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Displays

Displayport V1.2 To Take Giant Leap Over HDMI 345

Posted by Soulskill
from the any-old-port-in-the-storm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With HDMI becoming increasingly common, Displayport has been slow to emerge as a widely used connection interface, but a plethora of new features in the new v1.2 standard could see that change. As well as doubling the data rate of the existing v1.1a standard to 21.6 Gbps, the update allows for multiple monitors to be connected to a single Displayport connector and adds support for transporting USB data at up to 720Mbps, enabling embedded webcams, speakers and USB hubs over a single cable. Ethernet data is also supported. The improved data rate will allow for richer, larger and higher resolution displays, and the new version is also backward compatible with the current display technology, so all the ports, cables and devices will be interchangeable, although they will revert to the lowest common denominator."
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Displayport V1.2 To Take Giant Leap Over HDMI

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  • no no no no no! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cybrthng (22291) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:36AM (#30818938) Journal

    HDMI is fine
    Ethernet is fine

    No more "super cables" for the sake of another super cable so i have to replace everything i own just to run a damned super cable.

    Thanks.

    • Re:no no no no no! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:39AM (#30818980) Homepage

      OTOH Less cables is good as well. The cable mess is getting old pretty quick.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        I must agree. I don't like wireless devices - there's something about the reliability, speed, and quality of a wired connection that I can't let go of. I use it where I must (laptop when away from home, cell phone, etc), but my home system is certainly running wired everything.

        HOWEVER, I will admit that the clutter of the wires is very, very annoying. I don't see myself running ethernet over my monitor cable but having an integrated webcam or microphone that can work over it? Absolutely. Speakers would

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hitmark (640295)

          i'm a bit bipolar about integrated webcams. On one hand they are very nice to have, on the other, they seem like a very big security risk as they cant be physically unplugged when not in use...

          that said, i am all for a usb hub in the screen, so that one can stuff the box out of the way (tho i guess one can always go imac and build the computer into the screen, especially now that atom and cortex is bringing the size down).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mad_minstrel (943049)
            Well if you're worried about security that much, I recommend duct tape over the lens.
          • by growse (928427)
            How about a bit of tape over the lens if you're that paranoid?
          • by navyjeff (900138)
            I don't like webcams either. But I'll take this sort of cable-plex and just control webcams with a notecard, some duct tape, or a drill as the security situation requires.
        • Re:no no no no no! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bennomatic (691188) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:57AM (#30820002) Homepage
          So it may not seem like a huge advantage to do ethernet over your display cable, but the way I see it, that allows for a really nice consolidation of cables into a simple hub. If you've got a hub with an ethernet cable, a couple of USB's and a couple of these display port dealios, then you could have your whole desktop setup waiting for you when you get to your office/home with your laptop, and with one plug, you're wired to your network, keyboard, mouse, printer and display.

          For my setup, I use wireless for printer and network, and I tried to do wireless (bluetooth) for keyboard and mouse, but it just wasn't quite the same, so when I get to my desk, I have to plug in power, monitor and USB to get going. Not a huge deal, but sometime in the not too distant future, I'm sure that'll seem archaic.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cbreaker (561297)
            So... Let's move all the ports out of the computer itself into yet another box that all your cables will plug in to?

            The only advantage I see with Displayport is for Notebooks, so that a Docking Station is less required, but then DisplayPort would need to also supply power going the other direction.

            If you have to attach more than one cable to your notebook, it sucks. It might not seem like a big deal but when you are constantly setting up your notebook all day (because you take it home, take it to meetin
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by uglyduckling (103926)
              I nearly have this with my MacBook and Cinema Display now. One cable fans out to DisplayPort, USB and power. The USB connects to a hub in the back of the monitor for the printer etc., and also connects to the spearkers in the display and the webcam. It would be slightly nicer if there was one less connection to the MacBook but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker. I guess Apple would like to head to the point where one cable connects everything.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by cbreaker (561297)
                Well sure, Apple doesn't care about any of that going obsolete. You'll just throw it all away and buy new stuff anyway.

                I like separate wires for separate buses. When USB 3.0 comes out I don't want to be limited to 2.0 because of my cable. I don't want to be limited to any of the individual parts. I want to be able to upgrade one part and move on.

