These days 4K is the talk of the town – and rightfully so, with almost four times the number of pixels compared to HD – its resolution and clarity are matchless.
But just like with everything new, 4K too has its set of challenges, which include high prices for 4K-enabled products, somewhat limited 4K content availability in the market and issues with connectivity.
All of these challenges have to some extent slowed down the rate of mass adoption for this cutting-edge technology. However, that said, 4K is here to stay and as ABI Research forecasts, “83 million 4K devices will be shipped in 2016. Shipments are expected to grow at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 70% to 1.2 billion unit shipments in 2021.”
As adoption rates increase addressing the important issue of 4K technology and connectivity is imperative. As an installer or integrator you know that 4K is a whole new ballgame when it comes to installations. Firstly, 4K requires a much higher bandwidth compared to standard HD, as the video needs to be transmitted in an uncompressed format. Secondly, such high bandwidth demands require robust cabling solutions that can tolerate noise, go the distance and prevent interference.
Under standard conditions with traditional cabling, let’s take a closer look at the three key challenges 4K raises:
1. High Bandwidth: With double the bandwidth requirements of HD (which demands 5 Gbit/s), 4K raises the bar significantly at 10 Gbit/s. Demanding uncompressed video transmission for high quality picture and resolution, especially for distances over 3 feet, standard cabling is just not cut out for 4K when it comes to certain consumer-level projects, medium to large installations and commercial applications.
2. Installation Cost: With high bandwidth requirements, 4K demands high-bandwidth cables that are capable of delivering in the field. Traditional cables are cumbersome and terminating them in live installations is rather complex, which increases the number of man hours required to do the job.
3. Maintaining Signal Integrity: Uncompromised signal integrity and reduced noise is critical, especially for signal transmissions over longer distances. Without the right infrastructure signal integrity can be very difficult to maintain with 4K.
But don’t be discouraged, even though 4K poses some serious challenges, there is something in the market today that can tackle all of these issues and more – and that is HDBaseT technology.
HDBaseT is a powerful connectivity solution which can reliably distribute uncompressed HD content across both residential and commercial applications. For home users, HDBaseT means using only one LAN cable to connect all devices. For commercial applications integrators can cut costs and save hours by installing a single CAT cable.
According to UK-based research firm, Futuresource Consulting, HDBaseT technology has the “capability of delivering uncompressed, high bandwidth video along with audio, Ethernet, controls and power over distances up to 100 meters,” and “can help AV pros overcome issues such as limited cabling distance (especially pertinent to 4K Ultra HD) and in-field termination.”
HDBaseT compatibility with 4K has been a driving force for manufacturers to adopt and integrate 4K technology into their products, and that by leveraging HDBaseT technology, both manufacturers and installers “can help future-proof the significant investments both groups will make in 4K.”
HDBaseT significantly improves the installation process, saving both time and money, while combating the challenges identified above for delivering 4K content.
Let’s take a look at how HDBaseT overcomes the three major challenges raised by 4K:
1. High Bandwidth Over Distance: The foundation of HDBaseT technology are a set of features referred to as 5Play™ that unite uncompressed fully digital HD audio, video, USB, 100BaseT Ethernet, power and other signals over a single LAN cable (Cat5e or above) over 100m/328ft.
2. Reduce Cost: Delivering 4K content over a single cable makes installation easier for integrators. Furthermore, the cables themselves are field-terminated and their ability to cover longer distances mean no extenders are needed, which helps to further reduce costs and save time.
3. Protects Signal Integrity: HDBaseT technology utilizes something called PAM16 encoding, allowing it to tackle electrical interferences and shield signal integrity from hindrances such as noise and jitter. This in turn directly results in the most optimal 4K picture resolution.
If you need a future-proof solution for reliable delivery of 4K content, there’s nothing better than HDBaseT.
At Pacific Radio we offer HDBaseT cables and equipment, along with connectors, adapters, 4K UHD and 12G-SDI cables from the industry’s leading manufacturers – Belden, Canare, Calrad, Media Solutions, Vanco and more.
For more information on which solution is right for you feel free to give us a call at 800.634.9476 or visit our Burbank, California location.