First produced in 2008, DisplayPort is the latest generation of high-performance digital interfaces developed by VESA (the Video Electronics Standards Association), capable of processing and transferring both High-Quality audio and High Definition video signals. Though possessing similar specifications to the home theatre standard of HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables and extenders, DisplayPort was originally designed to replace DVI (Digital Visual Interface) and the even older VGA (Video Graphics Array) as the new industry standard for personal computer interfaces. DisplayPort connectivity is now found on a variety of tablet devices, notebooks, laptops, and desktop computers – this is in addition to its availability on computer monitors and even some 4K resolution Ultra HD TVs.
In processing digital-only signals, DisplayPort ensures complete accuracy and consistency between the full and uncompressed 30-bit, 4:4:4 colour video rendered by a graphics adapter and the 4K resolution, non-chroma subsampled video displayed on a computer monitor at a refresh rate of 60 hertz. Much like HDMI cables and extenders, DisplayPort also supports up to eight channels of High-Quality audio, as well as 3D stereo on the same cable – one designed for adept performance at lengths of up to fifteen metres. Additionally, DisplayPort boasts backwards compatibility with a range of legacy displays such as HDMI, DVI, and VGA through the use of either active or passive, external or built-in converters and adapters.
Connecting multiple Ultra HD displays to a solitary video output is also possible, due to DisplayPort's Multi-Stream Transport functionality. This enables fluid High Definition connectivity between a video source device – such as a desktop computer or laptop – and several computer monitors using a hub configuration or daisy-chain connection. DisplayPort offers multiple lossless video streams on a variety of independent monitors, the same image perfectly replicated on each display, combinations of displays to create a 'video wall', or an extended computer desktop across various displays. All this content is secured by High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) – the same encryption method employed by HDMI cables and extenders.