A new DisplayPort standard announced this week includes support for Thunderbolt and USB Type-Cconnectivity, which means monitors of the future will require just a single cable to handle USB and display inputs.
DP 1.4 is the first update since September 2014 from VESA, the video standards organization that authors the DisplayPort technology. In addition to Thunderbolt and USB Type-C compatibility, it incorporates VESA’s Display Stream Compression, which enables a near-lossless signal compression suited for high-end graphics and audio.
Having Thunderbolt and USB Type-C support is important because even though both standards use physically identical ports, they’re not necessarily compatible with each other. The latest Thunderbolt 3 version is starting to show up in laptops from $229 budget models to high-end workstations that cost several thousand dollars.
USB Type-C, which Apple chose as the new MacBook’s sole interface to some consternation, is also beginning to trickle down to more mainstream computers.
As far as resolution and refresh rates, the new DP standard blows HDMI 2.0 out of the water. It can support 8K video (7,680 by 4,320) at a 60Hz refresh rate in high dynamic range and standard modes, while HDMI 2.0 maxes out at 4K.
“We believe the tools provided in this new DP standard release will enable a quantum leap forward in display quality, which leverage DSC compression along with transport of high-quality audio and video content,” said VESA Board Chair Alan Kobayashi in a statement.
But judging by the slow speed with which manufacturers adopted DisplayPort 1.3, it may take a while for the new standard to roll out.