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DIRECT DIGITAL
TECHNOLOGY
Extron Electronics, USA
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Beeldschermweg 6C, 3821 AH Amersfoort An Application Guide to the


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Digital Interface Standards
Extron Electronics, Asia
PM Industrial Bldg.
for PC Displays
+65.383.4400
F +65.383.4664
Singapore 368363

Extron Electronics Information


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AX

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Our Commitment EXTRON INFORMATION
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turing computer interfaces,
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WHAT’S INSIDE

Introducing Digital
Interfacing 2

Early Years of Computer


Video Interfacing 2

The Rise of the


VGA Standard 2

Analog vs. Digital


Displays 4

PanelLink Technology
for Digital Interfacing 6

Current Standards for


Digital Interfacing 7

Direct Digital Video


Distance Limitations 9

Final
Thoughts 10

Glossary
Of Terms 11

Extron’s Direct Digital


Products 12
DIRECT DIGITAL
UNDERSTANDING
DIRECT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

Introducing Digital Interfacing Computer graphics and color


Most personal computers today became popular with the advent of
start with digital video, convert it to an personal computers. The first IBM
analog video, and then feed the signal personal computers used the digital
to an analog monitor. Although a TTL signal to transmit video from the
computer creates video in a digital computer to the monitor. This TTL
form, the CRT monitors are analog, standard (commonly known at
making the digital to analog (D/A) CGA/EGA) worked fine for text and
conversion necessary. More recently, limited graphics/colors. However, over
with the advent and growing time, computer graphics became more
popularity of digital displays (such as common, and continued to steadily
LCD and plasma displays), it made improve in quality. This in turn
sense to develop a direct digital required monitors to display higher
(pure digital) standard. Various resolutions and more colors. Due to the
manufacturers and groups have way that TTL worked, only a limited
developed direct digital standards. Of number of colors could be displayed.
these, the standard that has emerged as To allow more colors to be
the most popular is the Digital Visual displayed, it was decided to move to
Interface (DVI) standard. The DVI an analog video standard. The result
standard provides several advantages was the VGA (Video Graphics Array)
over analog video, including improved standard. (See "Computer Standards
image quality, lower cost (through the List" page 3).
elimination of A/D and D/A Early computers displayed
conversion stages) and easier setup. information as monochrome text
The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) messages. Then the development of
standard has emerged as one of the computer graphics created a demand
most popular and practical options for for increasingly sophisticated display
direct digital-to-digital connection. technologies, so the computer
Understanding this standard and what industry worked to increase the
preceded its development is key to resolution and number of colors for
taking full advantage of its benefits. displays. Before the creation of a video
standards group, IBM was the
dominant player, developing display
The Early Years of resolutions such as MDA, CGA, EGA,
Computer-Video Interfacing MCGA, and finally VGA. (See
When computers were first Computer Video Standards list,
developed output was often in the page 3.)
form of a printer which could print
text and limited graphics (usually
using text characters). This method
The Rise of the
had obvious limitations and eventually VGA Standard
the CRT display was selected as a With the advent of VGA,
display device. The CRT provided a computers changed from outputting
better interface between TTL video signals to outputting
computer and operator, but analog video signals, and the 9-pin D
most of the early CRT connector was replaced by the
displays were again used 15-pin HD. Since the 1980s VGA (the
only to display monochrome connector and signal combination) has
text information and limited been the standard video format found
graphics. on PCs.

