Now that CES
is over, we're left with one major thought: when are those gorgeous 4K HDTVs hitting the market? It's clear that 4K is going to be the next major leap in high-definition television, and it's likely that many with decade-old HDTVs will soon be tempted to update those. But in order to do so, a lot of other puzzle pieces have to fall into place. The Video Electronics Standards Association, otherwise known as VESA, has this week announced the latest release of the DisplayPort Dual-Mode Standard. This release supports the next generation of Dual-Mode DisplayPort enabled personal computers and Dual-Mode DisplayPort cable adaptors, expected to be available to consumers later this year. Among several refinements to improve interoperability, the updated standard enables a higher data rate for DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable adaptors, providing support for HDMI
1.4 display resolutions such as 1080p 3D at 60Hz, and Ultra HD (4K x 2K) up to 30Hz frame rate, as well as 1080p with deep color.
Developed by VESA's nearly 200 leading industry member companies, the DisplayPort Dual Mode Standard defines the requirements for Dual-Mode DisplayPort source devices and Dual-Mode DisplayPort cable adaptors. DisplayPort was developed to provide a single video interface that both provides advanced features as well as interoperability with legacy displays including VGA and DVI, and HDMI. The new Dual-Mode Standard is in line with this objective by enabling the support of the latest HDMI standard, HDMI 1.4. In addition to releasing the DisplayPort Dual-Mode Standard Version 1.1, VESA is also releasing an updated DisplayPort Dual-Mode Cable Adaptor Compliance Test Specification, version 1.1. Conformance to the updated Compliance Test Specification, or CTS, is required for using the DisplayPort logo with a Dual-Mode Cable Adaptor.
A Dual-Mode DisplayPort source is a device, such as personal computer, that can logically output either DisplayPort or TMDS (Transitional-Minimized Differential Signaling) from the DisplayPort output connector, enabling the support of DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI monitors. An additional device, specifically a Dual-Mode DisplayPort cable adaptor, is required to convert the mechanical connector, as well as the electrical aspects of the signal, to output that is compatible with a DVI or HDMI cable and display. A Dual-Mode DisplayPort source automatically detects the presence of a plugged-in Dual-Mode DisplayPort cable adaptor and provides the DVI or HDMI signal, as required, to support the connected DVI or HDMI monitor.
With the release of this new VESA specification, existing adaptors will now be referred to as "Type 1" adaptors, and the new adaptors as "Type 2." A Type 2 adaptor will be backward compatible with an existing Dual-Mode DisplayPort source device, but it will only support up to a 165MHz TMDS clock rate unless it is used with a "Type 2 enabled" Dual-Mode DisplayPort source device. In other words, make sure you start snapping up new DisplayPort cables -- for futureproofing, of course.