General FAQ

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Q. Is Thunderbolt replacing DisplayPort?

A. No. Thunderbolt technology actually leverages DisplayPort to deliver HD video to displays, helping to move media faster and simplify connections between devices. The support of DisplayPort within the Thunderbolt interface further shows the level of commitment towards DisplayPort within the PC industry. DisplayPort over Thunderbolt continues to support existing DisplayPort monitors as well as DVI, HDMI and VGA video output.

Q. What does Thunderbolt mean for DisplayPort? Are Intel and Apple dropping support for the standard?

A. Both Apple and Intel remain committed to DisplayPort. Apple continues to be one of the largest users of DisplayPort and Intel announced in December 2010 that it planned to accelerate adoption of DisplayPort. Intel was joined in that announcement by AMD, Dell, LG Display, Lenovo and Samsung Electronics LCD Business.

Likewise, industry analysts remain positive on DisplayPort:

Research firm In-Stat predicts a 100 percent increase in external DisplayPort device shipments from 2009 to 2014.

According to IDC, DisplayPort penetration will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106 percent between 2009 and 2014.

IDC estimates that DisplayPort will be on 89.5 percent of commercial desktops in 2014 and DisplayPort’s penetration in commercial notebooks will increase to 95 percent in 2014.

Q. What is the current version of the DisplayPort standard?

A. With the publication of DisplayPort Standard Ver.1.2a, the DisplayPort standard Ver.1.1a standard was retired.

Q. Which types of products include DisplayPort?

A. PC manufacturers are offering DisplayPort in notebooks and desktops as a single connector solution for connecting to all types of displays, including current and older generation monitors, projectors and HDTVs. DisplayPort is also available as a standard feature on the latest monitors and projectors.

Q. Are customers actively asking for DisplayPort?

A. Customers have been asking for smaller connectors, easier set up, thinner cables, fewer cables, higher color depths, higher refresh rates, higher resolutions, digital projectors, thinner and sleeker displays, and ubiquitous display connectivity from a single connection–all features that DisplayPort provides. DisplayPort is the smart choice for future PC and display compatibility.

Q. What are the most significant benefits that DisplayPort provides a PC user?

A. The main product benefits that DisplayPort provides are higher performance as a standard feature, multiple display support from a single connector, ubiquitous connectivity to any display device, audio and display over a single cable, and an ultra small connector that is perfect for space-constrained applications like ultra thin notebooks, netbooks and multi-connector graphics cards. DisplayPort also enables ultra sleek, easy to use direct drive flat panel monitors. DisplayPort’s micro-packet architecture sets the stage for future display features such as single-cable, multi-function monitor connectivity and daisy-chained displays for improved multi-monitor connectivity and usage. DisplayPort provides the ultimate range of connectivity options enabling a single connector on the PC to connect to monitors, projectors and HDTVs that may have VGA, DVI, or HDMI inputs, making DisplayPort an easy, universal and cross-application solution.

Q. Wasn’t DisplayPort conceived as a computer interface originally, or was it contemplated for CE systems since its inception?

A. DisplayPort was created to be a universal replacement for separate PC display interfaces including LVDS, DVI and VGA. DisplayPort does include many features important in consumer electronics, including surround sound audio and content protection for Blu-ray disc support.

Q. How is VESA handling the issue of interoperability to be certain that DisplayPort equipped products are able to work together?

A. VESA has developed a DisplayPort Compliance and Interoperability program to assure that products carrying the DisplayPort certified logo interoperate successfully. Look for the “DisplayPort Certified Logo” on DisplayPort products.

Q. Is there a logo program indicating that a company’s product complies with the DisplayPort standard?

A. Yes.

Q. How is DisplayPort different from HDMI? Aren’t they very similar?

A. DisplayPort and HDMI are very different technically, and each has a different product focus. HDMI is the de-facto connection in the home theatre and is used widely on HDTVs as an A/V interface. Some PCs and monitors include HDMI to enable connectivity with HDTVs and other consumer electronics gear. While DisplayPort has a rich consumer electronics feature set, it is expected to complement and not necessarily replace, HDMI. DisplayPort is focused on PC, monitor, and projector usages as a replacement for DVI and VGA where high performance and backwards and forwards compatibility over standard cables are valued. The DisplayPort connector is compatible with HDMI signals, enabling product interoperability. A dual-mode PC that implements both HDMI and DisplayPort only needs a simple DisplayPort cable adapter to make an HDMI connection to an HDTV.

