More Than a Bridge — HDBaseT and IP — Not a Bridge and Not Competing

HDBaseT technology is often referred to as a bridge between traditional AV and IP based AV. This bridging reference is often used when people are comparing HDBaseT to IP encoders and decoders that are often used for audio and video transport over campus and metropolitan area networks.

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When I hear this comparison being made the term “apples and oranges” comes to mind. This comparison makes almost no sense to me.  These technologies are not mutually exclusive and are not competitive and are quite to the contrary, the opposite is true. These technologies actually complement each other. Comparing these technologies is like comparing wired and wireless Ethernet. I say this because wireless has applications and wired has a completely different set of applications as well and we typically do not need to compare or make it sound as if these technologies compete. The two technologies work together in well designed and well-architected systems for a world of incredible possibilities (secure government facility considerations aside).

I believe this type of bridge reference extends beyond just the scope of comparing the HDBaseT versus IP Video. Here is why I think that: I am not sure why, but I often get the feeling that the AV industry tends to look at many situations with an EITHER/OR mindset. My examples for such an observation are as follows: We live in a world that we view as it having to be Crestron or AMX for control, Extron or Crestron for distribution, HDMI or DVI for digital signal, and then as I already stated IP or HDBaseT for distance, add in JBL or QSC for line arrays and the list goes on and on. But now, I think the recent acquisition of SVSi by Harman and the subcategorization of the SVSi brand within AMX shows us that HDBaseT and IP Video (and Audio) will truly coexist in solutions, branding and channel sales/solutions. And maybe, just maybe we can look at many other categories in that same light.

THE CHALLENGE: Expand your approach to design and solutions providing to include “the last mile” and interface connections with HDBaseT and IP Video for enterprise solutions to leveraging all that networking has to offer at Local, LAN and WAN levels. Each of these technologies has their benefits and their pitfalls. It is up to the solutions provider to apply the right technology, to weigh all of the pros and cons and give their customers the best solution for the application at hand. Heck, don’t take my word for it, I am just a manufacturer — you are the solutions provider.