HDBaseT vs. SDVoE | Symmetry Blog

Oct 28, 2020

With tech being an ever-evolving industry, it is paramount that design engineers are aware of the latest technologies available on the market, the most current technical standards that must be followed, and the optimal methods to design power-efficient and cost-conscious systems. Symmetry Electronics is here as a global resource–offering a focused line card, comprised of the world’s leading electronic component suppliers, alongside a knowledgeable technical team that is prepared to offer comprehensive design-phase support to engineers. When it comes to audio-video (AV) standards and infrastructures, we often receive questions regarding if HDBaseT or SDVoE is a better approach. Find out more as we dive into the differences between these varying AV transmission standards.


What is HDBaseT?

HDBaseT is an all-in-one digital connectivity standard that allows for the transmission of 5Play (uncompressed HD video, audio, Ethernet, control signals, and up to 100W of power) via a single standard category cable. Founded in 2010 by the HDBaseT Alliance, comprised of Valens, LG, Samsung, and Sony–HDBaseT was developed to meet the demand for a solution that distributes high-quality signals using the best, affordable infrastructure over a long distance.

HDBaseT delivers high-quality signals and eliminates cable clutter, with the ability to simplify installation and reduce costs for both consumer and commercial applications. Commonly utilized in households, corporate offices, malls, airports, and college universities–HDBaseT allows for point-to-point multi-media distribution between products such as matrix switches, projectors, AV receivers, and displays, which can all be controlled and monitored from a single convenient device such as a tablet or smart phone.


What HDBaseT Is NOT

It is important to note that HDBaseT is not considered to be a video standard, nor was it developed to replace HDMI. Additionally, although HDBaseT utilizes the same eight position, eight contact (8P8C) modular converters used for Ethernet, it is not an IP-based or packetized data stream. Furthermore, although a product may be labeled as HDBaseT-certified, it does not confirm that it supports 5Play, which could present an issue with interoperability when utilizing products from various manufacturers.


The Emergence of HDBaseT-IP

In 2017, the HDBaseT Alliance released HDBaseT-IP–an extension of their initial HDBaseT standard that offers the ability to distribute 5Play AV signals over an Internet protocol (AV-over-IP). HDBaseT-IP offers a more standardized and scalable approach that can span longer distances than traditional HDBaseT.


What is SDVoE?

Software Defined Video over Ethernet or SDVoE is a full-stack AV-over-IP solution, offering a standardized interface that leverages Ethernet to bridge the gap between endpoints and software. Founded in 2017 by the SDVoE Alliance, comprised of Semtech, Aquantia, Christie Digital, Netgear, Sony, and ZeeVee–SDVoE aims to offer a hardware/software platform that is more flexible, reliable, and cost-effective than point-to-point connectivity or circuit switches.

SDVoE supports all seven Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) layers (a measurement model that interprets the interoperability of different communication systems), which includes an SDVoE API that enables manufacturers, developers, and system integrators to control complex tasks and expand on new innovative applications. Often used in professional AV environments, common use cases include matrix switches, KVM extenders, video wall processors, multiviewers, and operating room video distribution systems.


SDVoE Addresses Long-Term Interoperability

All SDVoE-certified products are built upon the same foundational technology (SDVoE API, SDVoE clock resynchronization, and SDVoE session management) to ensure interoperability between various manufacturers. Additionally, the SDVoE API allows for system expansion and flexibility to account for long-term upgrades.



Pro AV commercial applications (including lighting and sound devices, video conferencing, digital signage, recording equipment, projectors, speakers, building automation and more) call for cost-effective, efficient, and user-friendly solutions to deliver ideal outcomes. Traditional matrix switch systems and proprietary AV-over-IP solutions bring about several drawbacks when considering long-term applications, including the need for additional infrastructure and issues with interoperability. Open and standardized AV-over-IP protocols enable device compatibility and allow for seamless expansion to address long-term requirements.


Need help determining which AV transmission protocol will work best for your application? Consult with Symmetry Electronics’ Applications Engineers before getting started.












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Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.


Written By: Savannah Cuthbert


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