New DisplayPort 1.4 standard to support 8K displays, work with USB-C

DisplayPort 1.4 graduates from supporting 4K, though it's not certain when devices will be compatible with the new standard

Big changes are coming to the popular DisplayPort display standard, with version 1.4 promising support for 8K displays.

DisplayPort 1.4 will allow 8K displays to hook up to laptops, smartphones and other devices via a USB Type-C port. The new standard was announced by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) on Tuesday.

The USB Type-C connector is already gaining popularity, so DisplayPort 1.4 will be easy to implement in devices. There's another 8K connector called SuperMHL under development that requires new ports but can also be slapped on USB Type-C connectors.

4K TVs are gaining popularity, but will be replaced by 8K in the coming years. Sharp was to first to retail an 8K TV for a whopping $133,000. Other top TV makers have shown 8K TVs, and may release them in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which will be broadcast in 8K.

It's still a challenge to transfer 4K video in real-time through USB Type-C port considering the amount of bandwidth required. But VESA has figured out a way to resolve the issue of 8K video transfer. A Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology in DisplayPort 1.4 is designed to compress video into smaller packets, which will make it possible to transmit 8K video from a device to displays.VESA says video quality won't be affected by the compression.

The new standard is a big jump from the older DisplayPort 1.3 standard, which is already in PCs. The 1.3 standard had bandwidth to support two 4K monitors.

DisplayPort is especially popular in business PCs, while HDMI is the display connector for consumer PCs and devices. The DisplayPort protocol has its own connector, but has over years evolved to work with Thunderbolt, USB Type-C and other connector technologies.

It is not clear whether DisplayPort would abandon its own connector and move over to USB Type-C.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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