HDMI vs. Display Port – A Brief Comparison

  • HDMI vs. Display Port – A Brief Comparison

    There’s been a lot of talk recently about how HDMI and DisplayPort compare to one another. As two of the most cutting edge high definition interfaces currently available on the market, they are the subject of intense scrutiny from techies and consumers alike, since it seems likely that one will eventually become the industry standard while the other declines. While similar in many ways, each has some distinct advantages and disadvantages.

    Physically and functionally, HDMI and DisplayPort are pretty similar. Both are cable assemblies that work through high bandwidth signalling to provide high definition TV, PC visuals, and gaming, both have fairly similar connectors, and both have some form of content protection. The biggest difference that a consumer would see between the two would be HDMI’s higher resolution capabilities, and the wireless intranet function found in HDMI 1.4.
    However, as far as extensibility, convenience, and royalty structure go, the two products are quite different. HDMI products are fairly limited when it comes to extensibility, as newer products are incompatible with other ones, requiring consumers to update their entire system if they wish to change from an older HDMI product to a newer one. Additionally, HDMI products come in a confusing array of varying qualities, with HDMI 1.4 coming in six different types, each with different aspects, and each requiring a different cable connector. Finally, HDMI has a royalty structure attached to it, with a four cent royalty per unit sold, and a multi-thousand dollar lump sum fee to mass producers. This makes it more expensive to install, which can add up if a consumer has to change their entire system with every update.
    Displayport, on the other hand, is both backward and forward extensible, meaning it works with both its older products and those planned for production. It is also compatible with HDMI and DVI technology. Because of its extensibility, consumers are not required to change to a new system in order to update their existing DisplayPort products, which is certainly a plus as far as convenience goes. Finally, DisplayPort is royalty-free and license-free, which makes it cheaper to produce.
    Despite the advantages of DisplayPort for the consumer, HDMI is firmly established in the consumer electronics market, and unlikely to disappear soon. DisplayPort has a number of big companies backing it, including Dell, Apple, and HP, but it may have a hard time breaking into the HDTV world where HDMI currently rules. While DisplayPort’s extensibility and royalty-free nature may eventually bring it to the top, both technologies are likely to be around for at least the next five years.

    There’s been a lot of talk recently about how HDMI and DisplayPort compare to one another. As two of the most cutting edge high definition interfaces currently available on the market, they are the subject of intense scrutiny from techies and consumers alike, since it seems likely that one will eventually become the industry standard while the other declines. While similar in many ways, each has some distinct advantages and disadvantages.

    Physically and functionally, HDMI and DisplayPort are pretty similar. Both are cable assemblies that work through high bandwidth signalling to provide high definition TV, PC visuals, and gaming, both have fairly similar connectors, and both have some form of content protection. The biggest difference that a consumer would see between the two would be HDMI’s higher resolution capabilities, and the wireless intranet function found in HDMI 1.4.

    However, as far as extensibility, convenience, and royalty structure go, the two products are quite different. HDMI products are fairly limited when it comes to extensibility, as newer products are incompatible with previous ones, requiring consumers to update their entire system if they wish to change from an older HDMI product to a newer one. Additionally, HDMI products come in a confusing array of varying qualities, with HDMI 1.4 coming in six different types, each with different aspects, and each requiring a different cable connector. Finally, HDMI has a royalty structure attached to it, with a four cent royalty per unit sold, and a multi-thousand dollar lump sum fee to mass producers. This makes it more expensive to install, which can add up if a consumer has to change their entire system with every update.

    Displayport, on the other hand, is both backward and forward extensible, meaning it works with both its older products and those planned for production. It is also compatible with HDMI and DVI technology. Because of its extensibility, consumers are not required to change to a new system in order to update their existing DisplayPort products, which is certainly a plus as far as convenience goes. Finally, DisplayPort is royalty-free and license-free, which makes it cheaper to produce.

    Despite the advantages of DisplayPort for the consumer, HDMI is firmly established in the consumer electronics market, and unlikely to disappear soon. DisplayPort has a number of big companies backing it, including Dell, Apple, and HP, but it may have a hard time breaking into the HDTV world where HDMI currently rules. While DisplayPort’s extensibility and royalty-free nature may eventually bring it to the top, both technologies are likely to be around for at least the next five years.

    The following snapshot is from 31.3.2011, it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

    HDMI_DisplayPort

    HDMI vs Display Port - Google Trends - 31.3.2011



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