Ethernet cables to replace HDMI? Sony, others believe so

By Matthew · 25 replies
Jul 2, 2010
  1. An alliance of electronics manufacturers including Sony, Samsung, LG and Valens have designed a new technology that could soon replace HDMI – and you won't have to buy any new wires. Called HDBaseT (PDF), the standard uses the ubiquitous RJ45 connector and existing CAT5e/6 network cables to send video and audio signals, connect to a network, and even power devices remotely.

    Read the whole story
  2. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Great in theory... As long as there is some protection from accidentally connecting the wrong cables into the wrong RJ-45 sockets. I mean, what could go wrong with pumping 100W into an ethernet hub that isn't wired to take that kind of power?

    Maybe a different connector, but the same cabling? Either way, it's an interesting premise.
  3. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I think its a great idea. I'm getting tired of buying new cables, and I already have 800ft of Cat5e sitting at home :D.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Full compatibility? How about carrying the audio???
  5. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Selling 4ft gold plated Ethernet cables for $200, PM if interested ;) .
  6. Agreed...wonderful in theory. I really hope this works as well. HDMI cables have been an easy way for companies to gouge consumers. I feel bad for people who don't order them online. I searched Best Buy, Fry's and Comp USA stores and they were 40 dollars for a 7 foot cord!

    The Cat6e you can pick up anywhere for a fraction of the price.
  7. KG363

    KG363 TS Guru Posts: 515   +9

    Do normal cables already have this capability to carry all this data? Or is it new tech just with an old connector
  8. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +42

    lol kg363 and jobeard, did you read the article or just the title?

    "the standard uses the ubiquitous RJ45 connector and existing CAT5e/6 network cables to send video and audio signals,"
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    LOL@Relic. Well this works for me. As others have stated, I'm getting tired of my electronics looking like a snake pit. One cable for everything sounds great! I can't believe the early implementation listed though - 2010/2011? I've never even heard of this and they're already coming out with it??
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Guess this is their answer to Lightpeak.

    Anyone who doesn't buy their hdmi cables from monoprice or somewhere similar is getting ripped off.
  11. pgcharlie

    pgcharlie TS Rookie Posts: 29

    will this solve the problem of over-scanning/under-scanning problem poised by HDMI when connecting to tv/flat screen thru graphic port?.. i hope so..
  12. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    lmao Relic!

    The cable manufacturers will most likely be selling those when this hits the market. HDMI cables are a cash cow, so what happens when the cow dies? Get another cow, give her a fancy name, and charge through the nose for a chance at selling her ****.
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    We could really use another Nicolai Tesla right now, that's for sure.
  14. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    Good tech. Using existing Cat5 cable is a great idea, and would finally see the end of those ridiculously-priced HDMI cables -- someone I know bought a Sony LCD TV paid something like $90 AU for the cable! And they are about $20 at the supermarket.
  15. peas

    peas TS Enthusiast Posts: 52

    Great idea if they can protect against blowing up regular ol' network devices. I'm hoping they have some sort of handshake that identifies the fancy-schmancy new RJ-45 powered AV link before shooting 100W down the wire.
    Speaking of 100W, I'm not convinced a plain Cat5/5e/6 cable can carry 100W. Maybe... if they send 25W per pair, 4 pairs, they might be able to squeeze it in.
  16. jakeshjo1953

    jakeshjo1953 TS Member Posts: 26

    I just went to Fry's two weeks ago and purchased a 3x6ft HDMI cable package for 10 dollars. I can't figure out why people don't do their homework first and save some money. But all in all to get some sort of standard cable going sounds great to me.
  17. In case you didnt know. Out of the 8 wires in the RJ45 Connector, only 4 are used in normal networking.