2 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


HISTORY OF COMPUTER VIDEO STANDARDS
The Video Electronics Standards
1980
Association (VESA) was established in
CGA - 1981
1989 to become the standards group for
Color Graphics Adapter
video graphics. Higher standards for Text modes of 40 or 80 columns,
graphics displays continued to be by 25 lines, in 16 colors. Graphics
developed to meet the growing MDA - 1981 mode was 640 x 200 in 2 colors
Monochrome Display Adapter or 320 x 200 in 4 colors.
demand for more colors and higher Text displayed at 720 x 350.
resolutions. Additional resolutions No color or graphics.
including SVGA, XGA, SXGA, and HGC - 1982
Hercules Graphics Card
UXGA have been added, but the same Hercules Computer Technology
connector and video signal are still with a monochrome resolution of
EGA - 1984
used. The various resolutions of the 720 x 348.
Enhanced Graphics Adapter
VGA standard evolved as follows: Displayed 16 colors at the same
time, from a choice of 64, at a
resolution of 640 x 350.
VGA – 640 x 480
PGA - 1984
SVGA – 800 x 600 Professional Graphics Adapter
XGA – 1024 x 768 Used analog signals with a 9-pin D
SXGA – 1280 x 1024 MCGA - 1987 connector.
UXGA – 1600 x 1200 Multi/Color Graphics Adapter
Displayed 64 levels of grey with
16 colors at a resolution of 640 x 350.
It seemed the computer industry VGA - 1987
finally settled on VGA. Even Apple Video Graphics Adapter
Computer dropped their 15-pin D Began the series of graphics
standards used currently with
connector and switched to the 15-pin VESA - 1989 640 x 480 resolution.
HD VGA-style connector. However, Video Electronics Standards Association
VESA was established.
recently there have been significant
SVGA - 1990
challengers to the VGA standard for Super VGA
digital displays. Why change now? The Displays a resolution of 800 x 600.
main reason is the rising popularity of XGA - 1990
Extended Graphics Array
the new digital projectors and Displays a resolution of 1024 x 768.
monitors. With digital displays EVC - 1994
Enhanced Video Connector
becoming more common, and Developed by VESA to support
DDC - 1994
computers being digital to start with, it Display Data Channel
high-resolution video, multimedia,
and other signals.
makes sense to make the transition to a Developed by VESA to enable
totally digital system. communication between host
computer and display.
UXGA - 1996
Ultra Extended Graphics Array
Displays a resolution of 1600 x 1200.
EDID - 1996
Extended Display
Identification Data
Developed by VESA as a
communications protocol. P&D - 1997
Plug and Display
Developed by VESA and IBM and
uses Molex MicroCross connector.
DFP - 1999
Digital Flat Panel
Developed by VESA and DVI - 1999
based on P&D. Uses TMDS, Digital Visual Interface
DDC, and EDID standards. Developed by DDWG and based on
P&D. Uses Molex MicroCross
M1 - 1999 connector as well as TMDS, DDC,
Developed by VESA and EDID standards.
This is in proposal stages and is
targeted to the display side.
2000

Extron Electronics, Europe +31.33.453.4040 • Extron Electronics, Asia +65.383.4400 3


DIRECT DIGITAL
UNDERSTANDING
DIRECT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

Analog Versus Digital—Why Go Digital?


Consider the different sounds delivered by a piano
and a violin. When a pianist strikes the keys he plays
first one tone, and then another; however, when the
violinist slides his fingers up the strings he can play not
only those same tones but all the tones in between. The
piano can be considered a digital device, delivering
exactly the tones desired, while the violin is analog, less
exact but with infinite flexibility.

In an analog display, like a CRT monitor, an electron


beam draws an image onto a screen painted with
phosphors, which emit light when struck by the beam.
The electron gun basically sprays the image onto the screen.
Within the limits of the graphics card and monitor, changing
the image resolution is simply a matter of changing the
speed and pattern with which the electron beam sprays.

A digital display is laid out like real estate. Cells


(pixels) are fixed in place, each with a unique address.
CRT Display Specific picture information is delivered to each pixel
An electron beam “sprays” address. The advantage is that it makes a stable and precise picture
the screen through an because each pixel gets only its information, and not that of its neighbor.
aperture grill to form the The disadvantage is that because the digital pixels have physical locations,
pixels that make up an the display has a specific “native” resolution that cannot be increased. It
image. may, however, display a lower resolution image by using fewer pixels,
resulting in a smaller image surrounded by a black border. Images with
higher resolutions are scaled down to the native resolution of the display.

With analog video we have a variable signal that


creates an image by scanning information across a screen.
With digital video, we have fixed pixel locations, each of
which requires specific image information at a specific
time. When we convert analog video to digital video, we
must capture samples of a “moving” signal, translate the
color and intensity of each sample, and then deliver it to a
specific address on the digital display. We must also deal
with probable losses in translation. A good analogy would
be this—a story translated from English to Japanese and
then back to English would not read the same as the
original English-language story.

