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HDMI Vs. DisplayPort – Which Reigns Supreme?

Views: 19     Author: celeste     Publish Time: 2024-03-22      Origin: Site

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1. Introduction

2. Features of HDMI

3. Features of DisplayPort

4. HDMI vs. displayport

4.1 Physical Connection and Adapters

 4.2 Length Limitation

4.3 Bandwidth Availability

4.4 Application

4.5 Adapter Compatibility

4.6 Maximum Resolution and Refresh Rate

5. HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which is better?

6. Conclusion


1. Introduction

HDMI and DisplayPort are two prominent digital video and audio interfaces used for connecting electronic devices such as computers, monitors, televisions, and projectors. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) was introduced as a standard in 2003, while DisplayPort emerged later in 2006. Both interfaces facilitate high-definition audio and video transmission, offering users a seamless and immersive multimedia experience.

2. Features of HDMI

HDMI cable is known for its support of high-definition video and audio, including resolutions up to 4K and various audio formats.

It offers universal compatibility across a wide range of electronic devices, such as TVs, monitors, gaming consoles, and smartphones.

With its plug-and-play design, high bandwidth capabilities, and support for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), HDMI provides a user-friendly and versatile solution for multimedia connectivity needs.


3. Features of DisplayPort

DisplayPort stands out for its support of high-resolution video up to 8K, multi-stream transport for connecting multiple displays, and high refresh rates for smooth motion.

It integrates audio and video transmission seamlessly, supports Adaptive-Sync technology for enhanced visual performance, and offers both forward and backward compatibility for flexible connectivity options.

display port

4. HDMI vs. displayport

4.1 Physical Connection and Adapters

The primary difference between HDMI ports and DisplayPort lies in the shape and size of their connectors. A standard HDMI port features a 19-pin configuration and includes a friction latch for secure attachment.

The HDMI connector is vertically symmetrical, making it easily recognizable from a distance. Additionally, micro and mini HDMI ports, while smaller in size, maintain the same 19-pin configuration. These ports are commonly found in various modern devices such as TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, soundbars, projectors, and monitors.

In contrast, DisplayPort utilizes a rectangular-shaped connector with a 20-pin configuration. Although rectangular, one corner of the connector is notched to ensure proper orientation during insertion.

A notable difference between DisplayPort and HDMI connectors is that DisplayPort cables feature a small hook, requiring users to hold it during insertion. Like HDMI, DisplayPort also comes in mini form. Despite this, connecting a DisplayPort is generally straightforward, and it remains a popular choice for use with monitors.

4.2 Length Limitation

The disparity in maximum length limits between HDMI cables and DisplayPort cables is notable. HDMI cables have an advantage in this aspect, as they can be longer compared to DisplayPort cables, which have certain restrictions. A typical HDMI cable can extend up to 100 inches to transmit full HD signals.

However, for transmitting 4K resolution signals, the maximum allowable length is reduced to 30 inches. Notably, by utilizing active HDMI cables or HDMI integrated into HDBaseT, it's possible to surpass the 100-inch limit. Specialized techniques can extend the length of HDMI cables while preserving signal strength.

On the other hand, DisplayPort imposes stricter limitations. For the standard resolution it's designed for, DisplayPort cables can only reach a maximum length of 10 inches. Although DisplayPort cables with longer lengths are available, extending beyond this limit results in decreased maximum resolution and refresh rate capabilities.

hdmi port for computer

4.3 Bandwidth Availability

Not only do differences exist in connectors and maximum length, but disparities in bandwidth are also notable. These variations in bandwidth have evolved across the various versions released for both HDMI and DisplayPort.

With each successive version, improvements in bandwidth have been made for both video connection standards, leading to an increased gap between them. For instance, HDMI versions 2.1 and 2.1a boast a maximum support of 48 Gbps bandwidth, with a maximum data rate reaching 42 Gbps.

On the other hand, DisplayPort versions 2.0 and 2.1 offer even higher bandwidth support, reaching up to 80 Gbps with a total data rate of 77.37 Gbps. While HDMI 2.0 could handle a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps, the sought-after DisplayPort 1.4 can support up to 32.4 Gbps bandwidth.

4.4 Application

HDMI, developed by the HDMI Forum, serves as a compact interface designed to connect various types of displays to video sources. Its purpose is to transmit uncompressed video and audio from HDMI-based sources to the display.

In contrast, DisplayPort, developed by VESA, focuses on transmitting high-bandwidth video and audio signals to DP-compliant monitors. Although both HDMI and DisplayPort fulfill similar functions, HDMI enjoys an advantage in the consumer market due to its widespread support across a multitude of devices.

HDMI is commonly found in a wide array of devices, including high-definition TVs, PCs, cameras, tablets, gaming consoles, smartphones, Blu-Ray players, and soundbars. Its presence is significant in various sectors and industries.

