My first-ever monitor was a 13-inch Packard Bell CRT; it came bundled with the desktop. At the time, it was rather impressive, but by today's standards, it is trash. However, I had that monitor for close to 10 years before upgrading to a flat-screen LCD. When LCD monitors became affordable, the resolution was secondary thought; the fact that it was thin and light made it a must-have. As time marched on however, resolution became a runaway train that moved the market.
While I am perfectly content with 1080p, 4K resolution is ready to become the new normal. Before you invest in that upgrade however, you may want to check out this news from VESA regarding DisplayPort 1.3. You see, this new standard has the ability to do 5K video; is 4K resolution already yesterday's news?
"DisplayPort 1.3 continues to support video conversion to VGA, DVI and HDMI. DisplayPort 1.3 adds support for HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 with CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), which enhances DisplayPort’s utility for television applications, including 4K video with copy protection. The new standard adds support for the 4:2:0 pixel structure, a video format commonly used on consumer digital television interfaces, which enables support for future 8K x 4K displays", says the Video Electronics Standards Association.
VESA further explains, "the increased bandwidth enables higher resolution monitors, including recently announced 5K monitors (with pixel resolutions of 5120 x 2880) using a single DisplayPort cable without the use of compression. It will also enable higher resolutions when driving multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature, such as the use of two 4K UHD monitors, each with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, when using VESA Coordinated Video Timing".
With a maximum link bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps, this is definitely a huge upgrade. However, don't expect to buy a new DisplayPort cable and instantly have the ability to push 5K. No, you will need to have hardware that supports the new standard, such as a compatible video card and monitor.
Still, it sets the stage for the future of monitors, and I must say that the future is looking great. Don't worry though, if you still own a VGA, DVI or HDMI-only monitor, DisplayPort 1.3 will still support video conversion to those standards.
Will you upgrade to 4K or wait to see if 5K gains traction? Tell me in the comments.