Currently, most desktop computers are all digital up to


the point of the video card, which provides analog output.
This means that the digital display must convert that
analog signal to digital (as illustrated in Figure 1).
LCD Display
A digital display is laid out If the graphics card provides direct digital output, this eliminates both
like real estate. Cells are the digital-to-analog (D/A) circuits in the host computer, and the analog-
fixed in place, each with a to-digital (A/D) circuits in the digital display. (See Figure 2.) If we use
unique address. direct digital computer-video interfacing, we no longer need A/D and
D/A conversion circuits, so we get a better video image at a lower cost.
However, those are only two of the benefits.

4 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


When analog signals are sent through a
cable to the display, they are susceptible to
interference and signal degradation. Digital
signals are largely immune to such effects Digital to Analog to Digital
(subject to distance limitations, as explained on
page 9).

When a digital display, such as LCD, DLP, Digital to Analog VGA


Analog
or plasma, is used with a conventional Converter to Digital
computer that outputs analog video, various
conversions must take place. Computers have
the ability to output a number of different
Computer Graphics Card
analog video resolutions. The display device Processor, Frame Buffer
Plasma, DLP or LCD
Digital Display Controller Board
must take the computer’s image and scale it, or EDID, Clock, Decoder,Processor, ROM,
Frame Buffer, Frame Rate Conversion,
map it, to match the resolution of the display. On Screen Display, Scaler
This requires the display to first digitize the
computer video signal. Figure 1.
Digital to Analog Output
So now the computer is generating digital video and converting it to
analog, while the digital display is reversing the process, converting the
analog video back to digital video. This means a digital to analog
(D/A) converter is needed, at the computer, and an analog to digital
(A/D) converter is needed at the digital display. This adds unnecessary
cost to the system. It also means the signal has to go through two
conversions before it is displayed. Since these conversions won’t be
perfect there will be a loss in signal integrity. Finally, controls have to be
added to the digital display to help it adapt to the inexact conversion
between analog and digital. Controls such as horizontal phase, pixel
timing and pixel phase are used on digital displays to compensation for
conversion inaccuracies. These adjustments will need to be set by the
user. Once the display is properly set up, it will only be correct with the
source for it was set up for. Add a new
computer and it will likely be necessary to
readjust the digital display.
Digital to Digital
With a direct digital connection between the
display and computer, the display tells the
computer graphics card to only output a
resolution that exactly matches that of the DVI
display. This saves the display from needing Digital
Digital
to do any scaling and preserves the integrity of
the image. The direct digital standards also
specify that transmission of a pixel clock
signal, this gives the display an exact reference Computer Graphics Card Plasma, DLP or LCD
Frame Buffer, Computer Graphics Controller, Digital Display Controller Board
for the timing of the video signals and removes Display Data Channel, Transmitter Chip Receiver Chip, Computer Graphics Controller
the need for both the pixel phase and
horizontal phase controls. Figure 2.
Digital Output
The data can be sent directly from the computer to the display in
digital form. The computer can directly send the display a pure digital
signal so there is no need for D/A and A/D conversion, or for the
display to be set up by the user.

Extron Electronics, Europe +31.33.453.4040 • Extron Electronics, Asia +65.383.4400 5


DIRECT DIGITAL
UNDERSTANDING
DIRECT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

