How DisplayPort's Daisy-Chain Feature Improves the Reading Room
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Daisy Chaining or MST (multi-stream technology) is a method of connecting monitors together using a DisplayPort 1.2 input and output terminal. Rather than connecting each monitor to the graphics board of your computer, each monitor is connected to each other in a ‘daisy chain’ so that only one monitor needs to be connected to the computer.
There are many benefits of using a daisy chain in the reading room:
- A reduced amount of cabling required to operate multiple monitors. This frees up space and reduces clutter.
- Using short DisplayPort cables between monitors – as opposed to using multiple long cables – reduces the total length of wire, ultimately reducing the amount of PVC plastic required and thrown into landfills.
- Monitor connection becomes quicker and easier for installers, especially if a computer is located in a confined area, as only one display cable needs to be connected to the PC.
- Computer graphics boards only need to have a single DisplayPort output, rather than several, to be able to connect multiple monitors. This makes daisy chaining perfect for laptop and small-PC users, which often have limited outputs.
- Cables can’t be accidentally pulled out like some other display cable types, as the DisplayPort cable has a clip that connects it to the terminal. This is important when viewing time sensitive information.
- Excluding 5 megapixel monitors, daisy chaining doesn’t affect a monitor’s refresh rate – even on high performance monitors. This means that images will always be displayed as clearly as if they were directly connected to the PC.
DisplayPort 1.2 has a set bandwidth restriction, and can only support a limited amount of monitors depending on the resolution. The following graph shows the maximum number of same-resolution monitors that can be connected via a single DisplayPort 1.2 daisy chain, determined by resolution.
|Display Resolution||Maximum Number of Monitors|
|1200 x 1600 (2MP)||3|
|1536 x 2048 (3MP)||2|
|2048 x 2560 (5MP)||2|
|3280 x 2048 (6MP)||1|
|4096 x 2160 (8MP)||1|
However, monitors of varying resolution can also be used together. For example in the above graph, although a maximum of two 1536 x 2048 monitors is listed, an additional 1920 x 1200 resolution monitor is also possible. There are numerous resolution combinations that can be connected. If using EIZO monitors, we recommend consulting our connection guide here.
Furthermore, although DisplayPort 1.2 may be able to support a certain amount of monitors, your computer may not. You can check the amount of monitors that your computer can support by viewing a computer’s GPU limitations.
Once you’re confident you know how many monitors your computer can safely support via DisplayPort 1.2, you will need monitors that are daisy chain compatible. Daisy chain compatible monitors contain at least one DisplayPort input and one output terminal. The output terminal is what allows you to connect one monitor to the next. EIZO offers the following medically qualified monitors that are compatible with daisy chaining:
- RadiForce GX550: A 5 megapixel, monochrome LCD monitor for breast imaging
- RadiForce MX315W: An 8 megapixel, color LCD monitor perfect for multi-modality use such as CT, MRI and ultrasound.
- RadiForce RX660: A 6 megapixel, color LCD monitor designed for viewing a variety of medical images such as CR, DR, CT, MRI and ultrasound.
- RadiForce RX350: A 3 megapixel, color LCD monitor for displaying both grayscale and color images
- RadiForce RX250: A 2 megapixel color LCD monitor ideal for accurate display of both grayscale and color images.
As it can be difficult to determine how many monitors can be supported in one chain, EIZO offers a connection guide to help you use the daisy chain feature effectively following the DisplayPort 1.2 bandwidth restrictions.
Collaboration with The RadFlowSpace Group
EIZO is collaborating with The US-based RadFlowSpace Group on its research into multi-monitor workstations. RadFlowSpace™ and the RadFlowSpace Method™ are the creations of Dr. John Mukai. He is developing and vetting ideas that will bring relief to practicing radiologists who have become inundated with image data, case loads and time pressure resulting from today’s healthcare industry. The RadFlowSpace Group has transitioned its initial research - the RadFlowSpace Cockpit™ - and is simultaneously supporting its industrial partners to deliver better products, and radiologists to understand that they must adapt and embrace new ideas.
Dr. Mukai is using EIZO monitors in his work, and said the following about daisy chaining for radiology. “We have initiated work with EIZO Corporation to continue researching large, multi-monitor visual horizons for practicing radiologists. One of the challenges we face in our 8-monitor workstations is cable management. We believe that EIZO’s daisy chain capability will be an important factor in streamlining large multi-monitor deployments.”
EIZO would like to thank The RadFlowSpace Group for providing us with information on their RadFlowSpace Method™.