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DisplayPort 1.2 Confirmed, Blows Away HDMI 1.4

Gordon Kelly


DisplayPort 1.2 Confirmed, Blows Away HDMI 1.4

Been a long time defender of HDMI? You may find your position has just become that little bit more untenable...

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA to you and I) has this week formalised Displayport 1.2 and it is kicking some HDMI ass. Fulfilling its long time aim, v1.2 finally brings multi-monitor support from a single plug. In theory this means one graphics card running a series of daisy chained displays all from a single output. Yep, tasty.

The limit on this is up to four monitors at 1920 x 1200 pixels, a pair at 2560 x 1600 or - if you're on some kind of mega-display - a single display at 3840 x 2400 which all sounds pretty good to me. That isn't then end of the story, however, since v1.2 will also support Full HD at 120 frames per channel 3D, a 21.6Gbps data rate and - wait for it - bidirectional USB data at up to 480Mbps.

This last point is killer since devices connected by a DisplayPort 1.2 cable can work like ultra fast USB hubs powering integrated webcams, memory keys and speakers. Even 10/100 Ethernet data transfer is possible over it.

"Displayport Version v1.2 offers a complete set of benefits and capabilities that no other standard can provide," proclaimed VESA executive director Bill Lempesis. "It is completely backward compatible with DisplayPort v1.1a and requires no new cables or other equipment, making it the standard of choice across the industry."

Of course, despite each and every one of these benefits, HDMI is the industry standard so it will take some shifting. That said, what always gets companies talking is price and - unlike HDMI - DisplayPort is a completely open standard so manufacturers can use it without paying royalties. And who doesn't like saving money?

Eat your heart out HDMI 1.4...


displayport-v12-lands.aspx via PC Authority


January 20, 2010, 11:47 am

ok, i'm totally in for this. i'd even take apple's mini display port if it meant i could do all that with this one cable.


January 20, 2010, 2:15 pm

Yes, but it needs a better name. I adamantly believe Bluray was only a success because of it's name. Even when the two formats first came out, it was always going to be a case of the one that rolled off the tongue and stayed in memory.

Ala Miah

January 20, 2010, 2:50 pm

@darkspark88 Nothing to do with one of the largest movie studios in the world choosing Bluray over HDDVD?

Why is it that when the world gets used 1 standard, something better comes along? Arggh


January 20, 2010, 3:05 pm

@darkspark: Well I always thought HDDVD was actually a better name. :D

@Ala Miah: Exactly, on both accounts. For me, I'd rather HDMI stayed right where it is for the foreseeable future (which I'm sure it will) so all my AV equipment works together properly - sorry DisplayPort, no matter how good you are, you missed the boat.


January 20, 2010, 3:18 pm

@darkspark88: How is HDMI a better name than DisplayPort? Say it three times in a row. Well, maybe if Apple gets behind it, they call it SuperView or something.


January 20, 2010, 3:22 pm

@Ed - Don't worry, DisplayPort was never intended to replace HDMI. It was made to replace DVI and the internal connection notebooks use. My guess would be that it will never replace HDMI, but it will become successful in the notebook and desktop market.


January 20, 2010, 3:32 pm

@Helmore: Yes, I am aware of that. It was more of a counter to the idea that because DisplayPort has improved, it somehow might or should displace HDMI.


January 20, 2010, 3:55 pm

I actually agree with @Ed re:HDDVD - that may be a first :P.


January 20, 2010, 4:59 pm

@unlike HDMI - DisplayPort is a completely open standard so manufacturers can use it without paying royalties.

It amazes me how an open standard can take a long time to displace royalty based ones, eg. we should all be using PNG instead of GIF, OGG instead of MP3 etc. Saying that at least an open standard was used for BlueRay/HDDVD (H264)..

@Ed: so all my AV equipment works together properly.

Didn't see any mention of Audio for this, but if they have this too maybe a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter would help in these situations, if this new specification wont handle Audio I think that's going to be it's biggest downfall.


January 20, 2010, 5:22 pm

There are simple HDMI to DisplayPort (and vice versa) adaptors out there, so there is no need to worry about your AV equipment not working should the latter gain traction.