PanelLink Technology for can be transmitted over twisted pair


Digital Interfacing wires as opposed to more expensive
For direct digital interfacing, Silicon cables. (TMDS uses differential
Image developed PanelLink, a signaling, which involves the use of a
proprietary electrical driver/receiver pair of wires for the TMDS signal. Since
technology trademarked for the digital electrical noise induced into the pair of
display market. PanelLink provides the wires affects both wires, it does not
plug-and-play advantage for purely create a voltage differential between
digital interfacing. Plug and play is them, so the noise will not be passed
accomplished when the graphics through. Consequently, twisted pair
controller host uses a PanelLink wires instead of more expensive, higher-
transmitter and the flat panel display quality coaxial cables may be used.)
uses a PanelLink receiver. The computer Sync and video information (data) is
and digital display communicate so that serialized and sent over three lines, with
the display identifies itself to the a fourth line for a clock signal. In other
computer, and then the computer sends words, the transmission takes place over
out the proper video signal to match the three sets of twisted pair wires for
native resolution of the display. There is picture data and sync, plus another set
nothing to adjust or set up. for timing. At the same time, a Display
Transition Minimized Differential Data Channel (DDC) line keeps the host
Signaling (TMDS) is the electrical computer and display in constant
standard used by PanelLink for trans- communication with each other, using
mitting digital video. Due to its Extended Display Identification Data
minimized transitions, which allows for (EDID) protocol. This allows the
faster signals, and its differential computer to control the display. It also
circuitry, the limited amplitude signals allows the display to identify itself to the

DVI Computer to
Projector Connection

DVI-D Connector Up to 10 Meter Cable DVI-D Connector

Red Data Image Data


R R
Computer 8 - 16 Parallel to Serial to 24 - 48 Computer
Graphics Serial Parallel Graphics
Controller Green Data Encoder Decoder Clock Controller
G G
8 - 16

Blue Data Control


B B
8 - 16

Clock
Clk. Clk.
Controls

3 Data Pairs
Display
PLL & 1 Clock Pair PLL
Data
for Minimum
Channel
Transmitter Chip Configuration Receiver Chip
(DDC)
DDC Data
DDC Clock
Computer Graphics Processing Projector Graphics Processing

6 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


computer. DDC is bi-directional PanelLink technology.
communication that occurs between a Because PanelLink signals are
computer and a display, and EDID is a differential, each signal requires two
communications protocol or instruction pins (+ and -). Also, each pair has a
set that identifies display devices to shield. Two pins are used for DDC
computers via DDC. communications, and the hot-plug
Higher-resolution digital displays detect pin complies with the VESA
require more pixel information in the Plug & Display (P&D) standard.
same amount of time. This demands a The DVI and DFP standards differ
faster data rate and higher bandwidth, in connector type and pin-out configu-
which requires more expensive circuits ration. For the DFP standard, VESA
and higher quality cables. An picked a 20-pin MDR (mini-D ribbon)
alternative to the higher bandwidth connector, which only carries direct
requirement is to use twice as many digital video signals for PanelLink
data lines, like adding lanes to a single-link (the DFP connector does not
highway to enable more traffic at the offer enough pins for dual-link).
same flow rate. DFP/DVI has two The DVI-I connector offers more
configurations depending on the versatility because it allows analog
bandwidth; a three-line method and a VGA signals to be run alongside digital
six-line method. The three-line method video signals. Like the term “VGA,”
is called single-link, and the six-line the term DVI refers to both the signal
method is called dual-link. and the particular connector and pin
The TMDS signal format allows configuration used. There are two
for high-speed data transfer up to
1.6 gigabits/second per link. The chart
(below, right) shows a cross-reference
of typical computer resolutions and
refresh rates versus the number of links
required. A single-link system should 3
suffice for computers and workstations single link

running resolutions up to and Single


Copper barrier
2
including 1280 x 1024, and depending channel ls)
Selective refresh
nne els)
on the refresh rate, a single-link system bandwidth cha chann
[Gbs] li n k (3
wo links (6
can even handle 1600 x 1200. 1 DS T
e TM
On

Current Connectivity 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350


Standards for Digital Pixel Bandwidth [MPix/sec]

Interfacing Refresh rates


60 Hz LCD
There have been a number of direct 5% Blanking
digital standards created: Sony’s 60 Hz CRT
GTF Blanking
Gigabit Video Interface (GVIF), the 75 Hz CRT
Digital Display Working Group’s GTF Blanking
85 Hz CRT
(DDWG) Digital Visual Interface (DVI), GTF Blanking
and VESA’s Digital Flat Panel (DFP).
Of these, the DVI and DFP standards Legend: VGA (640x480) SXGA (1280x1024) QXGA (2048x1536)
are the most popular, and both use SVGA (800x600) UXGA (1600x1200)
XGA (1024x768) HDTV (1920x1080)

