Ethernet cables to replace HDMI? Sony, others believe soBy Matthew DeCarlo 25 comments
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.
HDBaseT 1.0 has the bandwidth to support full HD 1080p video as well as stereoscopic 3D and 2Kx4K formats. It provides up to 10.2Gb/s (on par with HDMI 1.4) and can theoretically scale up to 20Gb/s. You can use it to get online as usual, but it can also pump up to 100W of electricity, enough juice to power a small HDTV or something like a DVR, and it can be used with cables up to 100 meters long.
The companies backing HDBaseT believe it's "poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport." The specification will be available for licensing this year and products with embedded HDBaseT technology are expected to reach the market by the second half of 2010 with adoption gaining mass in 2011.