- The 20 Best iPhone/iPad Games of 2013 So Far
- 9 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand (and Your Career)
- 7 Consumer Technologies Coming to an Enterprise Near You
- 11 Signs Your IT Project is Doomed
PC World - The HDMI audio/video interface standard has become wildly successful. It's the most common digital connection you'll find in TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, gaming consoles, camcorders, and digital cameras. Heck, it's even showing up in some smartphones.
You'll also find HDMI implementations in most consumer desktop and laptop computers. No modern all-in-one is complete without an HDMI input that allows you to connect a gaming console or a set-top box to the computer so you can use its display for a second purpose.
[ BACKGROUND: VGA, DVI display interfaces to bow out in 5 years ]
But given HDMI's near ubiquity, you might have forgotten the other digital audio/video standard: DisplayPort. Though you'll find it alongside HDMI in many late-model, add-in video cards, as well as in laptops marketed to business users, it rarely appears in Windows PCs aimed at consumers.
Both HDMI and DisplayPort can send high-definition digital video and audio from a source device to a display. So what's the difference? Is one display interface superior to or more flexible than the other? We'll try to answer these questions in this head-to-head comparison of their feature sets and typical use scenarios. But first, let's review how the two standards came to be, and what entities control them.
The HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) specification was conceived more than ten years ago by six consumer electronics giants: Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, and Toshiba. Today, HDMI Licensing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Image, controls the spec. Manufacturers must pay a royalty for including HDMI into their products.
The DisplayPort specification was developed by, and remains under the control of, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), a large consortium of manufacturers ranging from AMD to ZIPS Corporation. DisplayPort debuted in 2006 as part of an effort to supplant the much older VGA (Video Graphics Array, an analog interface first introduced in 1987) and DVI (Digital Video Interface, introduced in 1999) standards used primarily for computer displays. DisplayPort is a royalty-free product.
Fun fact: Of the six companies responsible for the creation of HDMI, only Hitachi and Philips are not also member companies of VESA.
HDMI connectors have 19 pins and are most commonly seen in three sizes: Type A (standard), Type C (mini), and Type D (micro). Of these, Type A is by far the most common. A fourth category of HDMI connector, Type E, is used for automotive applications. Most HDMI connectors use a friction lock, meaning that a tight fit keeps the plug mated to the socket, but some vendors have developed proprietary locking mechanisms designed to prevent the cable from pulling loose.
DisplayPort connectors have 20 pins and are available in two sizes: DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort (the latter is the port of choice for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet). Interestingly, Intel's Thunderbolt interface combines the features of Mini DisplayPort and adds PCI Express data connections--but that's beyond the scope of this article. Though most full-size DisplayPort connectors have a locking mechanism that prevents them from being disconnected accidentally, the official spec does not require that feature.
Originally published on www.pcworld.com. Click here to read the original story.