Semtech Just Did a Mic-Drop on HDBaseT

Semtech Corporation today announced its new AVX chipset series — basically, think HDBaseT or, we guess, what everyone wishes HDBaseT was — a consistent and standard “send” and “receive” platform where all the participants worked together. Semtech, with AVX, simultaneously transmits uncompressed-quality 4K-video, multi-channel audio, Gigabit Ethernet, USB and other control signals over CatX or fiber cabling. Sounds like HDBaseT, right?

Well, the inherent weakness of HDBaseT has always been that there’s no consistency. Some manufacturers use the 5-Play system invented by HDBaseT founding company, Valens, and some don’t. Thus, you can’t use differing manufacturers’ transmitters and receivers together. And, there have even been reports from companies like Panasonic of HDBaseT transmitters frying an HDBaseT input on a projector. That’s because in my opinion, there is no “policing” of the HDBaseT platform. That’s what the HDBaseT Alliance was supposed to do but never did.

According to Semtech, the AVX series includes two interoperable chipsets, the copper-only AVX100 and the AVX200T, providing the industry’s first bidirectional video transmission capability over a single fiber or copper cable and a built-in processing engine for broadcast quality, scaling and video wall processing.

AVX series features include:

  • Extension of audio, video, GbE and control signals between AV equipment (e.g., sources, display, AV matrix switches)
  • Full range of formats including 4K/60 RGB 4:4:4, HDR, 3D and broadcast friendly 4K/60 10-bit 4:2:2
  • HDMI audio embedding, de-embedding and breakaway
  • Integrated USB, RS232, IR, GPIO and CEC
  • Broadcast quality scaling, color space conversion and frame rate conversion
  • Video wall processing with bezel correction
  • Audio down-mixing engine from multi-channel PCM audio to stereo
  • Up to 200m range over CatX with PoE using compatible phy and cable type
  • Up to 550m range over multimode fiber and 40+ km range over single mode fiber
  • Less than 0.1 milliseconds latency at maximum cable reach
  • Transceiver capability for bidirectional video on a single cable
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The AVX chipsets will be integrated into products such as AV transmitters, AV receivers, AV matrix switchers, presentation switchers, video wall controllers, and other AV equipment to address a variety of market applications including AV/KVM extension, AV/KVM matrix switching and video wall processing. Unlike incumbent technologies, each AVX chipsets is configurable as a transmitter or receiver (AVX100) or as a transmitter and receiver (AVX200T).

Again, basically, HDBaseT fixed!

Semtech will be providing detailed specifications, pricing and availability information at InfoComm 2019. Semtech is here.