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3 Compression & Extension Tips for Tech Managers

Without an extension technology, HD and UHD 4K signals can only travel up to 49 feet (15 meters) with an HDMI cable and meet performance specifications. In commercial environments, signals need to be transmitted farther. HDBaseT has been the de facto way to extend HD and UHD 4K, but in the past couple of years has seen some competition with fiber coming down in prices, as well as new technologies. Last year, HDBaseT Alliance announced HDBaseT-IP, which will go head-to-head with the SDVoE (Software Defined Video over Ethernet). Here are some key ideas for thinking about compression and extension for your important signals.

What’s Your Latency Tolerance?
Ask yourself what you have available for networks and what is your latency tolerance.If your extension is to a place where you’re not seeing or interacting with the source and sync at the same time, such as sending out digital signage or TV or a number of monitors—you may have a high latency tolerance and don’t need to use real-time techniques.

Is the Compression Good Enough?
In addition to dealing with latency, different types of compression exhibit different types of artifacts. If you’re doing 4Kp30, you don’t need to compress it to go across 10 gigabits. If you’re doing 4Kp60 across gigabit Ethernet, you have to compress it.Any time you’re dealing with compression you have to determine, “Is that video good enough for my purposes?”

“People working on the science in compression and transmission are solving those problems—there’s just a lag behind it. So, this is going to continue to evolve,” said Harman’s Paul Zielie.

Beware of Encoding Challenges:
“Be aware of the encoding challenges as the next standard approaches,” says Ron Berty, business development manager, Matrox Graphics. “Can my stream/record system support HD and/or 4K, can it support multiple streams for simultaneous on-premises and internet consumption, can I address all levels of quality with a single device, is it interoperable with current technologies, can I integrate into my current network topology even at 1G Ethernet infrastructure?”

For more tips, products, and techniques from the experts, download our free Tech Managers Guide to HD and UHD Extenders here:

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