                I don't love convergence devices, either. Yes, I like that my phone can do GPS. It's great in a pinch. But I don't want to use it as my only GPS devic
      • by bkr1_2k (237627)

        Except that one cable to rule them all requires a ridiculously expensive cable to replace when your ferret/gerbil/guinea pig/mouse/small child decides it tastes good. It also makes a very fat cable that is generally harder to bury somewhere so that it isn't visible. It also requires you replace an entire computer/monitor/whatever if a single connector goes bad, rather than pieces.

        • Re:no no no no no! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by b0bby (201198) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:02PM (#30820918) Homepage

          Except that one cable to rule them all requires a ridiculously expensive cable to replace

          I bet monoprice will have them cheap ;)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jeremy Erwin (2054)

          It also makes a very fat cable that is generally harder to bury somewhere so that it isn't visible.

          Nonsense. Suppose I connect a bluray player to my receiver. The analogue route would involve 3 75 ohm video cables, and six analogue cables, A professional quality video connection would probably involve RG-6 coaxial cables, preferably with BNC connectors. Think CATV lead-- quarter inch think. A comparably over-engineered audio solution would probably involve balanced interconnects with XLR connectors.

          The digital route would be one HDMI cable. It doesn't have to be all that thick-- perhaps the diameter of a

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by PitaBred (632671)

        The word is "fewer". You have less sand, or less water. You have fewer cables or fewer computers.

    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:48AM (#30819090) Homepage

      In my day, all we had was plastic coated twisted-pair coat-hanger wire for all purposes, and it was good enough.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:00AM (#30819236)

      One of the big ones, a reason that Display Port was developed to begin with, is HDMI needs additional chips/control circuits on the transmitting and receiving end to deal with encoding and decoding. Display Port is directly compatible with the display panels themselves and as such needs less hardware. It can be used internally in a laptop as the bus to the integrated display, and as output to another display. All in all it equals the ability to make smaller and slimmer displays because there's less in them.

      Another somewhat related is Display Port doesn't cost any royalties. HDMI does. Added together it can lead to reduced costs. Less stuff in the display and less licensing fees equals less cost.

      The bandwidth thing is a potential issue too. Even HDMI 1.4 doesn't have near as high a bandwidth (1.4 is actually the same bandwidth as 1.3). Now it doesn't matter a whole lot at the moment, but could in a few years. If we see more high refresh displays, which are useful for 3D and also look nicer, as well as higher resolutions we are going to hit in to bandwidth limits. Would be good to have a connector that is going to scale up to those.

      • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:16AM (#30819416) Homepage Journal

        HDMI needs additional chips/control circuits on the transmitting and receiving end to deal with encoding and decoding. Display Port is directly compatible with the display panels themselves and as such

        ...can't display motion pictures published by six American companies. Home users who expect to watch high-definition feature films will choose an interconnect that does "encoding and decoding" because the publishers of feature films on high-definition home video demand "encoding and decoding" for digital restrictions management. Sure, DisplayPort 1.1 and later allow for DPCP, but then you lose the advantage of no "encoding and decoding".

        • That's a feature in my opinion. DRM is a defect and needs to die in the marketplace.

        • ...can't display motion pictures published by six American companies.

          ...until Steve Jobs explains that customers can't watch Avatar on a Mac because the MPAA bosses think they're all thieves, and that DRM is so awful that Apple fought The Man because they care about each customer as an individual. The difference is that people will believe him when he says it, when they'd write you and I off as paranoids.

        • DisplayPort 1.1+ includes HDCP just like HDMI does. It is enabled on all Apple products, and Blu-ray manufacturers are required to enable it as well. Thus any display manufacturer that wants to work with those segment of the markets will also include HDCP support.

    • > No more "super cables" for the sake of another super cable so i have to replace everything i own just to run a damned super cable.

      Why is that?? Will your perfectly-fine HDMI audio/video gear stop working after this standard is released??

      I still use a 5.1 Dolby Pro Logic amp, which won't be replaced until it dies.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      DVI is fine. HDMI is a "super cable" version of DVI.
  • 21.6Gbps? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidwr (791652)

    Can't I just have a general-purpose 21.6Gbps hardware interface, with "supplemental built in support" for any video-specific items?

