Going way beyond 4K, VESA brings forth DisplayPort Standard Version 1.4 for 8K transmission

by on March 4, 2016

Stephan Jukic – March 04, 2016

Just as 4K resolution becomes something very serious in display devices, content offerings and gaming, as well as an assortment of different shooting devices, technology developers are already looking forward and working on the next big thing. In this case, that’s the potential of 8K video in computing devices for the consumer market.

This is why the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has now announced that it’s publishing the DisplayPort Standard Version 1.4, which is capable of handling even 8k resolution at a whopping 60Hz.

According to the VESA announcement:

“The first major update to DisplayPort since version 1.3 was released in September 2014, DP 1.4 is also the first DP standard to take advantage of VESA’s Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology. DSC version 1.2 transport enables up to 3:1 compression ratio and has been deemed, through VESA membership testing, to be visually lossless. Together with other new capabilities, this makes the latest version of DP ideally suited for implementation in high-end electronic products demanding premier sound and image quality”

The Association has also stated that DP 1.4 will further augment the main capabilities of the former and currently used versions of the standard. Furthermore, the use of video transport compression will improve the capacity to work with the also new USB Type-Cconnector, which allows both high definition video and what is called SuperSpeed USB, while also allowing High Dynamic Range video and 8K video resolution through either DisplayPort or USB-C connectors. This means formats like 8K at 60Hz with HDR “deep color” and also, possibly even more practical for near future applications, 4K at 120Hz with HDR “deep color”.

USB-C for the next generations of mobile devices and other connectivity needs

USB-C for the next generations of mobile devices and other connectivity needs

These are exciting new developments and the 40 at 120Hz capacity of DP 1.4 is particularly interesting from a gaming point of view, assuming that GPUs also catch up to match this transmission capacity in the near future.

Along with the above enticing specs, DisplayPort 1.4 will also offer up:

  • Forward Error Correction (FEC): which overlays the DSC 1.2 transport and addresses the transport error resiliency needed for compressed video transport to external displays.
  • HDR meta transport: HDR meta transport, which uses “secondary data packet” transport that’s already built into DP 1.2, will allow support for current CTA 861.3 standard, which is useful for DP to HDMI 2.0a protocol conversion, among other types. It will allow for flexible metadata packet transportation for future and existing HDR standards.
  • Expanded audio transport: Along with all of the above video spec transport capabilities, enhanced audio support is naturally enough also included, with capacity for 32 audio channels and a 1536KHz sample rate, along with inclusion for all known audio formats being the case.

None of the aboe is to suggest in any way that modern DisplayPort 1.2 or 4K resolution in TVs, monitors and gaming support are in any way close to being obsolete. All of these technologies are still in the early stages of their advancement and have years of mileage to them yet. The new Future-oriented DisplayPort 1.4 standard is just that, a work in progress aimed at the cutting edge technology of the next several years. In simple terms, the above is a look at what we can expect from the cutting edge-technology that takes the place of 4K as it stands today, but in maybe 3 to 5 years.

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