DisplayPort 1.4 to bring 8K support to USB-C ports

DisplayPort 1.4 is coming, and it will support 8K video and make use of USB-C ports.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has given the DisplayPort standard the first upgrade since September 2014, and there are some big changes in store.

The biggest change in DisplayPort 1.4 is Display Stream Compression 1.2 (DSC 1.2), which VESA claims can allow for up to 3:1 compression of the video stream with end results that its members claim are "visually lossless."

DSC 1.2 makes it possible to drive 60Hz 8K displays and supports HDR color modes at 5K (5120 x 2880) and 8K (7680 x 4320) over a single cable. The existing DisplayPort 1.3 standard can only support 60Hz 5K displays or 30Hz 8K displays over a single cable.

While the DisplayPort 1.3 standard allows for the simultaneous transmission of video and data over USB-C and Thunderbolt, DisplayPort 1.4 allows for SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) data alongside with high-definition video.

Also in the spec is:

  • Forward Error Correction - FEC, which overlays the DSC 1.2 transport, addresses the transport error resiliency needed for compressed video transport to external displays.
  • HDR meta transport - HDR meta transport uses the "secondary data packet" transport inherent in the DisplayPort standard to provide support for the current CTA 861.3 standard, which is useful for DP to HDMI 2.0a protocol conversion, among other examples. It also offers a flexible metadata packet transport to support future dynamic HDR standards.
  • Expanded audio transport - This spec extension covers capabilities such as 32 audio channels, 1536kHz sample rate, and inclusion of all known audio formats.

All this builds on the DisplayPort 1.4a standard that was announced last year, which allowed for 8K and DSC support on internal displays on laptops, tablets and smartphones. This latest update brings the same to external displays.

"This significant update to the DisplayPort standard is vital to continued growth of adoption for both DP (DisplayPort) and DSC (Display Stream Compression), particularly in such fast-growing markets as digital television and automotive infotainment," said VESA Board Chair Alan Kobayashi, fellow and executive R&D management for Smart Connectivity Group at MegaChips Technology America.

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