    Sure, if I need 21.6Gbps for video, great, but if I don't, it sure would be nice to use the same wire to run arbitrary data between my data-storage box and my set-top box or security system or set-top box and a TV or other equipment.

    Oh, yes, I know about 10+Gbps Ethernet equipment. I figure though if this is going to be priced for the home market, it will likely be more cost-ef

    • by plastbox (1577037)

      I've had a reoccurring though for some time now. What if one had a PCIe card with some serious FPGA business on it in ones computer, with some sort of highspeed output. If I wanted a HD Tv-out I'd download the FPGA configuration, driver and get the correct cable/converter. If I wanted to use it for USB 3, I'd download configuration and driver files for that.

      What I'm saying is, please inform me of the inherit weaknesses of this idea. =P Without much actual knowledge of FPGAs, the idea itself seems pretty coo

      • by PIBM (588930)

        price.

        that's it :)

      • by Zerth (26112)

        It would be like buying one each of whatever you wanted to emulate, brand new, 5 years ago and then putting them in storage until today.

        IE, really slow or really expensive.

        Plus, you'd have to make some swappable connectors whenever you changed interfaces. Or solder a lot.

  • Light Peak? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hart (51418) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:41AM (#30819022) Journal
    I wonder how long it will last as the "standard" with Light Peak allegedly only a year away? Source: http://techresearch.intel.com/articles/None/1813.htm [intel.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Spad (470073)

      Personally I can't wait to have a load of Orange Cables behind my desk that I have to avoid bending too much lest they stop working...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vux984 (928602)

        Personally I can't wait to have a load of Orange Cables behind my desk that I have to avoid bending too much lest they stop working...

        Me too. Finally when the pointy-haired-one is behind his desk straightening cables to help the 1s and 0s get through, he'll actually doing the right thing. My head asplode at the very thought.

  • HHii!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by goldaryn (834427) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:43AM (#30819040) Homepage
    II aamm ppoossttiinngg tthhiiss ppoosstt iinn 33DD ffoorr tthhoossee ooff yyoouu wwiitthh DDiissppllaayyPPoorrtt vv11..22 33DD SStteerreeoossccooppiicc ddiissppllaayyss.. HHeelloo!!
    • Re:HHii!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by ch0rlt0n (1515291) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:54AM (#30819162)

      II aamm ppoossttiinngg tthhiiss ppoosstt iinn 33DD ffoorr tthhoossee ooff yyoouu wwiitthh DDiissppllaayyPPoorrtt vv11..22 33DD SStteerreeoossccooppiicc ddiissppllaayyss.. HHeelloo!!

      I have a headache. Please check the parallax in your post.

    • by berashith (222128)

      too bad i am an old man on a green screen. I bet this would be really funny if the letters were alternating blue and red.

  • Apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:44AM (#30819058)

    I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but not mentioning them at all in the summary is a bit... crude. Also, here's a list of all the new stuff (taken from http://www.hardmac.com/news/2010/01/11/displayport-1-2-validated [hardmac.com]).
            * Doubling bandwidth mostly to support 3D: 21.6 Gbits/s.
            * Connect even more monitors from a single DisplayPort. Dedicated hubs should soon be available.
            * As for the HDMI, transport USB data between a computer and a display, supporting Display USB functions such as a webcam and USB hub.
            * Connect to display with 3840 x 2400 resolution at 60Hz, or a 3D display (120Hz) at 2560 x 1600.
            * Audio Copy Protection and category codes
            * High definition audio formats (such as Dolby MAT, DTS HD, all BD formats,etc.)
            * Synchronization assist between audio and video, multiple audio channels, and multiple audio sink devices using Global Time Code (GTC)

    • by Malc (1751)

      So can I get a Display Port to HDMI adapter? That would make it usefully interoperable.

      It's annoying at the moment having to run a separate cable when connecting DVI ouput to HDMI, and typically on a laptop, running audio from a badly amplified analogue headphone socket rather than spitting out a multi-channel bitstream.

      • Re:Apple (Score:5, Informative)

        by Orbijx (1208864) * <slashdot DOT org AT pixelechoes DOT net> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:22AM (#30819484) Homepage Journal

        Why yes [monoprice.com], you can [monoprice.com].

        You can either get a cable, or just the dongle, whichever you prefer.

