What is DisplayPort?

VGA and DVI computer video connectors are slowly being replaced by smaller, more versatile DisplayPort connectors. Corporations that buy hundreds and thousands of PCs are already factoring this change into their future purchases, because it can affect the type of monitors and cables they will use with DisplayPort-enabled computers.

DisplayPort is a digital interface developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), the same organization that developed VGA and DVI. It is designed to support higher resolution computer displays up to 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz. It is also backward compatible with older VGA and DVI monitors through the use of a DisplayPort adapters.

DisplayPort comes in two connector formats: Standard size, and Mini-DisplayPort, which is typically found on Apple computers and some other PC notebooks. DELL, HP/COMPAQ, as well as other PC manufacturers have been shipping computers with Standard DisplayPort for some time now, and an increasing number of monitors are including a DisplayPort socket.

DisplayPort vs. HDMI

DisplayPort vs. HDMI

DisplayPort and HDMI are both capable of delivering high-definition digital video and audio, and are similar in size and shape. The difference is primarily one of market focus: HDMI dominates the world of consumer electronics and is near ubiquitous in plasma and LCD televisions, DVD players, gaming systems and digital set-top boxes, while DisplayPort is used in the commercial PC market to connect computers, laptops and peripherals. The two standards overlap in the area of flat-panel PC monitors because, particularly outside the US, monitors are often used for both computer-generated output and video display.

Why Consider DisplayPort over HDMI?

If you plan on using your PC or laptop with a digital TV, camera or similar high-resolution digital video device, then HDMI is a good choice. It’s already an established standard in the consumer electronics space and provides connectivity for a wide range of devices.

If you have a commercial computing application, DisplayPort cables are a natural choice. For example, full-sized DisplayPort connectors have a locking mechanism designed to prevent accidental disconnections which can occur with heavier cables. In business and industrial environments with mission-critical equipment, this is preferred over HDMI’s “friction fit”, which relies on a tight connection to keep the cable from pulling loose.

DisplayPort also allows for longer cable lengths, up to 15 meters (49-ft.) if a video source and a display that are both DisplayPort-compliant. This is important in digital signage and digital projector applications. However, keep in mind that greater cable length comes at the expense of video resolution. If you are in doubt, contact us.