Extron Electronics, Europe +31.33.453.4040 • Extron Electronics, Asia +65.383.4400 7


DIRECT DIGITAL
UNDERSTANDING
DIRECT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

C1 C2
1 8 1 8

9 9
types of DVI connectors: the 24-pin
17 24 17 24
C5 DVI-D connector and the 29-pin DVI-I
C3 C4
DVI-D Receptacle Connector DVI-I Receptacle Connector connector. Both DVI connectors carry the
Pin Signal Pin Signal Pin Signal
TMDS video information on the pins
1 TMDS Data 2- 11
TMDS Data 1/3
21 TMDS Data 5+
marked Data 0, 1, and 2 when a single-
Shield

2 TMDS Data2+ 12 TMDS Data 3- 22 TMDS Clock Shield


link system is employed. Pins marked
3
TMDS Data 2/4
13 TMDS Data 3+ 23 TMDS Clock+
Data 3, 4, and 5 are used in addition for
Shield

4 TMDS Data 4- 14 +5 V Power 24 TMDS Clock-


a dual-link system. The DVI-D
5 TMDS Data4+ 15
Ground (+5 V,
C1
Analog Red Video connector is a single- or dual-link, direct
Analog H/V Sync) Out

6 DDC Clock 16 Hot Plug Detect C2


Analog Green digital video only connector. The 29-pin
Video Out
Analog Blue Video
DVI-I connector carries single- or dual-
7 DDC Data 17 TMDS Data 0- C3
Out
link direct digital video signals on 23
Analog Vertical Analog Horizontal
8
Sync
18 TMDS Data 0+ C4
Sync pins and a ground on one pin, while
9 TMDS Data 1- 19
TMDS Data 0/5
Shield C5
Analog Common
Ground Return (R,
analog video signals are carried on the
10 TMDS Data 1+ 20 TMDS Data 5- G, B Video Out)
five remaining pins.
There are manufacturers, such as
ATI and Matrox, who produce graphics
10 1
cards with digital video output and
20 11
may also include analog video output
DFP Receptacle Connector
for the sake of compatibility. The DVI-I
Pin Signal Pin Signal Pin Signal connector enables combination digital
1 TX Data 1+ 8 Logic +5VDC 15 TX Data 0+ and analog video systems to be
2 TX Data 1- 9 NC 16 TX Data 0-
employed during the transition period
3 Shield 1 10 NC 17 NC
from analog to digital video. There are
4 Shield Clock 11 TX Data 2+ 18 Hot Plug Detect

5 TX Clock + 12 TX Data 2- 19 DDC2B Data


graphics cards which can output digital
6 TX Clock - 13 Shield 2 20 DDC2B Clock video to a DFP connector and analog
7 Logic Ground 14 Shield 0
video to a 15-pin HD connector. For
combination digital and analog video
systems, using both the DFP connector
1 10 C1 C2 and a 15-pin HD connector is an
alternative to using the DVI-I
C5
21 30
C3 C4
connector.
M1 Connector Since DVI and DFP both use
Pin Signal Pin Signal Pin Signal
PanelLink technology, adapters may be
1 TMDS Data 2+ 13
TMDS Data
25 DDC & USB Return
used to convert DFP connectors to DVI
1 Shield/Return

2 TMDS Data 2- 14 TMDS Clock + 26 DDC Data (SDA)


connectors, and vice versa, depending
3
TMDS Data
2 Shield/Return
15 TMDS Clock - 27 DDC Clock (SCL) on an A/V system’s needs.
4 H & V Sync Return 16 USB Data + 28 DDC +5V DC Output While DVI and DFP standards are
5 H Sync 17 USB Data - 29 TMDS Data 5+ targeted at the computer side of the
6 V Sync 18 TMDS Data 3, 4, 5
Shield/Return
30 TMDS Data 5- direct digital interfacing connection,
7
TMDS Clock
19 TMDS Data 4+ C1 Red Video In
VESA’s new proposal, M1, is targeted
Shield/Return

