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The struggle between DisplayPort and HDMI continues

This week marks an important move forward for the DisplayPort special interests group as the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has officially approved DisplayPort version 1.1 as an industry standard. Despite the approval, there is an ongoing struggle in the graphics industry about which technology will make the cut as the de facto high-definition PC interface: DisplayPort or HDMI.

According to VESA, the DisplayPort standard has come quite a long way. "DisplayPort 1.1 gives manufacturers of LCD panels, monitors, graphics cards, PC chipsets, projectors, peripherals, components, and consumer electronics a next generation digital interface that is designed to replace LVDS, DVI, and eventually VGA," said the statement.

VESA indicates that the benefits of DisplayPort are significant and important, and that the group thinks DisplayPort will be integrated into many next-generation PCs. "Our task groups and committees within VESA worked very hard to ensure that DisplayPort 1.1 satisfies the important objectives it is designed for, and as a result, this new version has widespread support among all the leading computer and consumer electronics suppliers."

Major developers like AMD, NVIDIA, HP, Intel, Lenovo and Samsung have said that they will fully support DisplayPort. According to the release:
Available throughout the industry as a free to use, open and extensible standard, DisplayPort is expected to accelerate adoption of secure digital outputs on PCs, enable higher levels of display performance, and introduce high volume digital displays that are simpler, thinner, and easier to use than VGA.
On the other end of the spectrum, the groups backing HDMI argue that while there are valid features in DisplayPort, HDMI can do everything that DisplayPort can and more. The most pominent factor however is the fact that DisplayPort doesn't have solid definitions for licensing. Although the DisplayPort group claims that there is little to no fees, the HDMI group points out that there are also no restrictions on adding in fees at a later date.


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By hmurchison on 4/3/2007 7:48:57 PM , Rating: 5
HDMI is a debacle.

At CES 2007 there were how many HDMI equipped AVRs? Sherwood Newcastle is the only one I know.

Search Google for HDMI problems and marvel at the endless pages of info denoting the clusterfck that HDMI is.

Handshaking issues, plugs that fall out because they have no locking mechanism, proliferation of formats "is it HDMI 1.1 , 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, 1.3a)

Or what about useless HDMI 1.3 that support native TrueHD and DTS HD yet no AVR is smart enough to mix things right so the HD DVD or Blu-ray players just mix the audio down and send out PCM.

What a useless connectivity standard wrought with flaky DRM and weak performance. DisplayPort shouldn't have to improve much to usurp the stinkfest that HDMI is.




By WayneG on 4/3/2007 7:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
I see it this way: HDMI is a format primarily designed for the home entertainment devices, this is evident from the fact that it carries an audio signal as well. The numerous amounts of revisions makes it nearly impossible to implement on a PC device since PC users want to have the best all the time and can't afford to change monitors/graphics cards to suit the best HDMI revision available. Displayport on the other hand is designed primarily for graphics cards, none of that silly audio routing (DTS, etc.) which to be fair is more of an annoyance to the graphics/monitor and sound card manufacturers since they have to find a way to route the sound through the graphics card to the sound card to your speakers which adds to latency causing unnecessary problems. It's fairly easy to see the most majestic method of transporting video on the PC is simply through a dedicated cable, in this case Display Port. HDMI should stay with media and entertainment since consumers like simplicity, they don't care what HDMI revision they have or how the audio is handled, they just want it to work. Simple as ;)


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 4/3/2007 10:11:47 PM , Rating: 3
DisplayPort has HDCP and another copy protection scheme called DisplayPort Copy Protection. Of course, UDI, HDMI and DisplayPort can all operate find without copy protection schemes as well.


By hmurchison on 4/4/2007 1:07:52 AM , Rating: 5
I don't mind that it has DRM. I mind that it has flaky performance because of DRM. If consumers have to deal with DRM it should be as transparent as possible. I shouldn't have to memorize a power on sequence just to get my HDMI products to sync right. hmurchison getting gone baby.


