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January 09, 2013

HDBaseT Showcasing Home Entertainment's Future at CES 2013

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

When it comes to CES (News - Alert), one of the first things that spring to mind for most is the idea of home theater gear. On this front, CES seldom disappoints: massive televisions, home theater audio systems, peripherals and just about everything short of jujubes makes an appearance. So to say that the HDBaseT Alliance is going to be showing the future of home entertainment at the 2013 CES event is the kind of thing that's sufficient to catch anyone's attention, which is just what the company is suggesting will happen as it runs the Connected Home demonstration out at the big show.

The HDBaseT Alliance is a group that is working to get to elevate its technology, the eponymous HDBaseT, to become the standard for HD digital connectivity. To that end, it showed off just what the technology could do in terms of simplifying the home theater experience. While normally home theaters come with a jungle of cables to work around, HDBaseT allows users to replace all the cables--as well as the power bricks and accompanying cords in a setup to make it a much easier to manage the user experience overall.

HDBaseT technology allows for audio connections, power connections, Internet connections and even uncompressed HD video through just one CAT5e/6 cable, reducing the snakepit behind most every home theater to make it much easier to manage operations.

On the surface, of course, this sounds great. Reducing all of what's going on in a typical home theater to one cable sounds great, but the issue of just whose getting involved in this is still somewhat shaky. To that end, the HDBaseT Alliance has recently added two new members to its credit: Pioneer and Onkyo. This helps round out a team already made of some big names including founders LG, Samsung (News - Alert), Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor. There are, at last report, hundreds of HDBaseT products out there, with a variety of projectors and other displays as well as A/V receivers, set to emerge during the first half of 2013.

Given the growth of the home theater industry in general, as well as the growth of streaming media sources as part of home theater, it's commonly a safe bet that offering home theater hardware that yields more convenient installation is a smart move. Yet, it's likely going to take a while to see these being used by the masses due to the fact that most people are likely satisfied with their current home theater setup and may begin to use the HDBaseT in the future. But with home theater setups being largely modular, and individual parts more likely to be replaced than others, HDBaseT may have a bit of an upward climb ahead.

There's no denying that this is a very efficient setup and if HDBaseT can provide the kind of impact home theater owners crave, then it will likely wind up being found in many home theaters out there.




Edited by Jamie Epstein
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