January 20, 2010, 5:26 pm

Has full audio support:

Audio signal Optional; 1-8 channels; 16, or 24-bit linear PCM; 48, 96, or 192 kHz sampling rate; uncompressed; max. 6.144 Mbit/s bit rate


Audio Copy Protection and category codes

High definition audio formats such as Dolby MAT, DTS HD, all Blu-Ray

formats, and the DRA standard from China

Synchronization assist between audio and video, multiple audio channels, and

multiple audio sink devices using Global Time Code (GTC)

Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays:

Life-like motion using up to 240 frames-per-second in full HD, providing 120

frames-per-second for each eye 3D Stereo transmission format support

Field sequential, side by side, pixel interleaved, dual interface, and stacked

3D Stereo display capability declaration

Mono, Stereo, 3D Glasses


January 20, 2010, 6:20 pm

HDMI 1.4 has all it features at all long cable lengths. Display Port and all this fancy stuff in this article only works up to 2-3 meters, beyond that reduced bandwidth means DP is limited 1920x1080 60hz.. which HDMI1.4 would laugh at.

So both need to exist. The problem with cabling is latency. HDMI is more robust, DP has higher bandwidth over short distances, perfect for computer montior/desktop work. The addition of USB is very useful. HDMI1.4 has an ethernet channel so you don't have to run a cable to your TV. They are different solutions to different problems. In the future all graphics cards will have a display port capable of daisy chaining several monitors and next to it there will be a HDMI port to run to your TV/receiver, no problem with that at all.


January 20, 2010, 6:28 pm

As for the new specs: When can I expect my 1920x1200 resolution, 10-bits per colour pixels, 120 Hz refresh rate, pretty much no input lag and wide colour gamut monitor? Preferably OLED of course, although an IPS based LCD with LED backlight and local dimming would also please me. As for price, keep it reasonable, I'm not some kind of millionaire.


January 20, 2010, 7:04 pm

DisplayPort and HD-DVD definitely went to the Ronseal school of naming.

I cant see DP going onto TV's, but as a PC monitor standard it can definitely be successful. I mean loads of people and firms I know still use D-SUB, so theres definitely market share to be had


January 20, 2010, 11:59 pm

Tim: I too hope that Apple get hold of this and names it in line with their other products - just for that one moment when someone hands over a cable and says the phrase "Stick it in my i-Socket" :P

Nick 11

January 21, 2010, 2:45 am

Finally, getting close to one cable for most peripherals. Two of these on a small form factor PC would be ruddy ideal. One standard. No more analog, VGA, DVI, broken ethernet clips, weird audio cables, adaptors or other nonsense.


January 21, 2010, 3:20 am

Universal Display Media Interface. Works as an Acronym UDMI, and is more familiar and recognisable to people who have HDMI products, they realise they are part of the same category of component.


January 21, 2010, 3:35 am

All this new stuff is going backwards. Yes, there some quality improvements in sound / vision. But we've lost useful features like automatic switching to the source playing (like scart). When you have a tv with several inputs, pressing ther input button umpteen times really annoys.


January 21, 2010, 6:12 am

@Prem: Yeah, but that's just bad design by the TV companies. I'm sure there are four buttons on your remote that would easily be better off replaced with individual buttons to switch to each source.

HDMI and DisplayPort do have the ability to send data to enable automatic switching, it just needs more support.


January 22, 2010, 3:15 am

It's absolutely ridiculous to try and paint this as a format war. DisplayPort will be used primarily in the PC space, while HDMI will be in the AV space. Obviously there more crossover than ever between these two markets, but still they are separate.


January 22, 2010, 3:34 am

@Prem and Xiphias: Automatic switching is near universally supported. Most TVs I know of from the last couple of years have it. Likewise most DVD/Bluray players that I'm aware of.


January 22, 2010, 4:06 am

Sorry, I respectfully disagree. All of my kit is less than a year old: Pioneer 60" TV, Denon DVD, Sony Blu-ray, Denon AV AMP - NONE of them support automatic switching.

Most of the time, we watch Sky HD. The Sky remote uses the 'help' button to switch inputs - the Kuro has over 10 inputs to go through sequentially - gets really boring after a while!!


January 22, 2010, 4:35 pm

@Prem - if you bought all of your kit in the last year,then without meaning to criticize I think you could have chosen more carefully. HDMI automatic switching support such as Panasonics 'Viera Link' and many others has been around for a few years now and many can be set up to work across different brand platforms, so if yours truely doesn't work you've been unlucky in your selection.


January 22, 2010, 4:52 pm

That said - you could buy a universal remote (I've got a Logitec Harmony which works a treat) they make it all so simple even the ladies in the house will find it easy to switch between Sky, DVD, xbox, Virgin, iPod dock etc

It remaps TV inputs, volume controls, channels controls and everything. Very slick.


January 22, 2010, 4:55 pm

@ED / Gordon - So when do you think we'll get power-over-HDMI / Displayport?

That would be a lovely feature. These days I have so many power bricks and cables everywhere generating heat / untidyness / interference I pay good money whenever I get the chance to avoid it (eg. external bus powered hard drives)

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