    And about the power, there are already lots of network devices that use power over ethernet, using 2 of the other 4 wires in there. CISCO has been using it for years. there are no connections to devices that dont use the power option, so no worries about frying anything.

    that still leaves a pair of wires for whatever else they need. audio and video are digital, they could be sent along the same 4 wires that data is now.
  18. As for the 100 Watts, its really not that much, if they were terying to do 100 watts and 12 volts, that would be a little much, as that would be just over 8 amps, much too high, but if you raise the voltage, well say 64 volts for a comparison, that would only be 1.5 Amps, getting better, as the cables are rated i believe at 300 volts, no just for comparison sake, at 300 volts that would be only .333 Amps (300mA), now thats more voltage than would be needed, but the current would be well within the capabilities of the small gage wires.
  19. Keep in mind that a watt is a unit of radiated heat (remember the light bulb?), even when you're dealing with speakers. When they say an ethernet cable can carry 100w, they mean that it can send 0.91 amps at 110 volts through the cable without it melting. So it' s not possible to carry 100w AND 12 v. Power cables carry amps & volts, and they heat they give off is measured in watts. This would give plenty of power for devices, as most devices that use 110v input have very low amperage, and devices with higher amperage usually use lower voltage. So you could theoretically power most devices (but not a audio receiver or subwoofer, they typically have very high amperage).
  20. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    Of course, just like HDTV's became standard and they immediately started shoving 3DTV down our throats, HDMI has become standard enough that its time to find another way to get people to pay way too much for crap that didn't need to exist. At least a bunch of the TV's have Ethernet now, but I'm willing to bet it will become a proprietary signal used to transfer over it.
  21. ALELUIA, great news. I want´t today.
  22. In reply to Guests who state some info regarding power handling capability of ethernet cabling+ RJ45, I think some more clarification is required here.
    Firstly lets clear up one item , the cabling doesn't actually 'send' anything, it just allows the passage of current from one place to another if a PD(voltage) is present.

    By stating that the cable can be used up to 100W does not imply that the cable will dissipate 100W, just that it can carry/cope with this level of power usage/withdrawal and this is assuming that the cable has minute or zero resistance (R=V/I ) and is of a suitable gauge.

    W=VA (constant wattage -varying ratio of volts to amps)
    example a) 100v x 1A =100w b) 200V x 0.5A = 100w

    As the voltage goes up the current comes down and
    conversely if the voltage goes down the current must rise.
    Remember that this only holds good for a given 'constant' wattage.

    However, the gauge of the wire has a big part to play in its current handling capacity and as another Guest states correctly, for low voltage/high current use the present Cat5e/6 cables would be totally unsuitable as they would act like a fuse wire in this situation and instantly fail.

    But hey ! cant wait for the implementation of this standard, sooner the better!
  23. KBerger

    KBerger TS Rookie Posts: 17

    The company I worked for has been using ethernet cables and sockets to transmit audio\video signals. Although it's only about the cables & sockets, for pure convenience.

    Yet I agree, it is very convenient. And I , too, have collected miles of ethernet cable in the office, so I'm using it for almost everything. So them Sony & Co guys have got this idea, too? OK, but we were first!!
  24. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    My Problem with the whole thing is SONY. I hate Sony, their the ones that put the rootkit on my PC and included it in music CD's for a while. I do not trust them any further than I could throw their corporate CEO. My mothers Dvd player is a Sony, and it refuses to play dvd's of concerts my brother recorded of this son playing in the school band and wedding disks or anything else but store bought disks, and even some of those it refuses to play. They are so worried that your going to play pirated stuff they screw you with legal things and its not right. Sony is on the top of my Shoot list and will stay there for the rest of my life. They do not deserve the customer loyalty that got them where they are anymore. As far as I'm concerned they can stick their new idea where the sun don't shine.
  25. Watt is not measuring heat, it is measuring power, the electronic letter for watt is P, for power.

    P = Power, measure in WATTS.
    I = Current, measured in AMPS.
    V = Voltage, measured in, well, VOLTS.

    Its very simple, its called Ohms Law

    If you know any 2 of the following, then you can figure out the other.

    To calculate P (WATTS), you take the 'I' and multiply it by 'V'
    To calculate I (AMPS), you take the 'P' and divide it by the 'V'
    To calculate V (Volts), you 'P' and divide it by the 'I'

    And yes, when talking about size of wire, watts has nothing to do with its capabilities, wire carries the VOLTAGE/CURRENT. you need a larger wire for greater current capability, very small wires can carry great voltages, think of your cars ignition, the wires in them would be equal to about a 16 awg wire, but carry in some cases in excess of 50,000 volts, but at a very low current, otherwise it would kill you.

    i guess i could have clarified it a little better in my first 'guest' post
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