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Video Bandwidth Calculator

This calculator should help you determine how much bandwidth a resolution needs, thus allowing you to more easily figure out what type of display cable you need.

Resolution:  x  @    

Video bandwidth of common cables and interfaces (without overhead):

  • VGA (DVI-A) = ~9.63 Gbit/s (~400 MHz RAMDAC).
  • DVI-D = 3.96 Gbit/s (Single Link, 165 MHz), 7.92 Gbit/s (Dual Link, 330 MHz).
  • HDMI
    v1.0/1.1/1.2(a) = 3.96 Gbit/s (165 Mhz).
    v1.3(a/b/b1/c)/1.4(a) = 8.16 Gbit/s (340 MHz)
    v2.0 = 14.40 Gbit/s (600 MHz).
  • DisplayPort
    v1.0/1.1 = 8.64 Gbit/s.
    v1.2(a) = 17.28 Gbit/s.
    v1.3 = 25.92 Gbit/s (up to ~80.27 Gbit/s with lossy compression).
Progressive frames are assumed, to enter interlaced values add "i" to the end of the height value, this simply divides the results by 2. Most modern flat panels are progressive natively. Selecting Stereo 3D will simply double the resulting values. The bit default is 24 bit, in a operating system or game or other software this may be selectable as 32 bit instead, in either case 24 bits are sent to the monitor. 96 bit is a theoretical example of where the three R G B components are represented by a IEEE 32 bit floating point value.

Cables have a transmission overhead as well, if the TMDS method 8b/10b is used for signals then the overhead is 2 bits per 8 bits, meaning 24 bits will use 30 bits of bandwidth. This is why all the base numbers in this calculator is without any overhead unless stated otherwise. To compare with the cable limit, look at the timing based results for a better approximation. DVI-D Dual Link has a tentative limit, the actual bandwidth limit is that of the copper and the hardware chipset.

Types of video timings are DMT, GTF, CVT/CVT-R/CVT-R2, CEA-861. The overhead may vary from resolution to resolution, and with EDID the monitor itself tells the system what the timings should be, which may or may not match typical timings. 59.94 Hz may also be specified as 60 Hz or vice versa and thus add to the confusion, the calculator works with exact numbers so 59.94 Hz will not be the same as 60 Hz. The CEA-861 numbers will display only for certain resolutions and only some are supported by HDMI standard, support by the DisplayPort standard should be full. Bitdepth is assumed to be RGB or YCbCr 4:4:4, other color models exists like YCbCr 4:2:2 and YCbCr 4:2:0 that uses less bandwidth but at the cost of quality, these are not considered in the current version of the calculator.

Ironically modern flat panel screens like LCDs require no blanking, all this mess with video timing is a remnant from the old CRT monitors.

Audio Bandwidth Calculator

The following is a audio bandwidth calculator, it shows you how much bandwidth LPCM (uncompressed) audio requires, any potential transmission overheads are not included in the resulting numbers.

Channels:  

Audio bandwidth of common cables and interfaces (without any overhead):

  • VGA (DVI-A) = Not supported.
  • DVI-D = Unofficially.
  • HDMI
    v1.0/1.1/1.2(a)/1.3(a/b/b1/c)/1.4(a)/2.0 = 36.864 Mbit (16/20/24 bit, 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz).
  • DisplayPort
    v1.0/1.1/1.2(a)/1.3 = 36.864 Mbit (16/24 bit, 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz).
A DVI-D output connector can unofficially handle audio as it is electrically pin compatible with HDMI (which was based on DVI-D), a modern computer graphics card could pass audio by using a passive DVI-D to HDMI adapter.
Lossless and lossy codecs may be used to squeeze more audio data together, these are not listed here and support varies widely between standards versions and interface implementations.
The number of channels and frequencies listed for each standard is what is officially listed as being supported, implementations may support less than or more than what is listed here.

If details are wrong, or the calculations are inaccurate please use the contact form, if the needed corrections are reasonably easy to implement they will be done.