DisplayPort 1.4 Spec Pushes 8K Video Over USB-C

You can go ahead and set your recently purchased 4K television on the side of the road for garbage pickup, it's obsolete now. Just kidding, folks! Your 4K Ultra HD display is still tops, though at some point in the not-too-distant future you can bet that TV makers will try pushing 8K models onto consumers. The groundwork is already being laid with supplementary technologies like DisplayPort getting upgraded for the impending 8K revolution.

Just this week, the Video Electronics Standards Associate (VESA, from here on out) announced that it published version 1.4 of the DisplayPort audio/video standard. It builds upon the advancements introduced in DisplayPort 1.3 and now has the bandwidth and compression necessary to support 8K video across the DisplayPort or USB-C connector.

In addition to DisplayPort's own connector, as shown above, DP 1.4 can push 8K video over USB-C.

The bandwidth requirement to push 4K video through USB-C is pretty big, so you can imagine that it was quite the challenge for VESA to figure out how to support 8K video. VESA's solution was to focus on its Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology rather than increase bandwidth. Now in version 1.2. DSC enables up to a 3:1 compression ratio and is virtually lossless, so users shouldn't expect a loss in video quality.

This is the first major update to DisplayPort since version 1.3 was released in September 2014, and it's the first DisplayPort standard to take advantage of VESA's Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology. In addition to supporting 8K video over USB-C, DisplayPort 1.4 expands audio capabilities with support for 32 audio channels, 1536kHz sample rates, and the inclusion of all known audio formats.

One thing that will be interesting to see is if DisplayPort starts moving away from its own unique connector in favor of USB-C.