Business, Entertainment, Hardware

Ethernet Cable to kill HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and USB?


Even though a lot of impressive things were demonstrated at NAB 2009, the broadcast show in Las Vegas, Nevada – the title of potential "industry changer" without any doubt goes to just firmed DiiVA v1.0 standard.

DiiVA v1.0 [Digital Interactive Interface for Video & Audio] is a new connecting interface intended to replace not just HDMI, but Ethernet, USB, DVI, DisplayPort and reduce the number of communication cables to only two: power and DiiVA.

This standard is backed by LG, Panasonic, Samsung and the Chinese government. In short, CE companies are increasingly growing tired of HDMI and all the limitations of the standard [not to mention royalties], and with the upcoming "beyond HD" 4K resolution TVs [3840×2160 or 4096×2160 e.g. 2160p], large players in the industry feel the time has come to wave good bye to Silicon Image royalties and throw out HDMI altogether. Replacing a standard is nothing short of impressive and it is hard to believe that an industry known for its incompatibilities [remember connecting Sony VCR to Pioneer CRT TV? Those were the days of "fun"] managed to sit behind one table and negotiate a single, royalty-free standard that could end up in unifying computing and consumer electronic industry in a single sweep.

Will this be enough to kill HDMI?

According to the official FAQ, DiiVA enables transport of uncompressed video, multi-channel audio, USB, Ethernet, commands [TV control other devices on DiiVA network], power [just like Power over Ethernet, 5W total] and unfortunately broken-for-good content protection. The maximum cable length is currently set at 25 meters between two points. By using a planned repeater device [powered by the DiiVA cable itself], you can increase this to 50 meters. You can download the DiiVA FAQ on this page.

Honestly, I would love to see this coming to life… because if this standard really kicks off, imagine how much display we could connect on a graphics card. By simple rule of thumb, we calculated that a standard single-slot graphics card could fit six RJ-45 connectors – six displays! Now, DiiVA will not use the RJ-45 connector, but will develop new, user-friendly connector [look out for magnetic docking a’la Apple MacBook and ATI’s XGP connectors]. After DisplayLink and their brilliant USB solution, this one just may do the trick in the world of consumer electronics. Truth to be told, DisplayLink USB could probably fit around 4-8 connectors on a single graphics card.

In the end, we presume that the sheer force of LG, Panasonic, Samsung and the Chinese government is enough to make DiiVA a success. You can expect the first devices to debut in eight months from now, during CES 2010 in Las Vegas.