DisplayPort 1.2: One Cable to Rule Them All

Many of the PC Gaming Master Race have turned to HDMI for pumping pixels from their graphics card of choice to a display or HDTV. This is a matter of convneience, as HDMI is ubiquitous in the consumer tech space nowadays. This HDTV-standard-turned-PC-mainstay is on the verge of being seriously trumped by DisplayPort, however, particularly with the multi-monitor crowd.

The big news for DisplayPort out of CES is three-fold, starting with improved support for Multi Stream. Similar to daisy-chaining with Thunderbolt devices, DisplayPort 1.2-compatible devices can now string multiple displays along while having only one cable connected to the laptop or desktop of choice. New 1.2 displays will have both inputs and outputs, making a multi-monitor setup that less messy and cluttered. Plus, you only need one DisplayPort out on your laptop, which is a simpler solution than even AMD Eyefinity.

Daisy-chaining also ties into HBR2, or High Bit Rate 2. This second pillar is all about pumping Ultra HD video from one PC to one 4K display, or four 1080p displays in a 2×2 formation. The DisplayPorters had an Alienware laptop in the booth (pictured above), pumping a 60 Hz 4K stream to four HD displays via one DP cable. Despite all the flashy demos at CES, HDMI in it’s current form cannot handle 4K content at 60 fps (the max is 4K at 24p). So when Panasonic or Sony is showing off a new 4K display, they’re using multiple HDMI cables to handle the video, or bringing content down to 24p.

Finally, DisplayPort was also showing off MyDP, which focuses on mobile DP development. The micro DisplayPort standard uses the same connector as micro USB, allowing properly-equipped phones to pipe out video via the USB charging/data port. And similar to USB, DisplayPort carries power, so the display your MyDP phone is plugged into will keep the battery charged as well.

Is it hard to get excited over new or refreshed display standards? Maybe, but one DisplayPort 1.2 cable can handle 4K video, audio, and charging power for your phone or tablet. And you can buy them on Monoprice or Amazon for under $10.


Game Front was on-site at CES 2013 (January 8-11), covering all the latest gaming gadgets. Check out all of our CES 2013 news, previews and features.

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