      • Re:Apple (Score:4, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:45AM (#30819822) Journal
        Depends. Some devices can produce DisplayPort and HDMI (DVI-D) signals. You can get a cheap adaptor for these that just changes the physical form factor of the connector. The formats for HDMI and DisplayPort are very different though, so if this isn't supported by your hardware then you need something that will decodes one signal and produces the other signal after buffering a frame. This is how the DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI adaptors that Apple sells work, and if you check the reviews you'll see that they are very unreliable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hazydave (96747)

        Maybe or maybe not.

        DisplayPort itself uses a completely different kind of signalling than HDMI. An HDMI signal is basically just a digital version of the video stream... it runs three differential TMDS data links and one clock link at 10x the rate of the display's pixel clock, very tightly coupled to the video. Native DisplayPort sends packetized data, and the signal is over 1, 2, or 4 differential serial lines, with clocking information embedded in that signal.

        HDMI 1.3 supports 10.2Gb/s per link (there's a

  • Doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lyinhart (1352173) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:46AM (#30819070)
    DisplayPort seems like one of those technologies that have great mind share, as well as some advantages over the competing technology, but will never gain mainstream adoption (See: Firewire).
    • Re:Doubt it (Score:4, Informative)

      by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:09AM (#30819332)

      The new Thinkpads that my office has been getting has Displayport on the back of the laptops, and docking stations. Of course, Lenovo doesn't make a monitor with displayport under something like 24".

      • by Tim C (15259)

        The Radeon HD5850 I bought towards the end of last year also has a DisplayPort output, and I was considering skipping DVI (my current monitor is VGA-only) and going to that when I upgrade my monitor.

      • by GIL_Dude (850471)
        I've got a Lenovo X200s with two video out ports - a DVI and a DisplayPort. I have two panels both of which have only VGA and DVI. I have a DisplayPort -> DVI adapter plugged into the DisplayPort on the X200s and it works great for having dual screen.
    • Firewire didn't gain traction because of licensing fees. As far as I know (at least for mini-displayport) there is no fee.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      DisplayPort seems like one of those technologies that have great mind share, as well as some advantages over the competing technology, but will never gain mainstream adoption (See: Firewire).

      It's on the way.

      Practically every new graphics card has DisplayPort output, and practically every new monitor has DisplayPort input. Give it a couple of years, and you'll be using DisplayPort, too.

  • Monster? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MortenMW (968289) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:46AM (#30819072)
    Has Monster started producing these yet? I cant wait to get some high-quality cables!
    • Re:Monster? (Score:5, Funny)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:53AM (#30819144)

      Monster? Ha! A cheap fabrication for those who don't know better.

      Ever since I switched to triple platinum-plated (no cheap gold here!) Pear Anjou cables, the colors on my monitor have been much deeper, richer and more vibrant, truly life-like! That's because they have a proprietary hybrid geometry, and the platinum plating provides ultra-low electrical reactance and the underlying copper is fully annealed 99.999% pure oxygen free. Not that cheap copper you get everyplace. All this combines to allow for new levels of digital accuracy.

      • Re:Monster? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:02AM (#30819266) Homepage
        Oh... are people still using platinum? Well, I guess if you're willing to settle, rather than pay for unicorn horn, then it won't degrade your signal too much. Probably not enough to spoil your enjoyment, but a true videophile can tell.
        • Re:Monster? (Score:4, Funny)

          by goldaryn (834427) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:18AM (#30819440) Homepage
          Using real monsters? That's a complicated way of getting round the Trade Descriptions Act!
        • by Dan667 (564390)
          meh, people using only unicorn horn? I am using a whole unicorn and the colors smell fantastic.
        • Re:Monster? (Score:5, Funny)

          by StreetStealth (980200) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:56AM (#30819984) Journal

          Not to drag this dry videophile discussion out too long, but I presume you're not using cheap factory-raised unicorn horn, notorious for its poor standing wave sync-sweetening and shallow inter-bitstream raster resonance?

          Only unicorns raised in the Swiss Alps have the protein content in their horns that allows a digital signal to hit such crisp, sparkling 1s and deep, thick 0s.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Aceticon (140883)

          Unicorn horn!???

          No!No!No!

          Everybody knows that Unicorn horn introduces subtle color leakage and timing delays.

