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Displayport V1.2 To Take Giant Leap Over HDMI 345

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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  • 21.6Gbps? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:40AM (#30818986) Homepage Journal

    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-effective than super-speed Ethernet over short distances.

  • 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:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:56AM (#30819180)

    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 be good too - I don't personally ever use speakers integrated into a monitor (though virtually every one of them seemingly has them now), but for those who do it'd be a good thing. For those of us using something different or who don't want to use the built in devices, disabling a connected device is easy enough at the OS level.

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

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

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:01AM (#30819252)

    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.

  • Re:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:12AM (#30819368) Journal

    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).

  • 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:SCSI re-invented (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:31AM (#30819630)

    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.

  • Re:Migration path? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by siDDis ( 961791 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:43AM (#30819804)

    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:no no no no no! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:00PM (#30820056)
    Yeah, but my TV I spent $2000 on 7 months ago doesn't have a displayport. Neither does my xbox or media pc. I only have one TV in my man-cave so I don't care about daisy chaining. Don't care about touch screen as I sit on the couch. Display port is fine for computers, and I expect my computer to go out of date, but HDMI is fine for TV.

    If you want to address the cabling mess, start with the speakers. I have 6 speaker wires running around my man-cave. It's a freaking mess behind the audio reciever.
  • Re:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:35PM (#30820514) Journal
    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 meetings, etc) it's a bitch.
  • Re:Migration path? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:37PM (#30820538) Homepage

    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 unusable when I brought it home and plugged it in.

    If you've got high-quality components on both sides, and a high-quality cable, and you're within the quality envelope in both refresh rate and resolution, then yep, VGA works just fine. Break any of those, and you're in downtown Headacheville, population you and the other four poor saps still using VGA.

    I'm happy with my cheap DVI hardware - I've never seen it get blurry once, and I'm typing this on a 2560x1600 monitor.

  • Re:Doubt it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by A Friendly Troll ( 1017492 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:53PM (#30820782)

    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.

  • by linhares ( 1241614 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:08PM (#30821002)
    One problem is framing. Take "the pirate bay" for instance. They look at the MAFIAA and tell them to stick it. The Jon Doe Homer Simpson Bozos will never support anything called the pirate bay, because he's seen on TV that it's run by pirates==terrorists==pedobear==enemies of the state.

    But what if it were called "HumanCulture.Org"? It's much easier to say "I support closing the website ThePirateBay.org and jailing its criminal members" than it is to say "I support closing the website HumanCulture.org and jailing its criminal members".

  • Re:Migration path? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:23PM (#30821242) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:40PM (#30821460) Homepage Journal

    He's also refused to add Blu-Ray playback to Macs because, in his own words, the DRM requirements are "a bag of hurt." The Bluray licensing body has some ridiculous requirements for audio and video drivers, and that will keep them off Macs...which is fine with Jobs, since he'd rather "sell" you a movie from the iTunes store anyway.

  • Re:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @02:04PM (#30821770) Homepage
    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:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @02:12PM (#30821904) Journal
    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 device. I want one in my car too because it works a whole lot better and has a much better screen and speaker. I like that I can watch movies on my iPod but that doesn't replace DVD's or my media server with HD movies on it.

    Convergence devices usually give you the least of all worlds (and maybe the best of one) and the same is true with these kinds of things.
  • Re:no no no no no! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @02:19PM (#30822018) Journal
    I don't own a web cam nor would I ever buy a monitor with one built-in. I wouldn't NOT buy a notebook PC because of one but I'd never pay extra for it.

    I don't know anyone that likes to use them. Maybe it's my age group (late 20's, early 30's) and maybe the kids love them, but I absolutely do not.

    Anyhow, I see merit to this, yes, but I don't think it's worth it. Who cares if you have to run another 50 cent USB cable.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.