Tuesday, January 08, 2008

DisplayPort goes 1,2…TV?

What a difference a year makes!

Last year we had a folder of papers and promises, and today we have working products,” said Bob Myers, display technologist from Hewlett-Packard speaking at a press conference about DisplayPort at CES today.

I’ll file a full story tonight, but here’s the upshot for now: All major PC chip sets going forward will support DisplayPort and Intel will use it as the primary display link on its motherboards going forward. OEMs understand they can improve display quality and lower cost of LCD monitors by substituting DisplayPort for LVDS and DVI, so they are putting out purchase orders for timing controller chips that are about to go into production. Expect tens of millions of DisplayPort PCs, notebooks and monitors flying by this time next year.

That means next year TV engineers will be giving DisplayPort a serious look as an alternative to HDMI. It already has cost and simplicity advantages over LVDS for high-end TV displays. As an external interconnect it lacks the legal and royalty encumbrances of HDMI, and it sports a higher bandwidth back channel than the HDMI-CEC being used widely in HDTV sets shown here.

Of course, HDMI is not standing still. A new spec launched yesterday is driving the link into mobile systems.

But in typical PC fashion, the DisplayPort ecosystem is building fast. Chips are coming from Genesis, IDT, Parade, Genum and NXP. Dell showed a shipping display and Samsung demoed a native DisplayPort implementation.

The folks at VESA have focused on solving the problems with DVI, LVDS and VGA, said Bruce Montag, the Dell technologist who chairs the DisplayPort group. But in doing so they may have set the wheels in motion that will move into tomorrow’s TV sets as well. Stay tuned.

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