Multimode Display Port Vs. Display Port

By Nicole Martinez

The DisplayPort interface for connecting computers to a monitor or HDTV might be available on your device if it was made by Apple, Lenovo, HP, Dell or Alienware. Computers with a DisplayPort interface typically display the "DP" logo next to the port itself on the outer casing. A "DP++" logo indicates that your computer supports multi-mode DisplayPort for use with different data types.

DisplayPort Background

DisplayPort technology is found on televisions, monitor screens and computers. As with HDMI, you can connect a source such as your computer to a TV set with a DisplayPort cable. Like HDMI, DisplayPort transfers both audio and video data in high-definition. DisplayPort and Multi-mode, which is sometimes known as dual mode DisplayPort, adds the function of converting the DP signal to other formats, including HDMI and DVI, with the use of an adapter.

Logo Identification

Multi-mode or dual-mode DisplayPort is identified by a DP++ logo on older computers. This logo adds two plus signs to the left side of the traditional DisplayPort logo, which is a white letter "P" inside a black letter "D". However, the DisplayPort website officially describes icons for regular and multi-mode as the same lettered logo, without the plus signs. Therefore, your device may support multi-mode DisplayPort even if it uses the plain logo.

Input Devices

Because traditional DP is not compatible with other signal types, you must use input and output devices that both offer DP ports if you don't have an adapter. However, you may be able to use a DisplayPort output with an input device if you buy an active adapter. The adapter itself transmits the signal to DP to HDMI or DVI, for example. If you buy a passive adapter, you won't be able to pair a DisplayPort output with a passive cable. However, low cost multi-mode output devices typically work with passive adapters.

Transmission Mode

Multi-mode DisplayPort technology uses a smaller, usually cheaper adapter because the port itself detects the connection to an HDMI or DVI cable and switches transmission mode. The adapter itself does not convert the signal and is only capable of transmitting data in one direction. Remember that while DisplayPort supports both audio and video, the manufacturer may not include audio support. In addition, DVI is a video-only technology so you will need to use an additional audio cable.