HDTV Playing Nice: Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the two new initiatives to get HD displays and home entertainment equipment to work together. Now there’s word about a new display interface for computers that is intended to help them work better with consumer electronics displays such as HDTVs.

The interface is called the Unified Display Interface — UDI — and it is aimed at replacing the traditional VGA analog 15-pin connector. It will work with both the existing DVI and HDMI connections, and will support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) which is part of the HDMI interface. Some major players in the display industry are backing the new standard, including Apple, Intel, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, National Semiconductor, and Silicon Image. The final specification is expected to be complete before mid-2006.

This could turn out to be an important development, especially if the computer is to become the lynchpin in the home entertainment center of the 21st century. The UDI interface could make it easier to connect televisions and monitors to computers and other devices, simplifying the connectivity problems and eliminating the snarl of incompatible cables that are so common at this point.