Hot Plug Detect


at the display side. M1, a connector
8 20 TMDS Data 4- C2 Green Video In
(+5V DC Output)
system being developed to simplify
9 TMDS Data 3+ 21 TMDS Data 0+ C3 Analog Cable Detect
monitor connections, supports analog
10 TMDS Data 3- 22 TMDS Data 0- C4 Blue Video In
and digital video interfacing. It allows
TMDS Data 0
11 TMDS Data 1+ 23
Shield/Return
C5 Video Return
any computer using a 15-pin HD, DVI,
Cable Outer Shield,
12 TMDS Data 1- 24 USB +5V DC
Input
Shell
USB Pair Shield DFP, or USB connector to connect to a
port on the monitor.

8 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


lossless transmission of direct digital video
Direct Digital Video Distance signals between a digital video source and a
Limitations digital display. Each set consists of a direct digital
As with all high speed digital signals, the direct transmitter (DDTX) and direct digital receiver
digital video output signals are only good for (DDRX), both capable of handling bit rates up to
short distances, usually less than 15 feet. What 1.6 gigabits/sec/color. The DDTX/DDRX DVI
happens when you need to send the direct digital and DDTX/DDRX extend the distance range of
signal to a direct digital display mounted in the DVI and DFP up to 330 feet using Extron’s Super
ceiling or at the opposite end of the room? Unlike High Resolution cable, or 150 feet using Extron’s
analog signals, digital signals do not decrease High Resolution cable.
gradually as distance increases; a digital signal What if we want to send the same signal to
experiences amplitude loss and edge degradation more than one digital display, or what if we want
causing the digital receiver to drop out of sync and to display the digital image on a projector and a
not acquire the signal properly. This is referred to local monitor? Most graphics cards cannot handle
as the “cliff effect.” However, we can send digital the extra load. Extron’s D/2 DA4 and D/2 DA4
video signals further when we use a long distance DVI are one input, four output direct digital distri-
transmitter and receiver set. Extron offers the bution amplifiers. The D/2 DA4 DVI and
DDTX/DDRX, a direct digital transmitter-receiver D/2 DA4 accept DVI or DFP signals, respectively,
set designed for long-distance transmission of DFP from a computer and distribute up to four
or DVI signals between a source and direct digital identical, independently buffered outputs for cable
display. Extron’s DDTX/DDRX and DDTX/DDRX runs of up to 15 feet. The D/2 DA4 DVI and
DVI are two-device sets that enable long-distance, D/2 DA4 accept transition minimized differential

Digital Video Output

D/2 DA4 DVI

DVI Cables

DDTX DVI

Comm-Link Cable

Digital Projector Digital Projector DDRX DVI


Up to 330' with
Extron Super High DVI cable
Resolution Cable

BNC-4 Coax Cable

Ceiling

Digital Projector

Extron Electronics, Europe +31.33.453.4040 • Extron Electronics, Asia +65.383.4400 9


DIRECT DIGITAL
UNDERSTANDING
DIRECT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

