The rest of the world is just catching up with 4K and yet display and TV makers are already starting to get the ball rolling on 8K. Well, that still unborn market has already gotten the thumbs up from an industry standard. The Video Electronics Standards Association, more popular known as VESA, has just released version 1.4 of the DisplayPort specification. Among other things, the new spec makes provisions for driving video output from a computer or mobile device to an 8K screen, over a still young USB Type-C connection.
Considering USB-C is being envisioned for almost any type of computing device, from PC to laptop to tablet to smartphone, the implications of this new standard is quite staggering. Imagine your smartphone or tablet being able to output its display, 8K or not, to an 8K resolution TV. Provided, of course, the source device has the processing power for it, not to mention a Type-C port. Don’t fret about your 2K smartphone or even 4K if you have an Xperia Z5 Premium. We’re still a few years away from that future.
A lot of pieces, hardware, that is, need to fall into place first on both ends of the cable. Aside from an 8K display, which is still far and few, not to mention expensive, the source device will also need to be able to support a new DisplayPort 1.4 feature that will make that 8K output possible. VESA calls it Display Stream Compression and it is meant to be the answer to worries about the bandwidth that will be required to transfer 8K content. Despite being a compression method, VESA claims that it is visually lossless, meaning there will be no degradation in visual quality.
Although the highlight, that’s not the only new feature in the new DP 1.4 spec. Others include HDR Meta Transport, which might be of interest to TV makers who are pushing HDR as the next big thing in UHD TVs, expanded audio support, and forward error correction.
While HDMI is the more popular connection for consumer products, DisplayPort is actually more in use in enterprise and business settings. DP 1.2 added support for 4K monitors while version 1.3 added not just 5K to the feature list but also the bandwidth to support dual 4K displays. Although DP started out with its own connector, it has over time also adopted other ports, like Thunderbolt and, now, USB Type-C.