          A real videophile would know that true video nirvana can only be achieved by using Fossilized T-Rex Turd connectors: only posers go with Platinum and Unicorn Horn.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Culture20 (968837)

          Oh... are people still using platinum? Well, I guess if you're willing to settle, rather than pay for unicorn horn, then it won't degrade your signal too much. Probably not enough to spoil your enjoyment, but a true videophile can tell.

          Unicorn horn? Can't only virgins see the output from that type of cable? Oh wait, carry on.

  • Argh! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jason daHaus (1419459) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:48AM (#30819094)
    All my cables are obsolete again!
  • It's very nice technically. And it'll be useful in specialized scenarios. But it's not going to touch HDMI in terms of installbase. HDMI is the de facto standard and everything already supports it. My cable box, Xbox 360, TV, laptop, desktop and dual monitors are all HDMI. I don't need to go introducing another standard into that to have wires desktop-monitor-monitor instead of desktop-monitor for both (same number of wires, just different configuration) or to save having a wire to the USB hub in my mo

    • by stevelinton (4044)

      Really nice for laptop users. Dump laptop on desk, plug in two cables (power and displayport) and have your whole desktop setup connected.
      Be nice if displayport could also supply 100W or so of DC power.

      Steve

      • Which is kinda how it is now for me with my apple display.

        I bring notebook home, plug in 3 cables (mini-display port, usb, and power) and boom everything is on my 24 inch display.

        Not as nice as my dell with a docking station, but still nice.

  • Our TVs were becoming too consistent, we were due for a major change. One thing you can guarantee with TV tech is they will make sure that it is obsolete the next year. It is just good business.
  • But I doubt if it will gain traction....depends on if laptop/netbook maker.

    I bet we would hardly see that in Desktop - because if it includes Video, Ethernet, USB, Sound so and so in a single cable, it must come from a single piece of hardware. Display card alone can only produce Video. So only integrated Motherboard could squeeze all these in a single port, and it's unlikely to see ATI/Nvida to include USB, Ethernet and such on their standalone PCI-E display cards.

    The multi-monitor over a single cable is

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      Video, Ethernet and sound are more geared for the home theater market, where Blu-ray players and TVs are more commonly becoming hooked up to the internet. The less cables to run, the better. Even HDMI is gaining Ethernet ability.

    • by Spatial (1235392)
      I'm pretty sure the newer graphics cards already do audio over HDMI. It's not that far fetched.

      I'd rather not have everything be dependent on the GPU though. On the other hand, Nvidia would like nothing more.
  • I remember this mess, where SCSI devices would be connected as a series, and a single slow component would silently downgrade the chain to the slowest speed. I wonder if they've duplicated the stupid termination problems as well? And the dozen different types of connectors?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by guruevi (827432)

      They've fixed that in the mean time with auto-termination and minimum requirements in the specs. Currently it's all Serial from Serial ATA over Serial Attached SCSI to PCI-Express and DisplayPort.

      The speeds are way too fast to have multiple parallel lines with different hardware and lane or cord lengths synchronized against a single clock.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Oh, the fixes of SATA and SAS are rather distinct from the SCSI problems: neither of those are normally used outside the box, nor do either of those use an arbitrary set of multiple connectors. My concern here is whether this new technology, by doing a "dumb down to slowest speed", is going to repeat some of the big problems of external SCSI. Some of those problems occurred with USB as well, with USB 1.1 devices messing up whole chains of USB 2.0 devices.

  • by pointbeing (701902) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:00AM (#30819238)

    ...why we don't just do all this crap over an optical link?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by crunchly (266150)

      Try this: http://techresearch.intel.com/articles/None/1813.htm

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ciroknight (601098)

      Even though the price of optical equipment is drastically dropping, it's still quite a bit more expensive than your regular ol' Al/Cu-wire-to-chip solution. Until data volumes become so immense that the noise level for even those connections is unacceptable, so too will the price of optical connections.

      Just look at the optical audio equipment; unless you're a middle-to-high end user, you probably still use the ol' copper wires to hook up your receiver rather than the fancy $20 optical digital audio cable.

    • by hazydave (96747) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @04:13PM (#30823824)

      Expenses. The Sony/Philips optical is about the only consumer optical in common use, but that's over plastic, driven by LEDs. Pretty cheap. For optical at these rates, you'd need real lasers (LEDs peak around 500Mb/s) something like 10GBASE-R or 10GBASE-SR cable (LOMMF/OM3). None of that's crazy expensive... unless you compare it to electrical. And in particular, the electrical that the equipment makers are actually paying for.