signaling (TMDS) DVI and DFP signals, Final Thoughts


A Quick Evolution of both at a bit rate of up to 1.6
Computer Video A/V products continue to evolve as
gigabits/sec/color.
advances occur in research and manu-
For more versatility, a transmitter/
facturing. With the advent of all-digital
• Computers operate using receiver set can be used in conjunction
digital information (bits, interfacing, we can look forward to a
bytes, etc.). Early com- with a direct digital distribution
future of consistently high-quality
puters displayed informa- amplifier. A single digital video signal
tion with blinking lights computer video images effortlessly
or on printed paper (no can be distributed to three local
displayed on digital projectors and
monitors). devices, as well as to a direct digital
monitors at low costs.
• When displays (monitors) transmitter for transmission to a
were added to computer distant display. Similarly, the original
systems, the logical
choice was to use analog signal can be transmitted over a
technology, based upon distance to a direct digital receiver,
existing CRT (cathode ray
tube) technology used which then distributes it to four
in television and test separate displays at that remote
equipment.
location.
• The computer graphics
circuits had to convert Users should be aware of two
the digital information to related concerns when using DVI. First,
analog technology for
display on the CRT. DVI displays accept only one
resolution. If a flat panel monitor is
• Computer video devel-
oped greater refinements rated at 1024 x 768, then that is the only
for displaying higher and resolution it can handle. This is
higher quality graphics.
CRT monitors and graphics important to remember when video is
cards became larger and distributed to multiple displays. All
more refined to keep up
with the demand. displays in a distribution system must
• Digital displays were
have the same native resolution.
invented, but they A second concern is DDC communi-
weren’t very good at cations. When a DVI display is
first. They became more
refined, especially with connected to a computer, the display
the popularity of laptop
computers. identifies itself to the computer through
DDC and EDID, indicating which
• Digital projectors were
invented and refined to resolution it can accept. Then the
fill the need to take com- computer graphics card will send out
puter video on the road.
the appropriate resolution in response.
• Graphics cards still convert This DDC link must be active at boot-up
the computer’s digital
information to analog for for proper display operation because
display on a monitor. The the computer will not send out any
analog signal must then
be converted back to signal unless it receives a DDC signal.
digital for digital displays. Extron’s D/2 DA4 handles the DDC
• The cost of D/A and A/D signal by linking display number one to
conversion is not only in
dollars, but also in the
the computer. The computer will send
loss of signal quality and out video at the resolution required by
setup time.
this display, so the other displays
(numbers two through four) must have
native resolutions identical to the native
Welcome resolution of display number one.
Direct Digital Interfacing

10 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


Glossary
Display Data Channel (DDC) Extended Display Identification Data (EDID)
Developed by VESA, DDC is a standard for EDID is a communications protocol or
bi-directional communications between a instruction set developed by VESA for the
computer and a display. DDC is the standard identification of displays to computers via DDC
that makes Plug and Play possible for communications.
computer displays.
Gigabit Video Interface (GVIF)
Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) GVIF is a transmission and connectivity
The DDWG develops standards for digital standard developed by Sony. GVIF is used for
displays. Member companies include Compaq, digital video connectivity on Sony VAIO
Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, and desktop computer systems and Sony laptop
Silicon Image. computers. It is not used much outside of Japan.

Digital Flat Panel (DFP) Mini-D ribbon (MDR)


DFP is a digital video connectivity standard MDR is the connector type used for the DFP
developed by VESA. DFP uses a 20-pin MDR standard.
connector and TMDS technology. DFP uses
DDC and EDID VESA standards for configura- M1
tion management. DFP also supports Hot Plug The M1 display interface system is being devel-
Detection for compatibility with the P&D oped by VESA to simplify monitor connections,
VESA standard. the M1 connector system is a display-side
standard that supports analog and digital video
Digital Flat Panel (DFP) Group interfacing. It allows any computer using a
The DFP Group supports the DFP standard 15-pin HD, DVI, DFP, or USB connector to
and includes members such as Acer, Belkin, connect to a port on its monitor.
Compaq, Diamond, Fujitsu, Matrox, Princeton
Graphic, Siemens, Taxan, and ViewSonic. Plug and Display (P&D)
P&D is a standard that simplifies cable routing
Dot clock between the PC and other devices. A hub
Also referred to as “pixel clock.” The dot clock located at the monitor distributes all signals to
is the timing device in a graphics card that separate connectors for attachment to the
determines the pixel resolution. The dot clock appropriate devices.
runs at a rate that produces the highest possi-
ble pixel resolution for that device. In a digital PanelLink
projector, the dot clock samples the analog PanelLink is the marketing name for Silicon
video at a rate that produces the resultant pixel Image’s TMDS transmission technology.
resolution.
Transition Minimized
Digital Visual Interface (DVI) Differential Signaling (TMDS)
DVI is a digital video connectivity standard Developed by Silicon Image, TMDS is a propri-
developed by DDWG. This standard offers a etary electrical driver/receiver technology for
24-pin, digital only, DVI-D connector and a digital video transmission. TMDS is marketed
29-pin, digital and analog, DVI-I connector. as PanelLink.
Like DFP, DVI uses TMDS technology and
DDC and EDID VESA standards for configura-
tion management. DVI also supports Hot Plug
Detection for compatibility with the P&D
VESA standard.

