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DisplayPort 2.0 monitors are delayed until later this year due to the pandemic

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Monitors with DisplayPort 2.0 were supposed to appear in late 2020

DisplayPort cable
A DisplayPort cable.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

It has been nearly two years since the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) first published its DisplayPort 2.0 specifications, promising support for 8K monitors, higher refresh rates, and more. The first monitors with DisplayPort 2.0 were supposed to arrive in late 2020, but VESA now says it expects devices to ship later this year.

“Monitors supporting DisplayPort 2.0 are currently in development, but none have been released to market yet,” explains a VESA spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “DisplayPort 2.0 is working now in new system chips that should appear in products later in 2021.”

The delay is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hardware developers and engineers typically convene together a few times a year at a Plugtest event. These events are where multiple companies test systems and work out interoperability issues. “In 2020 VESA had no PlugTests, which has slowed the deployment of DisplayPort 2.0,” explains a VESA spokesperson. “VESA is now planning our next PlugTest for this Spring in Taiwan, so we expect to get this process rolling again.”

DisplayPort 2.0 is important not just for 8K, but also to usher in improved refresh rates and HDR support at higher resolutions. The new standard will technically support up to 80Gbps max, nearly three times what is currently available in the DisplayPort 1.4 spec. In reality, this will allow for gaming monitors to run at full 4K resolution with 144Hz or more, and HDR support without compression.

A number of gaming monitors are starting to bridge the gap with Display Stream Compression (DSC), which compresses UHD streams without a noticeable drop in visual quality. DisplayPort 2.0 will also support the following:

Single-display resolutions:

  • One 16K (15360 x 8460) display @ 60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • One 10K (10240 x 4320) display @ 60Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Dual-display resolutions:

  • Two 8K (7680 x 4320) displays @ 120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Two 4K (3840 x 2160) displays @ 144Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Triple-display resolutions:

  • Three 10K (10240 x 4320) displays @ 60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Three 4K (3840 x 2160) displays @ 90Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 also brings all of these capabilities to USB Type-C connectors, just as the industry prepares for USB 4. While we await DisplayPort 2.0’s arrival, HDMI 2.1 monitors are starting to appear more regularly. A number of manufacturers have unveiled new displays at CES this week, but most have opted not to price their HDMI 2.1 monitors.

Acer is the single exception, with an $899 price tag for its Nitro XV28, a 28-inch 4K monitor with an IPS display, HDMI 2.1 support, and a 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync Premium. The HDMI 2.1 spec is also capable of 8K video at 60Hz, along with support for video at 10K resolution. 8K monitors are still incredibly rare, though.