Tuesday, May 6, 2014

VESA wants to compress the video to your screen to allow for 8K resolutions

Compression is all around us. You can carry around thousands of musics in your pocket thanks to MP3 that shrinks digital music sizes to manageable levels; you can easily send high resolution photos to your frinds thanks to JPEG; you can watch video streams on the internet thanks to MPEGs; etc. But now VESA is taking compression to the next level, putting it between devices and screens.

The issue is, higher resolution displays are reaching the boundaries of "affordable bandwidth". Sending video information from a graphic card/video player to a computer screen or TV is quite a monumental task. When you consider your "fast" 1Gbit network, you'll begin to appreciate your video cables carrying 3.5Gbps for Full HD at 60Hz; and that becomes 6.3Gbps for 2560x1440 resolutions; and when we talk about 4K resolutions, that's 14Gbps - something that will require DisplayPort 1.2. When you look even further, 8K video will become "impossible", with its 50Gbps+ requirements.

[tabela: Anandtech]

Sure, there would be ways to do it, but that would come at an added cost, and that's why VESA proposes video compression that will allow to bring back this huge stream of data back to manageable levels and pave the way for easier/cheaper ultra high-resolution screens.

The key part is knowing how much this compression will affect video quality, as this will imply losing some data in the process. But VESA promises a system that will be well suited for all the sorts of things we use our computers for; from watching video to working with digital text and photos, and they better get it right or face the consequences from all those that are willing to invest on a 4K/8K screen and then are unable to use it for "pixel-accurate" work.

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