By BillyBatson on 4/3/2007 10:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
SOOO true. As stated in the article DP, at this point in time anyway, is supposed to be free to very little cost to license while HDMI is supposed to be expensive especially when it comes to which version and what features you support and that cost is no doubt passed down to the consumer no matter how little that cost is.
Anyone know roughly how much ends up coming out of the consumers pocket for purchasing a device with HDMI support?


By hmurchison on 4/4/2007 1:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
Billy HDMI seems to be a licensing boondoggle. One of the problems is that a lot of cool stuff seems to be "optional" in the spec. I've heard that HDMI is not that cheap and the chipsets really aren't made by a lot of companies so pricing stays high. Look how long it has been around and its penetration is relatively low.


By Lakku on 4/4/2007 12:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see the need for True HD and DTS-HD when I already have lossless linear PCM audio right now. It is a bit for bit match of what the film makers/studio intended, and it's hard to get any better then that. If you care about True HD or DTS-HD, I say you are buying into hype and just allowing them to collect licensing fees for something that is essentially not needed. Besides, ultimately, PCM is just the digital representation of an analog wave, and all Dolby and DTS do is allow for the compression of such wave, but it is still technically PCM audio. So to conclude, linear PCM is lossless, and therefore I put forward that DTS-HD and True HD are not needed and/or just marketing hype so the companies can continue to make money in a world where compression is no longer needed, so, who cares if any output method supports them.


By hmurchison on 4/4/2007 1:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD are superfluous features if you have enough space to include uncompressed PCM. I won't argue against PCM but sadly when you take HD DVD and Blu-ray both are confined at some point by the movie and concessions have to be made. If space is tight then DTS HD or TrueHD is a choice to recoup some datarate pack. If you have an ocean of storage available then PCM is the "free beer" choice.


By Visual on 4/4/2007 5:02:29 AM , Rating: 5
But storage space and connection bandwidth are two different things. If you lack storage space, you're free to store the audio as DTS HD or TrueHD on the media. The player should still decompress it and send it as PCM through the cable. There is no logical reason to want compressed audio going over the cable, unless you're trying to save on bandwidth. The video is sent uncompressed after all, why should the audio be different?

As it is now, HDMI 1.3 has 10.2Gbps bandwidth. Uncompressed 1080p60 8bpp video is 60*1920*1080*3*8 = 2.8Gbps, even Deep Color (10, 12, even 16bpp) is at most twice that, so at most around half the available bandwidth. In comparison, audio is absolutely insignificant. 96KHz*16bit PCM is less than 0.0015Gbps per channel, even an excessive 192KHz-24bit-no-such-surround-22.1-channel stream will be a mere 0.1Gbps... why the hell would I want to send it compressed?


By vanka on 4/4/2007 3:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you lack storage space, you're free to store the audio as DTS HD or TrueHD on the media. The player should still decompress it and send it as PCM through the cable. There is no logical reason to want compressed audio going over the cable, unless you're trying to save on bandwidth.


Most Home Theater geeks will disagree with you on that one. Say I spend several thousand on a state of the art a/v receiver that has support for DTS HD and TrueHD with algorithms that recover the bits lost in compression (kinda like what the X-FI does for mp3s). Under your proposal I pay extra for an HD player that has to uncompress the audio stream - an HD player doesn't use an optimal algorithm.


By Zorlac on 4/4/2007 4:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
"DTS-HD" is not lossless.

"DTS-HD Master Audio" is lossless.

I made this mistake on AVSForum once and labeled myself as a n00b without even realizing it! ;)


By vanka on 4/4/2007 5:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
I was working on the assumption (which you just confirmed) that DTS-HD was lossy. The whole point of my post was that there is a logical reason for wanting HDMI to be able to transfer compressed audio and to not have the HD player uncompress it - namely if I have invested several grand in an A/V receiver that has advanced algorithms to restore the lost bits of lossy codecs.


By fic2 on 4/4/2007 2:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
According to a friend of mine that is trying to do HDMI connection programming this is SO true. I was talking to him a couple of weeks ago and he went on and on about the problems he had encountered. He would get one device to work and another that was working would quit.

And I thought my job doing programming in hex was bad...


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