC-150T is a remote-controlled pan-tilt camera designed for live production requiring multiple camera angles or motion capture. It utilizes HDBaseT technology to transmit power, control signals, uncompressed video, and Tally signals over a single Ethernet (Cat5e/6) cable.

The AJA RovoCam is a fixed camera, designed for the professional AV market that requires a single fixed angle. It adopts HDBaseT technology for its slim design, replacing traditional multi-interface transmission with a single CAT5e/ 6 cable interface.


While these cameras are more expensive than others in their class, they prompt the question and discussion: Why is it worth upgrading to the HDBaseT workflow?

HDBaseT technology eliminates the need to purchase different types of cables for each signal and overcomes the limitations of HDMI cables, which can only transmit video signals stably for about 20 meters. An alternative is to convert HDMI to HD-SDI, which can extend transmission up to 100 meters, similar to HDBaseT technology using CAT5e/6 cables. However, converting HDMI to HD-SDI requires a converter costing several hundred dollars. Additionally, power cables, though inexpensive, are often bulky and may require professional electrician installation, which can be costly.

Considering all these factors, the cost of CAT5e/6 cables can be less than 100 meters of HD-SDI or HDMI cables, and CAT5e/6 cables are also more readily available from retailers.


HDBaseT is an emerging new technology standard that can replace other methods and simplify the video production workflow. While Ethernet is not a new technology and HDBaseT uses similar encoding technology (it even has an Ethernet channel), HDBaseT's integrated signal technology significantly differs from traditional Ethernet data. HDBaseT technology offers a cost-effective transmission solution with a single CAT5e/CAT6 cable.



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