On the other hand, DisplayPort usage is primarily limited to specific devices such as monitors, particularly high-end models.  In summary, HDMI boasts more applications than DisplayPort, resulting in broader market coverage.

displayport cable

4.5 Adapter Compatibility

When it comes to sourcing adapters from various brands, HDMI offers a wider range of options due to its extensive usage across different devices. While DisplayPort also has a considerable number of associated adapters, it doesn't match the abundance seen with HDMI. Additionally, there are several adapters available that support both connectors, catering to a broader audience.

4.6 Maximum Resolution and Refresh Rate

The variation in maximum bandwidth between DisplayPort cables and HDMI cables across different versions has led to differences in maximum resolution and refresh rate support. Due to limitations in maximum bandwidth for both HDMI and DP, the capabilities for resolution and refresh rates have been adjusted accordingly. For instance, HDMI 2.0 could only handle a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 Hz, while DP 1.4 could manage up to 4K at 120 Hz and 8K at 60 Hz.

In earlier versions, DP outperformed HDMI, as HDMI 1.4 had a maximum resolution support of 4K at 30Hz, whereas DP 1.3 could handle up to 8K at 30Hz and 120Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution. However, with the advent of HDMI 2.1 and DP 2.0, both can now support 8K resolution at a 120Hz refresh rate.

In the HDMI vs. DisplayPort debate, it's worth noting the different features of each video connection standard. While both offer similar visual capabilities, HDMI ports excel in audio with integrated ARC and eARC technology for top-notch audio output and two-way processing. Additionally, the HDMI port allows daisy chaining of devices, reducing the need for extra cables.

On the other hand, DisplayPort offers substantial channel support but lacks two-way processing of audio data. Both standards support various audio technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, although HDMI supports more audio technologies overall.

DisplayPort's technology is commonly adopted for USB-C ports and Thunderbolt connectors, facilitating proper transmission of video and audio data. Conversely, HDMI's adoption is limited due to royalties, with most devices using the HDMI forum separately.

DisplayPort also boasts multiple stream transport (MST) capabilities, enabling the connection of multiple displays through a single DP port. While HDMI can utilize multiple stream transport with the help of a DP to HDMI hub, it isn't native to HDMI.

Ethernet support is a notable feature of HDMI, allowing multiple displays to share one ISP server, and simplifying home or office network setup. However, DisplayPort is primarily designed for computer monitors and lacks such capability.

DisplayPort offers USB-C Alt-Mode, enabling video signal transmission over the USB-C port, utilizing USB PD technology for simultaneous USB and display usage with a single cable. HDMI also offers USB-C Alt-Mode but requires a complex connection process involving signal conversion from DP to HDMI.

Regarding Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, both HDMI and DisplayPort offer their respective compatibility with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technologies. HDMI supports only FreeSync, while DisplayPort supports both FreeSync and G-Sync, making it the preferred choice for Nvidia GPU users.

displayport cable vs hdmi cable

5. HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which is better?

When deciding between HDMI cables and DisplayPort cables, your choice should be based entirely on your specific needs and the devices you're using. Both HDMI cables and DisplayPort cables are popular connectors used for linking video sources to displays.

HDMI cables offer broad compatibility across various devices, including TVs, household appliances, and smartphones, making it a versatile option for many scenarios. Conversely, if you intend to connect to computer monitors and take advantage of specialized features and multiple display setups, DisplayPort cables become the preferred choice.

Both ports boast high bandwidth and numerous advanced features aimed at enhancing your visual experience. Therefore, it's essential to select the video connection standard that best aligns with your requirements.

6. Conclusion

HDMI and DisplayPort are prominent digital interfaces facilitating high-definition audio and video transmission. HDMI offers universal compatibility, high-definition support up to 4K, and plug-and-play convenience, while DisplayPort stands out for its support of high resolutions up to 8K, multi-stream transport, and Adaptive-Sync technology. Differences in physical connectors, length limitations, bandwidth availability, and adapter compatibility further distinguish the two interfaces.


Q1: What is HDMI port and DisplayPort?

A1: HDMI and DisplayPort are digital interfaces used for transmitting high-definition audio and video signals between electronic devices.

Q2: What are the main characteristics of HDMI?

A2: HDMI supports high-definition video and audio and offers universal compatibility, plug-and-play functionality, and Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) support.

Q3: What are the key features of DisplayPort?

A3: DisplayPort boasts support for high resolutions up to 8K, multi-stream transport, Adaptive-Sync technology, and forward and backward compatibility.

Q4: What are the differences between HDMI and DisplayPort?

A4: Differences include resolution support, connector shapes, length limitations, bandwidth availability, and adapter compatibility.

Q5: Which is better, HDMI port or DisplayPort?

A5: The choice depends on specific needs and device compatibility. HDMI is versatile for various devices, while DisplayPort is preferred for computer monitors and advanced display setups.

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