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What Else is New?

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These Technologies Will Change Everything in the Next Five Years

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Quick Bio

NAME: Joseph D. Cornwall, CTS-D
TITLE: Technology Evangelist
PERSPECTIVE: Cornwall’s personal mission statement is, “I provide momentum.” He regularly addresses groups, both large and small, on topics as diverse as audio/video design and technology, sales skill development and future trends.

Within the AV and IT industries, analog connectivity is rapidly losing relevance. No matter where you look, the view is the same. Over the next five years, the VGA cable you’ve used to connect computers to monitors for decades will fade from prominence. You can also wave goodbye to DVI-D, component and composite video, and, in the opinion of some, even RS-232!

The newest generation of thinner, lighter, more efficient, and powerful computers, displays, and portables leave no room for the power-sucking bulk of analog circuitry. Of equal importance, HDCP compatibility that supports digital rights management has become a universal requirement in every installation.

It was just over three years ago when a joint press release from Intel, AMD, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and LG announced “intentions to accelerate adoption of scalable and lower power digital interfaces such as DisplayPort and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) into the PC.” The press release went on to say that Intel planned to “end its support for VGA by 2015.” Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced it would phase out support for DVI by 2015. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

As an industry, we now face a challenge. Anyone with a stake in AV technology wants to create systems that are “future ready.” While it may be impossible to actually predict the future, we can certainly make calculations based on careful analysis. Here are five critical technologies that will be important to system designers, integrators, and owners over the remainder of this decade.

Joseph D. Cornwall, CTS-D, technology evangelist for C2G, teaches a class on “Five Technologies that will Change Everything in the Next Five Years. DisplayPort: Designed to deliver HDCP-compliant digital video, audio, and data between a source and display, DisplayPort is replacing VGA connectivity on virtually all computers because of its rich feature set and UltraHD capability. DisplayPort chips use less power than VGA and HDMI chips and they can deliver multiple HD content streams—such as an extended desktop—from a single port. DisplayPort delivers greater performance at lower cost from a wider array of devices than any alternative. It is the foundation of the next generation of computer connectivity.

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DisplayPort connectivity was included in about one in 20 desktop and one in 50 laptop computers in 2009. By the end of 2014, DP++ will be included in 19 of 20 new computers. Through 2018 we can expect DP++ market penetration to grow at an astounding combined annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 31.6 percent!

HDMI 2.0: There really is no competition between DisplayPort and HDMI; both interfaces will serve distinct markets. In September the new HDMI 2.0 standard was released. Fully backwards compatible, HDMI 2.0 delivers increased performance including compatibility with UltraHD signals. In the decade since its introduction, HDMI has appeared in over three billion products. Despite this immense market penetration, HDMI is forecast to grow at a breathtaking CAGR of 19.7 percent, with much of this being driven by the near universal inclusion of HDMI connectivity in flat panel displays and video projectors.

MHL and SlimPort: Wired solutions for system connection of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will leverage the ubiquitous micro-USB port. Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL ) uses an inexpensive dongle to adapt that micro-USB to serve AV content and more via an HMDI port. A similar technology, SlimPort, serves the output as a DisplayPort connection. MHL and SlimPort adapters offer unprecedented flexibility in device integration, including control, charging, and even UltraHD scalability. There are currently more than 200 MHL adopters and over 300 million devices are in use, with double-digit market growth forecast over the next five years.

HDBaseT: First appearing in 2010, HDBaseT has since become a global standard for transporting uncompressed digital video and audio, control, fast ethernet, and even power from source to sync over a single category cable. The recently released HDBaseT 2.0 standard ups the ante by adding USB 2.0 control and UltraHD video performance at connection lengths up to 100 meters to its 5-Play feature set. Built-in HDBaseT ports on projectors and displays will help to drive aggressive growth that more than quadruples the HDBaseT installed base over the next five years.

Miracast: Portable devices are at their best when they are unencumbered by wired connections. Miracast is the next step on the path of wireless mobile device integration. Based on Intel’s WiDi wireless display technology, Miracast uses an 802.11ac radio link, much like Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast. Unlike AirPlay and Chromecast, Miracast doesn’t connect to the network switch. Instead it’s a direct, peer-to-peer connection between the source and display. This makes Miracast an ideal candidate for deployment in commercial and institutional settings where network capacity is already stressed and network security makes casual device integration wholly impractical. Already included in a wide array of devices and displays, the near-future growth of Miracast technology is expected to be explosive!

We are in a time of dizzying technological change. The momentum of convergence is erasing our analog past and replacing it with a digital future at a breathtaking pace. The technologies identified in this article are at the cutting edge of that change. To remain competitive you’ll want to learn all you can about DisplayPort, HDMI, MHL , HDBaseT, and Miracast.


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