The ABCs of DDC
/CI"> The ABCs of DDC/CI One company offering true innovation targeted at the corporate enterprise is NEC. The company is taking advantage of a Video Electronics Standards Association specification called DDC/CI (Display Data Channel/ Command Interface) that allows IT administrators to control a monitors display functions. (More information is available at www. eweek.com/links.)For this to work, however, there must be a monitor driver in addition to the adapter driver, and the two must work in conjunction with each other. NEC has implemented DDC/CI, a 4-year-old proposed standard that is just now meandering into products, as fully as possible in its Naviset architecture. Naviset allows administrators to control monitors via Ethernet cable or long-range signal cables. The DDC/CI specification is display-technology-agnostic and will work with all forms of CRTs and LCDs. However, NEC has implemented it only in a select number of product lines. Meanwhile, DDC/CI will not be ubiquitous until support for it is inherent in the operating system. Microsoft Corp. announced support for DDC/CI, but company officials said it wont be part of the operating system until the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, ships in 2004. Until then, enterprise monitor purchases will largely remain a battle of cost vs. coolness. eWeek Labs Director John Taschek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In most cases, monitors are automatically recognized by modern operating systems and run without requiring IT support. However, driver changes and installation of graphics interfaces can cause erratic behavior. Users, meanwhile, often cannot diagnose or fix problems because of inconsistent user interfaces. DDC/CI offers bidirectional control over DDC/ CI-equipped monitors and display adapters.