Extron Electronics, Europe +31.33.453.4040 • Extron Electronics, Asia +65.383.4400 11


DIRECT DIGITAL
DIGITAL VIDEO INTERFACING

Extron is your source for long-distance transmission and distribution solutions to your
direct digital video needs. Below are Extron’s Direct Digital products.

DDTX/DDRX DVI
Direct Digital Transmitter/Direct Digital Receiver for DVI Signals
Part number: 60-316-02
• Direct digital video transmitter-receiver set
DDTX DVI (Transmitter)
• Compatible with direct digital sources and direct digital displays
• Perfect for long-distance transmission of DVI signals between a source and direct
digital display
• Using the DDTX/DDRX DVI, direct digital signals are able to travel up to 330 feet
(100 meters), depending on the type and quality of cable used
• Extron’s exclusive digital technology compensates for signal loss and ringing
DDRX DVI (Receiver)

D/2 DA4 DVI


Direct Digital Distribution Amplifier for DVI Signals
Part number: 60-315-02
• One input, four output, direct digital distribution amplifier
• Distributes PanelLink signals to up to four identical, independently buffered outputs
D/2 DA4 DVI (Distribution Amplifier) for cable runs up to 15 feet (4.6 meters)
• Ideal for applications using multiple direct digital monitors or projectors with
identical resolutions and refresh rates

DDTX/DDRX
Direct Digital Transmitter/Direct Digital Receiver for DFP Signals
Part number: 60-316-01
DDTX (Transmitter) • Direct digital video transmitter-receiver set
• Compatible with direct digital sources and direct digital displays
• Perfect for long-distance transmission of DFP signals between a source and direct
digital display
• Using the DDTX/DDRX, direct digital signals are able to travel up to 330 feet
(100 meters), depending on the type and quality of cable used
DDRX (Receiver) • Extron’s exclusive digital technology compensates for signal loss and ringing

D/2 DA4
Direct Digital Distribution Amplifier for DFP Signals
Part number: 60-315-01
• One input, four output, direct digital distribution amplifier
D/2 DA4 (Distribution Amplifier) • Compatible with direct digital sources and direct digital displays
• Distributes PanelLink signals to up to four identical, independently buffered outputs
for cable runs up to 15 feet (4.6 meters)
• Ideal for applications using multiple direct digital monitors or projectors with
identical resolutions and refresh rates

http://www.extron.com/ddtx
http://www.extron.com/d2da4

12 Extron Electronics Sales & Technical Support Hotline 800.633.9876 • www.extron.com


Our Commitment EXTRON INFORMATION
to your education
SALES & MARKETING (USA): .............................................................................. Extron Electronics
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E
xtron Electronics was founded in Sales 714.491.1500 800.633.9876
1983 and started by manufac- FAX 714.491.1517
turing computer interfaces,
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which allow computer video to be
Beeldschermweg 6C, 3821 AH Amersfoort
displayed on CRT video projectors. The Netherlands
At that time, video projectors on the Sales +31.33.453.4040 800.3987.6673 (800.EXTRON.S3)
market could only display standard FAX +31.33.453.4050
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signals); they were unable to display SALES & MARKETING (ASIA): .............................................................................. Extron Electronics / Extron Asia
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techniques. WARRANTY: ........................................................................................................ Two years parts and labor
Revision 2

DIRECT DIGITAL
TECHNOLOGY
Extron Electronics, USA
1230 South Lewis Street, Anaheim, CAA 92805
800.633.9876 714.491.1500
F X 714.491.1517
FAX
USA

Beeldschermweg 6C, 3821 AH Amersfoort An Application Guide to the


F X +31.33.453.4050
FAX
The Netherlands
Digital Interface Standards
Extron Electronics, Asia
PM Industrial Bldg.
for PC Displays
+65.383.4400
F +65.383.4664
Singapore 368363

Extron Electronics Information


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