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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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If there's a bright side...
By MonkeyPaw on 4/3/2007 10:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how hard it would be to produce graphics cards that have both ports? Cards have shipped with D-sub and DVI for years, and HDMI and Display port are both smaller connectors--it looks like you could have 2 of each on the backplate with room to spare. If that were the case, you wouldn't have to worry about which standard has more support.

Has DVI reached its limits? Is this why new ports are in the making, or is it just for DRM and all-in-one (video+audio) connections?

I guess what disappoints me is how these video connections and HD-content wars don't even have final standards. PCIe and SATA arrived with relatively few revisions, and backwards compatibility doesn't appear to be a problem when revisions are announced. HDMI/DP and HD-codecs don't appear to be so set-in-stone. Why would I want to adopt any of it when I have no confidence in its long-term value? Is it any wonder the tech sector is so volatile?

RE: If there's a bright side...
By Visual on 4/4/2007 5:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
DVI has reached its limits, yes - but there is dual-link DVI to the rescue, so no real reason to abandon DVI yet.

HDMI started out as just DVI+audio over the same cable, with a smaller nicer connector, definitely a win for CE devices and not bad to have on PCs too... later revisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a changed nothing in the physical connection, only further specified things as content-protection metadata, Consumer Electronic Control features and command sets, and 1.3 increased the single-link bandwidth more than twice (i.e. it gets more bandwidth not by adding more wires but by increasing frequency).
So the latest HDMI is a good deal better than DVI, and given that it's already winning grounds in the CE market I would choose it as the best for PCs as well. Licensing fees are the only reason alternatives as DisplayPort are even considered, but I've never seen actual price differences being quoted and so can't say if it's worth it... anyone have a clue how much we're talking about?

I really don't like the idea of having to deal with yet another non-standard standard just to save a dollar on my video card, I'd rather stick with HDMI.

RE: If there's a bright side...
By jtesoro on 4/4/2007 7:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm connecting my video card to my 1280x1024 res LCD via the standard VGA cable. Somehow I feel that I'm not really missing anything (video wise) against DVI, HDMI or whatever. Am I wrong here? In case it's relevant, I use my PC for gaming and web access. No movies on this setup.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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