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Meet Cable of the Future: CAT5e/6 Cable [UPD]

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 93 comments

Who knew? The best cable is the one that we already had.

Today, to hook up our home theatre equipment in the simplest, easiest way, we use HDMI to pass through both our 1080p video and the lossless audio. But HDMI isn't the only game in town, as there's DisplayPort looming on the horizon too.

Did you know that we already had a cable standard solution suitable for our HD needs before HDMI and DisplayPort hit? It's that cable that you've been using for your networking all these years.

HDBaseT Alliance, the cross-industry alliance formed to promote and standardize the HDBaseT technology, announced today its formal incorporation, founded by LG, Samsung, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor.

The Alliance also announced the finalization of the HDBaseT 1.0 base specification. The cornerstone of HDBaseT technology is 5Play, a feature-set that converges full uncompressed HD video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, high power over cable and various control signals through a single 100m/328ft CAT5e/6 LAN cable. HDBaseT has the bandwidth to support video resolutions such as full HD 1080p as well as 3D and 2Kx4K formats. HDBaseT is the first to provide all-in-one connectivity, making it possible for a single-connector TV to receive power, video/audio, Internet and control signals from the same cable.

HDBaseT enables a network of sources — such as digital video recorders (DVR), Blu-ray disc players, game consoles, PCs and mobile devices — to be connected directly to displays in multiple locations. For instance, a DVR can be connected to several TVs throughout the home. This form of networking, whether it is done by daisy chaining devices or through star topology, can be applied in both the consumer home and in B2B cases such as digital signage networking.

The HDBaseT Alliance anticipates products with embedded HDBaseT technology to be available in the second half of 2010, with the majority of adoption taking place in 2011. The specification will also be available for licensing within the second half of 2010.

UPDATE: Check out the chart below for a comparison of various interconnect technologies.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    mavroxur , July 6, 2010 12:11 PM
    The new and improved....wheel!! :) 
  • 27 Hide
    bonezy , July 6, 2010 12:12 PM
    I should probably buy reels of this stuff before companies like Monster and Belkin decide to charge 30x its actual value, and cause all the prices to go up.
  • 26 Hide
    ArgleBargle , July 6, 2010 1:02 PM
    HDMI was only implemented to allow control by content providers and copyright holders. It is not a better technology for the consumer. It is a control technology for the MPAA.
Other Comments
    Display all 93 comments.
  • 26 Hide
    tntom , July 6, 2010 12:10 PM
    That is great news for all us who had the luxury of running CAT5 in our homes.
  • 29 Hide
    mavroxur , July 6, 2010 12:11 PM
    The new and improved....wheel!! :) 
  • 9 Hide
    jvc21 , July 6, 2010 12:12 PM
    Cool! Who would have known that our CAT5 cables would still be in great usage today.

    I imagined that these would have been obsolete with newer cables by the start of the decade...guess not :) 
  • 27 Hide
    bonezy , July 6, 2010 12:12 PM
    I should probably buy reels of this stuff before companies like Monster and Belkin decide to charge 30x its actual value, and cause all the prices to go up.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2010 12:14 PM
    I have a 100m box of cat5 cable in my PC room, YAY me!!!
  • 10 Hide
    icepick314 , July 6, 2010 12:28 PM
    I bought 1000ft boxed spool of Cat5E for $60 (I think) few years back and I still have quite a bit left...

    I hope this will become standard instead of HDMI or DisplayPort...

    but you'll wonder how long till Monster charges $200 for 15ft Cat5E cable when it's literally fraction of pennies per foot?
  • 7 Hide
    3doog , July 6, 2010 12:32 PM
    wallpaperblue wires strikes again!tbh, i found that blue slightly annoying after all these years...there should be a rainbow version


    actually there are other colors, it's just that blue is more common in pictures I guess
  • 14 Hide
    geofry , July 6, 2010 12:42 PM
    Cat5/6 for everything! Yea!

    I look forward to the day when I can just measure out the exact length I need, cut, crimp, and hook it up. No need to make 5 trips to the electronics store looking for adapters.
  • 8 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 6, 2010 12:43 PM
    Kinda makes sense really, CAT6 being used for Gigabit LAN. What's the bitrate of uncompressed hi-def video? A lot less than the capabilities of CAT6 and then some.

    So, how long till we see graphics cards, monitors, TVs, DVRs, Bluray players with an RJ45 port?
  • 18 Hide
    elel , July 6, 2010 12:50 PM
    I can't believe that they can run enough current through there to satisfy a TV.
  • 3 Hide
    nukemaster , July 6, 2010 12:51 PM
    We have cat 5e running all over the house. yay!
  • 2 Hide
    xxyyzz , July 6, 2010 12:55 PM
    hmm.. One (old) cable to rule them all

    I wonder what Toshiba gonna come up with now..
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2010 12:58 PM
    DARN! - I'm 6 years ahead of my time...all my friends thought I was *NUTZ* Cat6'ing every room in the house. I put 3x points in every room, patio, plus more spares in the ceiling - #24 in total.....and now its a standard! YESSSSSSS....BUT:
    (Footnote: I'm just about to move out of this house now into a place without *any* networking.....*hangs head in shame*)
  • 26 Hide
    ArgleBargle , July 6, 2010 1:02 PM
    HDMI was only implemented to allow control by content providers and copyright holders. It is not a better technology for the consumer. It is a control technology for the MPAA.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 6, 2010 1:02 PM
    Moving house soon, before I move I think I will take the opportunity to lay CAT5E or CAT6 to every room in the house under the floorboards and being the walls. I can buy 300 meters of the stuff, connectors, crimper, wall sockets for a snip over £50.
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