A Guide To HDBaseT

What is HDbaseT?

HDBaseT is the de facto standard for Ultra-HD video distribution in commercial and residential applications. It brings a full feature set called 5Play™, increased distance and better performance than other solutions. The 5Play feature set offers:

  • Uncompressed high-definition (HD) and 3D video + future-ready 4K resolutions
  • Lossless digital audio formats 7.1 and beyond
  • High-speed Ethernet 100BaseT scaling up to Gigabit
  • 100w power over HDBaseT (PoH) up to 70m
  • Various backward + forward control signals (IR, USB, RS232)


When In Doubt, Use Shielded Cat6 With Shielded Plugs

Although there are  no requirement to use Cat6 for HDBaseT, we strongly recommend this. This is due to higher resolutions and areas that are prone to high environmental interference.  It is a best practice to use Cat6 or above when there is any doubt about the environmental factors or what resolution will be transmitted. Cat6 shielded cable will give you the extra confidence and will allow you to deploy in less than optimal physical environments.

What is the best type of cable to use?

At this stage, you can use Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6e, Cat6a, Cat7 or Cat7a with Aeon HDBaseT-based products. The baseline cable standard for Aeon systems is Cat5e. You can achieve greater distances by using Cat6, or higher. If you or your client would like to future proof your infrastructure, we recommend installing fibre cables alongside your Cat6 cables. This ensures ultimate flexibility for upcoming  resolutions and protocols.

There are cheap cables on the market that tout Cat5e specification yet do not pass these tests and may not suffice for 5Play applications. There is no absolute requirement for Cat6 shielded cable (it is a best practice when using some of the products that implement the HDBaseT technology in such a way that yield more than 100m, higher resolutions or work in harsher environments). This DON’T is “when using Cat5e don’t go cheap.” Remember that the cable is likely to outlive every other element in your system.

Do Not Use CCA (Copper Clad Aluminium) Cat 5/6/7 Cable For HDBaseT Products.

Whatever network cable you choose, you must make sure that the main wiring architecture is ‘solid core’, not stranded ‘patch’ cabling.Stranded cores signal transfer will be heavily reduced, therefore we always recommend using solid core wiring for all HDBaseT infrastructure.

The use of pre-made leads is not recommended unless you can be absolutely sure of their construction credentials.

Go Direct!

It is always best practices to cable directly from device to device (ie. the matrix to the receiver ends). Failing to do this may result in too much interference or signal loss.

Also avoid patch panels and network switches wherever possible.


A Note on EZ Ends:

While popular for their ease of use, the trace amount of cable left on the end of a cable using an ‘EZ End’ is enough to cause connectivity issues.

Any connector that has a “Push Through” type application (like EZ-Ends) will reduce the performance quoted. Conversely, if you use solid ends (non push through), or patch cable you can increase performance.

A Quick Guide to HDBaseT

  • ALWAYS maintain the twists of the pairs as close as possible to the point of termination, or no more than 0.5″(a half inch) untwisted.
  • Make only gradual bends in the cable where necessary to maintain the minimum bend radius of 4 times the cable diameter or approximately 3cm radius.
  • Only use low-to-moderate force when pulling cable.
  • Try to keep Category cables as far away from potential sources of EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference ? such as electrical cables, transformers, light fixtures, etc.) as possible. Cables should maintain a 12-inch separation from power cables.
  • NEVER let the cable to be sharply bent, twisted, or kinked at any time. This can and will cause permanent damage to the geometry of the cable and cause transmission failures.
  • If you are using cable ties, never over tighten them around the cable.
  • you should never splice or bridge Category cable at any point.
  • No excessive force should be used when pulling Category cables
  • Any good installation of Cat cables should be loose, but never sagging. Never have the cables taught.
  • If you are using staples in the install process, only use the T-59 insulated staple gun. This is ideal for fastening both Category and fiber optic cabling, as it does not put any excess pressure on the cable.
  • Never use patch cords (cables) or punch down blocks.

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