Over the years, there have been many standards for audio video cables, but two of the most popular ones are DisplayPort cables and HDMI cables. While both of them do the same thing essentially, there are some differences between them in terms of their capacity for speed, versatility, stability, and multitasking. 

Let’s see the difference between DisplayPort and HDMI

  • Physical difference

The first and most obvious difference is that they are structured differently. Standard HDMI cables have 19 pins that are vertically symmetrical, but it also comes in smaller footprints with a different layout. On the other hand, the DisplayPort connector has 20 pins and is rectangular in shape, with one rounded corner. It also has hooks to secure a connection and can be released by pressing that button. 

DisplayPort comes in smaller sizes as well, built into the physical form of a USB Type C connector. This particular connector is less popular industry-wide, with a major advocate of it being Apple. Most manufacturers simply prefer USB C to do the same task. 

  • Devices

Most televisions, soundbars, and set-top boxes are more likely to have HDMI port(s) to pass audio-visual data. On the other hand, computers, and laptops have DisplayPort port(s). If your use case is gaming – something an audio-visual cable is crucial for — then what you use depends on where you are gaming and with what. If you are gaming a console and television, you will be using an HDMI cable and if you are gaming with a PC and monitor, you will be using a DisplayPort cable. This pretty much settles at least the DisplayPort v/s HDMI gaming debate — the cable depends on the equipment! 

  • Technical Specifications

DisplayPort 2: VESA has announced this new version of the DisplayPort connector and it will be more widely available this year. 

DisplayPort 2 supports 8K, 10K, and 16K video resolutions with a 60 Hz refresh rate (twice the resolution and bandwidth of current DisplayPort standards). It transfers data at a rate of 77.37 Gbps, and it will have HDR10 support. 

HDMI 2.1a: HDMI® Specification HDMI 2.1a is the most recent update of the HDMI® specification and supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.

  • Hardware adoption

Any new connectivity standard is a more expensive chip to add to hardware. Manufacturers are wary of increasing their product cost if their product is a medium-range device, or if they have a range of devices in one category – like a TV. 

High-range TVs tend to have updated ports, so those are the ones that will have the latest HDMI port for you to take advantage of. 

Similarly, high-end monitors are likely to adopt the latest DisplayPort port so you can plug a compatible device into it and get the benefits. 

Gaming consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation also ensure the latest ports when they update their hardware. 

Mid-range devices like laptops and computer monitors will not adopt the latest version of the port because it is generally too expensive to be included at their lower price point. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it depends on your use case, the compatibility of the device you want to use these cables for, and future-proofing the entire setup. You don’t want to buy an older but cheaper cable for a TV you are going to change in the coming year. That way you won’t be able to take advantage of what the TV is capable of. So figure out your entire setup, think of the future and get the right cables! 

SF Cable stocks all kinds of audio-visual cables and will be happy to help you plan your setup.