Q. Does DisplayPort include content protection?

A. DisplayPort 1.2 supports HDCP v1.3 ensuring that protected content such as Blu-ray Disc movies may be easily viewed over a DisplayPort connection that includes HDCP support.

Q. Why are DVI & VGA being replaced in PCs, monitors, and projectors?

A. Several factors are driving the need to replace DVI and VGA within the industry. VGA is becoming increasingly difficult to implement as silicon process geometries continue to shrink with the latest chipsets and GPUs, and it is anticipated that VGA will become an extra cost feature in the near future. VGA does not have content protection, and it’s usage may be curtailed due to digital content license agreements. The large VGA and DVI connectors with thumb screws are difficult and sometimes impossible to accommodate in the latest ultra-sleek notebook and netbook designs, and connecting and securing these cables to monitors is difficult in confined spaces. Both the DVI and VGA specifications are frozen, meaning no changes may be made to make enhancements necessary for their continued support in future products. In addition, Intel and AMD expect that analog display outputs such as Video Graphics Array (VGA) and the low voltage differential signaling technology (LVDS) panel interface would no longer be supported in their product lines by 2015.

Q. Why is DisplayPort the best DVI / VGA replacement for PCs, monitors, and projectors?

A. DisplayPort is the ideal replacement for legacy connectors since it supports the higher resolutions, refresh rates, and color depths found in monitors and the long distance performance and easy plug & play experience needed in projectors over standard cables. Since DisplayPort uses the latest low voltage technology, it is easily supported in the next generation silicon processes found in the latest chipsets, GPUs, and display controllers, and it is an extensible VESA standard. Many of DisplayPort’s unique benefits, such as ultra sleek direct drive monitor design and single cable multifunction monitor connectivity are not available with alternatives such as HDMI. Also, business and enterprise customers may not want to implement all of the consumer electronics features that are required in HDMI products. High resolution support and high performance are standard features with DisplayPort, whereas these are optional or premium features with other interfaces. DisplayPort is designed to meet the future needs of the PC industry while preserving connectivity with DVI, VGA, and HDMI.

Q. What does ‘High Performance is Standard’ mean?

A. DisplayPort simplifies the cable purchase experience by standardizing on performance. You no longer need to pay a premium to ensure that you have the right cable for your display application, or be uncertain as to whether your cable will work with your display. DisplayPort Certified cables are assured to deliver the highest resolutions, fastest refresh rates, and deepest color depths as needed by your monitor or projector. DisplayPort delivers the highest audio, display, and bi-directional communications performance in the industry without requiring consumers to buy special cables. With DisplayPort, high performance is standard.

Q. What are some examples of where high performance is important?

A. DisplayPort’s high performance is important for enabling new digital display experiences. For example, DisplayPort can easily support high end monitors featuring Resolution up to 4K x 2K at 60 FPS and 24 bpp, Refresh rate up to 240 FPS for 1080p at 24 bpp, Color Depth up to 48 bpp, even at 2560 x 1600 at 60 FPS and Color Accuracy (provides in-band color profile data). In addition, DisplayPort enables long cable support, up to 15 meters, enabling a much anticipated easy plug and play digital experience with projectors. With DisplayPort, high performance is standard.

Q. Can DisplayPort support 3D Stereo?

A. Yes, DisplayPort v1.2 includes protocol support for transmitting left and right eye display data. DisplayPort v1.2 enables Beyond Full HD Stereo support at 120Hz.

Q. What are some of the other unique capabilities in DisplayPort?

A. DisplayPort has many unique features that set it apart from other display interface standards. DisplayPort is designed specifically for low voltage implementation, has a unique bi-directional, high-data rate Auxiliary channel for sending commands and data between a monitor and a PC, features a micro-packet architecture that is capable of transmitting compressed as well as uncompressed display data, and features powered connectors providing up to 1.5W of power – all features unique to DisplayPort. DisplayPort also includes an optional latch on cable plugs, providing a secure connection to projectors and monitors, a necessary feature missing from HDMI.