Apple to embrace DisplayPort, now what?

With the introduction of the new gorgeous “unibody” all aluminum 13″ and 15″ MacBooks, Apple made the move to DisplayPort in favour of DVI. What gives?

Despite the generic sounding name, DisplayPort is a new standardized connector and protocol designed to connect computers to digital displays. It was developed by VESA, a group of companies working on defining various display-related technologies since the Super VGA era in the 80s.

In many respects, DisplayPort is a competitive technology to DVI and HDMI. The DisplayPort group claims various technical advantages over DVI, such as the protocol being packet based (similar to the TCP/IP protocol that is driving the Internet and most other networks), it is scalable so that it can be enhanced in the future without breaking compatibility, and it can daisy-chain multiple displays over 1 connector at the computer’s end. Most importantly, they claim lower cost, due to the lack of a step-in fee (like the $10,000 required for HDMI). And because of technical reasons that go beyond the scope of this blog and certainly my technical expertise, it requires less components in a display monitor, as the digital video format can be sent directly to the LCD panel, further reducing cost.

However, most of these improvements are bearly real advantages to general users, and I expect more political reasons to be the real motivator fot its supporters to push this standard over the DVI and HDMI conntectors. A different share of the IP fees and licensing are more likely reasons.

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