What is HDBaseT?

"I heard someone talking about HDBaseT for my HDTV. What is HDBaseT and should I be using it in my home theater?"

HDBaseT is the latest cabling standard for connecting your HDTV to other home theater components. The HDBaseT cabling looks just like a standard Ethernet cable and according to the HDBaseT standards organization, if you buy a Cat5e or Cat6 cable, it should just work with two supported components. The bad news is there will probably be a period where we will all need some goofy adapters to connect all of our gear created to work with HDMI to HDBaseT components, but there are several features of this new HDBaseT cable that make it an improvement.

Sony, Samsung, and LG are leading the adoption of HDBaseT, most likely because it benefits their business of connecting networked components together in a much more simple configuration.

In addition to being able to send audio and video across a cable, like the HDMI specification, HDBaseT can also work as a USB connection, a 100W power cable, and 100Mb/s of data connectivity. Maybe the most important difference between HDBaseT and HDMI is support for cable runs of up to 100 meters without any additional signal boosting. The 10.2Gb/s video playback in the initial specification supports 1080p video content as well as stereoscopic 3D, just like HDMI 1.4.

In theory, one advantage of a universal cable for home theater devices would be connecting them to multiple interface devices spread through out your home. A combined data, a/v, and power connection would mean you are no longer limited in terms of how the devices communicate.