E4 Chicago Show Trains HDBaseT Installer Experts

At the E4 Chicago show on March 26, a 90-minute HDBaseT Installer Expert Program saw an impressive turnout of more than 100 participants. Attendance was split between those who had and hadn’t attempted an install using HDBaseT before.

“This is the first time that this training has been done outside of a major trade show anywhere,” said Melody Craigmyle, vice president of marketing for Almo Professional A/V, which hosts the E4 AV Tour events. “We’ve scheduled sessions for the first two E4s of the spring. But based on the feedback, I’m sure we’ll be continuing it with the fall events.”

HDBaseT Alliance consultant Max Kopsho, who led the program, stressed the importance of education regarding the connectivity standard. “I think it’s true anytime you move from analog to digital,” he said. “Analog was a lot more forgiving. But with ones and zeroes, it’s either on or off, and I think people need more education on deploying the best practices to make this type of technology work.”

During the program, Kopsho stressed that integrators should take three steps when considering a product for an HDBaseT installation to ensure successful interoperability. First, they should look for the HDBaseT logo to confirm that the product is HDBaseT Certified.

Products that receive HDBaseT Certification transmit video and audio according to HDBaseT specs. But they don’t necessarily support the full 5Play feature set, which includes ultra-HD audio and video, ethernet, controls, USB, and 100W of power. So the second step Kopsho recommended was to look the product up on the Certified Products List available on the HDBaseT Alliance site (hdbaset.org).There, they can see which of the 5Play features each product supports.

Third, Kopsho recommended that integrators also verify the interoperability of the individual features they intend to use with the product manufacturer, since certain products may have proprietary features or other issues that can affect interoperability.

In addition to attending the Installer Expert Program at shows like E4 and InfoComm 2015, installers can also get certified through online training at hdbaset.org. On the site’s HDBaseT Installer Zone, they can additionally access an Installers Forum as well as other resources that include installation case studies and white papers outlining best practices for using the connectivity standard.

“I see HDBaseT applying really anywhere AV and long cables or really anywhere AV deploys,” said Kopsho. In addition to reducing cabling by converging the five features over a single LAN cable for up to 100 meters with a single hop, HDBaseT can be sent up to 800 meters with eight hops. “The install labor gets reduced, the tech support issues are reduced. It’s not necessarily less expensive with the initial product purchase. But when it comes to cabling, install labor — that’s where you’ll see the cost benefit,” Kopsho said.

Chris Gelbach writes on diverse topics that include careers, marketing, the AV industry, and recreation management.