USB C vs HDMI vs Displayport: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. USB-C is a versatile connector that supports various functions, including video transmission, but its bandwidth for video is limited compared to HDMI and DisplayPort.
  2. HDMI is commonly used for connecting TVs and home theater systems, offering high-definition audio and video signals, support for high resolutions (including 4K and 8K), and features like ARC for audio return.
  3. DisplayPort is known for its high bandwidth and flexibility. It is popular for connecting high-resolution monitors and gaming setups, supporting advanced features like Adaptive Sync, and offering daisy-chaining capabilities.

What is USB-C?

USB C is the most common and widely used connecting cable, increasing its popularity daily. It is mainly used for transferring data, videos, audio, etc., from one device to another. The design of a USB C connector is reversible, small, and symmetrical, and that gets plugged into most of the devices available. 

It allows the user to transfer data at 40 Gbps and supports a 10K resolution video output at 60 Hz. USB C is most compatible with various devices such as – smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras, computers/desktops, etc.

What is HDMI?

HDMI is the abbreviation used for (High-Definition Multimedia Transfer) which is another electronic connector available in the market. It is a video and audio connecter that connects TVs, monitors, and projectors to other devices, such as – game consoles, computers, and Blu-ray players.

It is a single cable connector and supports a 4 K at 60 Hz resolution for video output. On the other hand, it allows transferring data at a speed of 18 Gbps which is comparatively slow. In addition, HDMI supports additional features such as – ARC (Audio Return Channel), Ethernet, and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) that help simplify the operations.

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What is Displayport?

Displayport is another type of connector that is available in the market. The primary purpose of a DisplayPort is to connect displays with any monitors or projectors with other devices such as – gaming consoles, laptops, and computers.

A DisplayPort supports high-definition resolution displays; thus, it has a maximum resolution of 8 K at 60 Hz. It helps HDR audio and video and allows data transfer at a bandwidth of 80 Gbps. It supports multi-stream transport, which professionals use to pair up multiple displays.

Difference Between USB C and HDMI and Displayport

  1. USB C is used for video, charging, and data transfer. In contrast, the purpose of both HDMI and Displayport is for audio and video.
  2. The bandwidth of USB C is up to 40 Gbps, the bandwidth for HDMI is around 18 Gbps, and the bandwidth of Displayport is up to 80 Gbps.
  3. The maximum resolution that a USB C connector support is 10 K at 60 Hz, at least for the HDMI connector, which is 4 K at 60 Hz, and for the Displayport, 8 K at 60 Hz.
  4. The feature of Hot Swappable means that a connector can be paired or unpaired without shutting it down to which it is connected. And only USB C has the hot-swappable feature, while neither HDMI nor Displayport connector doesn’t show this feature.
  5. Alternate mode indicates how many varied protocols can be used on different connectors. For USB C, three alternate modes of the connector are – Displayport Alt Mode, MHL, and Thunderbolt 3, whereas, on either side, neither HDMI nor Displayport has any alternate modes.
  6. USB C is compatible with almost every available device, such as – Monitors, Tablets, Phones, and Laptops. At the same time, HDMI is compatible with Game consoles, Laptops, TVs, and more devices. Displayport is thus compatible with TVs, Monitors, and a few laptops.
  7. A USB needs an adapter to connect non-USB C devices, whereas, on comparatively another hand, HDMI and Displayport don’t require an adapter.
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Comparison Between USB C and HDMI and Displayport

Parameter of ComparisonUSB CHDMIDisplayport 
PurposeVideo, charging, and data transferVideo and audioAudio and video
Bandwidth40 Gbps18 Gbps80 Gbps
Maximum Resolution10 K at 60 Hz4 K at 60 Hz8 K at 60 Hz
Hot SwappableYesNoNo
Alternate ModesDisplayport Alt Mode, MHL, Thunderbolt 3NoneNone
DevicesMonitors, Tablets, Phones, and LaptopsGame consoles, Laptops, TVs, and moreTVs, Monitors, and a few laptops
Adapter NeededOnly for non-USB C devicesFor HDMI-compatible devicesFor Displayport-compatible devices
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9497426/

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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