Why You Cannot Afford to Not Consider DisplayPort in Your Digital Signage Deployment
In Digital Signage, an important characteristic when determining the type of media player needed is the types of video connection required to stream the content to the displays. Depending on the number of displays that are desired it is essential to consider what video outputs are necessary.
Over the last decade or so, the dominant methods of delivering this content has been through HDMI, DVI, and VGA cables; the latter of which is beginning to be considered “legacy” due to its completely analog nature. As it goes with all technology, there eventually comes a “new kid on the block”, and this new kid is called DisplayPort.
DisplayPort has slowly been adopted over the years by motherboard, GPU, and display manufacturers alike, to the point where you might be hard pressed to find a current offering in the Digital Signage world without seeing at least one in the form of an input or output. The newest revision, DisplayPort 1.2, has capabilities that could cause some serious disruption in HDMI’s dominance of the market. This revision allows for native 4K60p resolution (3840x2160@60Hz) vs HDMI’s ability to only provide this resolution at half the frame rate or less depending on how it was configured by the manufacturer. DisplayPort also offers the ability to output high-definition multi-channel audio, something DVI and VGA have lacked, which has allowed HDMI to even further it’s foothold in the market.
But the most important advantage of DisplayPort 1.2 over the other standards is a technology called Multi-Stream Transport, or MST for short. This unique technology takes advantage of DisplayPort’s huge 21.6 Gbps bandwidth to allow it to carry multiple video streams from one video output. This means you can output to up to 4x 1080p displays, all from a single DisplayPort output using your displays built-in daisy-chaining ability (see graphic below).
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Have you used DisplayPort in your current Digital Signage Deployments? If so, what value have you seen this bring your projects? If not, what questions do you have about DisplayPort vs other video outputs? Comment below.