VESA invents stickers to distinguish DisplayPort 2.0 cables. I wish the idea would be used by the rest of the cables

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I laugh about the future without cables. Not only have we not reduced our reliance on cables, we use them more than ever. Wi-Fi connections and 4G/5G networks are great, but the world still needs more cables than ever, and that has caused a problem: differentiate from each other.

VESA, the body responsible for the DisplayPort specification, has announced a new certification for DP 2.0, but nothing changes in the external appearance of the connectors that take advantage of it. They have done? Use a label that certifies each DisplayPort cable and differentiates it from another. The idea is so simple and brilliant that it is inevitable not to think that those labels on the wires would be perfect to deal with a world full of cables.

VESA wants no mess

The VESA Initiative will allow DP40 and DP80 cables to be certified to distinguish their performance: the former must support the UBBR 10 (Ultra-high Bit Rate 10) transfer rate, or what is the same, 10 Gbps of transfer in its four tracks. The latter must certify that they support UBHR 13.5 and UBHR 20, which allow reaching 13.5 Gbps and 20 Gbps respectively in their four lanes (for a total of 80 Gbps).

VESA’s goal is to try to avoid confusion between its cables, but also with the HDMI 2.1 standard that reigns in the world of Smart TVs, while DisplayPort 2.0 dominates the world of monitors. The picaresque with the use of HDMI 2.1 ports —which may not be as HDMI 2.1 depending on the manufacturer— has provoked an interesting reaction in VESA, which thus wants to make it clear that cables bearing that label guarantee these features.

#cableporn will convince you that cables can be incredibly beautiful

As VESA board member Craig Wiley pointed out at Ars Technica, what has happened with HDMI 2.1 “is now a known issue…As new standards come along with those options or supporting all those great features… just because they are certified to a new standard, does not mean that all of them are supported. That’s something that needs to be communicated.”

I wish labels for all the cables in the world

VESA’s proposal for DisplayPort 2.0 cables is great, and probably many of you think like me: this should be done for many other cables. Maybe for everyone.

USB-C

Some manufacturers label USB-C ports to differentiate one from another. Unfortunately, not everyone does. Source: DataPro.net.

That’s especially true for USB-C cables, a standard that is anything but standard and that for years has caused confusion and problems to its users.

USB-C is the worst standard ever because it's anything but standard

Not only in the cables, but also in the connectors: some allow charging (PD, Power Delivery), or certain transfer speeds, or connection to external monitors (thanks to the Alt Modes). Some manufacturers show small labels in those ports but others don’t.

But as we say, the problem is also in the cables, which, as in the case of USB-C, mix features without it ever being completely clear from the mere appearance of the cable if it will be worth what we want or not. Unless we have just removed it from the box or package with which it was sold to us, things are very complicated.

Here the USB Implementers Forum intended to alleviate the problem a bit in September of last year with some logos to show its charging and transfer capacity, but those logos are oriented to boxes and packaging, and not to cables themselves.

Screenshot 2022 03 01 At 13 19 55

Each USB-C cable is a world. Source: Adafruit.

The same happens for example with HDMI cablesalthough the organism that leads its development also poses some labels for packaging that, for example, allows distinguish HDMI 2.1 cables.

Everything would probably be easier if those labels were on the cables as such, and not just on the boxes: that can avoid problems when buying them, but not so many when using them. It is true that there are “portable label makers” like the Brother PTH110 that allows you to generate small labels to add to each cable, but… shouldn’t the manufacturer facilitate that distinction between cables?

Perhaps the VESA proposal will end penetrating in other certifying organisms. Perhaps we will end up seeing those labels identifying all kinds of cables and that will avoid scares and problems. If only.

I laugh about the future without cables. Not only have we not reduced our reliance on cables, we use them…

I laugh about the future without cables. Not only have we not reduced our reliance on cables, we use them…

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