      Keep in mind, these are the industry guys who got together to create DisplayPort, at least in part because they got bent out of shape having to pay US$0.04 per device to use HDMI. They're not likely to replace a $0.50 electrical connector with a $2.00 optical connector and $5.00+ laser. And of course, lasers go one way... you actually need a laser at each end, if you want 2-way traffic. Or a custom cable, with electrical backchannel.

      Well, why not.. I have some video cables around here with integrated optical audio channel.

      So this is the next one up, after DisplayPort, but designed as a general purpose standard: Light Peak. I think this started out as an optical answer to Firewire at Apple, but rather than do it themselves, change too much for the spec, and have Intel (and the rest of the PC industry) go and create an alternative, this time Apple brought it to Intel. Maybe.. at least that's one story.

      Anyway, read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_Peak [wikipedia.org]

      The nice thing about Light Peak... it's fast enough to do the HDMI/DisplayPort thing. And replace SATA, USB, Firewire, anything else you want. Of course, like all optical interconnects, the connectors are an issue (dirt kills), and unless they go to some kind of FDM, they'll need one cable in each direction, just like 10Ge uses in its various optical forms. Then there's the issue of power... we're kind of used to USB and Firewire cables providing power for small devices. But it's still a work in progress, 10Gb/s on launch, up to 100Gb/s on the roadmap.

  • This sounds like nothing more than a standard for a docking station cable. If they can't get the cable/connector price down to a real low level, I don't see it having any other use. I guess it would be kind of neat to have your monitor act as your docking station, but that isn't exactly earth-shattering.

  • Why is it called "Displayport" if it's meant to do all of this other fancy stuff as well? Did they just not look ahead at future applications when they named it?

    • Stupid answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FranTaylor (164577) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:19AM (#30819446)

      My "Display" has a webcam and speakers. It is not some futuristic device.

      It would be nice if it only needed one cable instead of three to hook it up to the computer.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        They are clearly intending this to be used for far more than just speakers, webcams, and video though. Hence the comments about ethernet and whatnot. I think it's a promising piece of technology and would like to see it gain further adoption, but I think it has a rather poorly chosen name.

  • Cable wars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:23AM (#30819512) Homepage
    How is it that VGA was good for 15 years (1987-2002) and now we have, counting conservatively, three standards in 8 years (DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort)? DVI itself has multiple incompatible sub-standards. Before VGA, CGA/EGA was good for 6 years.

    Is it a lack of engineering foresight, or is it a cable war with companies jockeying for position?

    I've noticed that new Dells are now coming with DisplayPort, and discovered that Dell was one of the instigators [dell.com].

    Another unrelated observation: this could obsolete USB, and thus USB thumb drives, and thus yet another data storage format becomes oprhaned. This was inevitable. USB has had a good 14 year run so far. It couldn't last forever, despite what people thought about USB "being different this time" regarding being able to access old data -- that somehow it was going to be different from floppies and tapes.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      sales. You cannot resell all the hardware if the standard does not change. Who ever is pushing the cable change has just gotten better at it.
  • Migration path? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:26AM (#30819562) Journal

    Okay, I have a new rule: You're not allowed to define a new standard until after you've thought about how people will migrate to it from their existing stuff.

    Once upon a time, we had VGA. This was a pretty simple analogue signal, which was great for driving a CRT. At high resolutions it got a bit blurry though and it was a bit silly to convert a digital signal to analogue and back for displaying on a TFT. So then we had DVI. The DVI connector incorporated the VGA signal as well as a new, digital, one. If you got a new display that supported DVI then you could connect it to your old computer with a very cheap (i.e. containing no electronics) adaptor. Then, when you got a new video card that supported DVI, you just threw away the adaptor and used the digital signal.

    After a while, most things used the digital signal, so you started getting DVI-D devices, where the analogue pins weren't connected to anything. Then came HDMI, which used exactly the same signal as DVI-D. You could, once again, connect HDMI devices to DVI-D devices with a trivial adaptor. Because these adaptors are cheap, a few months after they're introduced you can usually find someone who has one if you need one and forget yours.

