If one is deploying video over IP, one needs to be careful to assure proper network configurations. This could mean QoS to prioritize latency-sensitive video traffic, IGMP settings for multi-cast streams, and other considerations. This will very often involve a logically separate network and, in some cases, a physically separate network. A physically separate network consisting of structured cable, endpoints, and a dedicated switch for AV traffic sounds very much like the definition of an HDBaseT system. True, it isn't an IP-addressable system and, as such, there is no equivalent to "switch hops" within an IP-based system which allows a single logical network to be built with many switches. And yes, there is no "routing" equivalent allowing communication between networks. In the majority of AV use cases none of these are issues. In quite a few cases (including several of the projects on which I am now working), AV systems are largely self-contained and if they are to expand it will be via a higher-latency lower-bandwidth compressed signal such as H.264/H.265.
That said I still firmly believe that IP is the future. Why?
Even as IP is clearly the future and, increasingly, the present, I see new HDBaseT products appearing with some regularity. For AV systems which fit comfortably into a single HDBaseT switch there is a measure of simplicity in using dedicated, purpose-built AV switching hardware. Because we're dealing with a dedicated AV switch rather than a standard network switch, we can get local inputs and outputs for AV devices co-located with the AV switch. Eliminating the need for a transmitter or encoder at each device can, in systems with local sources, decrease overall wiring and count of individual devices.
|The innards of an HDBaseT Wallplate|