Broadcast & AV

3 Ways to Ensure a Smooth HDBaseT Project

Bob Ferguson

High-definition video–and now ultra-high-definition video–is crucial to enterprises, from streaming content on retail digital signage to recording, streaming and sharing classroom lectures for distance learning. This increasing demand calls for support of robust audio and video distribution applications. For this reason, it’s important for AV and network design professionals to understand HDBaseT and how it works.


Developed in 2010 by the HDBaseT Alliance, HDBaseT uses one twisted-pair cable to support uncompressed audio and video, Ethernet, control, USB 2.0 and power up to 100W across distances of up to 100 m (these five features are known as the “5Play feature set”). HDBaseT also uses a standard RJ45 connector, and doesn’t require specific types of legacy cables or proprietary connectors.


Power over HDBaseT Explained

Power over HDBaseT (PoH) enables the transmission of DC power, a feature of the HDBaseT signal, over a single twisted-pair LAN cable for a distance of up to 100 m. Compatible with IEEE 802.3at, PoH enables the safe delivery of up to 100W of power over four cable pairs.


There are many benefits to PoH for installers and end-users:

  • No AC outlet installation makes it easier and cheaper to install than traditional wiring (AC power is necessary at one end)

  • Equipment location is no longer based on the location of AC power outlets, so devices can be placed where they’ll perform best

  • Voltages of less than 60V DC are supported

  • Equipment and wiring are protected from overloads with limited power

If PoH is being considered for upcoming applications, there are a few things you can do to make sure the project is seamless.


1. Use a PoH-Certified Cable

Because higher current levels are running through cable in PoH applications, heating levels increase – and this increase can impact cable performance and safety. As temperatures rise inside a cable, electrical performance is impacted (increasing insertion loss).


To help installers and end-users verify that the cables they select for PoH applications will be safe while adhering to performance requirements, the HDBaseT Alliance worked closely with UL to develop a safety- and performance-based cable certification for Power over HDBaseT cables. The PoH certification ensures standardization and consistency, even in cable bundles.


To be certified, PoH cables must carry DC power up to 100W over the four cable pairs while maintaining HDBaseT data transmission performance.


Per UL 4299, Outline of Investigation for Power over HDBaseT (PoH) Cables, the cables are tested in bundles at 100W. The temperature is then measured during operation. Cables with the PoH certification receive the UL Mark and can be trusted to safely handle increasing power levels while maintaining consistent performance.


2. Hire (or Become) an HDBaseT-Certified Installer

Along with using PoH-certified cables, there’s an additional way to safeguard HDBaseT projects: working with HDBaseT-certified installers. These installers are trained in HDBaseT technology principles, cable selection, proper installation, best practices and interoperability.


Working with a certified HDBaseT installer offers peace of mind in knowing that HDBaseT projects are being completed safely, correctly and according to specifications – all while using the right cable for the job.


3. Verify the Availability of an HDBaseT Warranty

Selecting an HDBaseT cabling solution supported by a warranty that protects passive components against defects in material and workmanship can help future proof your application.


It can also confirm that the cabling system designed to support HDBaseT will meet or exceed channel transmission requirements over time.


Belden’s Focus on HDBaseT

Belden has strengthened its HDBaseT focus by providing solutions and warranties to ensure that HDBaseT installations are always reliable, safe and high performing.

  1. PoH-certified cables. Belden is one of the first cable manufacturers certified by UL to safely bring uncompressed video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, control signals, USB 2.0 and power-delivery technology up to 100W together on a single cable. Our 2183R and 2183P 4K Ultra HD Media Cables have a PoH rating from UL, ensuring a future proof solution that meets increasing demands and safety requirements while providing power over a four-pair shielded cable.

  2. HDBaseT Authorized Training. Belden is the first cabling manufacturer to have HDBaseT Authorized Trainers on staff. Twenty-eight Belden employees received HDBaseT Authorized Trainer certification in May 2017. These trainers are not only knowledgeable about HDBaseT ecosystems, architecture, best practices and interoperability, but they are also qualified to provide HDBaseT training to other industry professionals (including the HDBaseT-certified installers we mentioned earlier).

  3. HDBaseT System warranty. A first-of-its-kind HDBaseT System warranty from Belden ensures that installed cabling systems will support HDBaseT data transmission for 25 years. It also ensures a guaranteed infrastructure with the capability to support a variety of HDBaseT equipment.

Belden is doing all it can to help installers and end-users improve the performance and safety of PoH applications, making sure you’re ready to support high-performing AV technology.