    But now we have DisplayPort. It is digital, but it uses a completely different kind of signal to HDMI / DVI-D. If you want to connect a DisplayPort device to something that only supports VGA or HDMI then you need an expensive adaptor that decodes a frame in one format into a buffer then reencodes it in the other format.

    So the migration path from DVI to DisplayPort is for graphics cards to be able to produce both kinds of signal and for monitors to be able to accept both kind. This immediately eliminates two of the big advantages of DisplayPort: no license fees and simpler electronics. Add to that the fact that you have three kinds of connector for DisplayPort (DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort and Micro DisplayPort), so you probably need an adaptor anyway, just to plug one DisplayPort device into another, and it's easier to just use HDMI.

    This is a shame, because DisplayPort is a much better spec than HDMI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by siDDis (961791)

      Once upon a time, we had VGA. This was a pretty simple analogue signal, which was great for driving a CRT. At high resolutions it got a bit blurry though

      Im typing this on a 24" LCD with 1920x1200 resolution connected to my PC with a VGA cable. My second screen where I have my code is connected to the computer with a DVI cable. I dont see any difference when I compare text on both screens. And yes the DVI connection is digial and not analog.

      I think VGA is still the king when it comes to price/performance ratio.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ZorbaTHut (126196)

        On the other hand, I forked over $50 for a video card for a cheap video card in an old computer on mine solely to get DVI, because the crappy blurry VGA output was giving me a headache at 1280x1024. Before that, I spent fifteen minutes on my main computer trying to decide whether I wanted flickery 1600x1200x60hz, blurry 1600x1200x85hz, or slightly-flickery slightly-blurry 1600x1200x72hz. Before that, I paid $50 for a high-quality VGA cable instead of a crummy VGA cable because the crummy one was nearly unus

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        Im typing this on a 24" LCD with 1920x1200 resolution connected to my PC with a VGA cable. My second screen where I have my code is connected to the computer with a DVI cable. I dont see any difference when I compare text on both screens. And yes the DVI connection is digial and not analog.

        You forgot to mention that you're legally blind. I'm typing this on a 24" LCD at 1680x1050, and it looked like absolute crap with (good) VGA cables. Pixels were ghosted and there was no such thing as a single-pixel-wide vertical line. I have astigmatism and even I could tell that it was artifacted all to hell. Swapping in a cheap DVI cable instantly fixed the fuzziness and I haven't looked back.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by petermgreen (876956)

          You forgot to mention that you're legally blind. I'm typing this on a 24" LCD at 1680x1050, and it looked like absolute crap with (good) VGA cables. Pixels were ghosted and there was no such thing as a single-pixel-wide vertical line. I have astigmatism and even I could tell that it was artifacted all to hell.
          Sounds like something in the chain was shit, most likely the input circuitry in your display (i've noticed sucky VGA inputs seem to be a particular problem on HDTVs, haven't had the problem on a monito

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      8.55$USD is expensive [monoprice.com]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        Please, buy one of those and plug it into a DisplayPort and expect it to magically transform it into DVI.

        It's designed to plug into the Mini DisplayPort on new MacBooks. These contain both DisplayPort and DVI electronics. When you plug in an monitor using the adaptor, the graphics hardware detects the presence of an HDMI device and switches to HDMI mode. The reason that the adaptor is cheap is that the laptop is doing all of the work, being able to produce both DVI and DisplayPort signals.

  • Am I the only one who looked at the "onetorulethemall" tag and couldn't decide whether it was a Tolkien reference, or a reference to the fact that I would have to buy something (go to the Mall) for this new port?

    Not that it matters, I only have one device in my house with an HDMI connector. It's the new computer I just built. But my 24 inch monitor uses the VGA port, so the HDMI is covered up with the little plastic dustcover to keep it from getting dirty, just in case I ever decide to use it. Same with

  • If it can throw enough power to support a decent sized LCD (You can run a 4 inch LCD or probably a medium sized OLED display on the 5v of a USB hub), it would be golden.

    I quite like the idea of a monitor with a built in usb hub that has only one wire leading to the pc. No extra power cables to run, you can plug your mouse, keyboard, webcam and thumbdrive in to the monitor without all that wire clutter and having to bend over and move stuff out of the way to reach the box.

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