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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 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.


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