What is EDID and why do I need it?

With all the technology associated with HDMI or other digital signal transmissions, many elusive terms come into play. One term that comes up frequently is EDID (Extended Display Identification Data). EDID is the information that the digital source and the digital display uses to work correctly with each other. To put it simply, EDID refers to the method your devices use to “talk to each other”.

1. What does EDID provide?

EDID sends and receives a tremendous amount of information that needs to be shared between the source and the display.

Here’s a breakdown of the major bits of information that EDID is sending and receiving:

  • The display manufacturer & source manufacturer information including the serial numbers and date of manufacturing.
  • The version and revision of the EDID data.
  • Display Feature Data: This data will let the systems share whether the display unit will accept analog and/or digital inputs. The size of the display (horizontal and vertical), power capability, color space and timing.
  • The RGB color space that is used by the display.
  • Timings:
    • Established; Video Resolutions
    • Standard; Additional resolutions supported by the display.
    • Detailed; Additional resolutions in detail
  • Data extension that is designed to support the advanced capabilities for consumer devices incorporating HDMI.

2. So why do you need EDID?

If you want to see anything on your display and there is no EDID present, you will have no video or image present, either. The source will not send the signal if it does not have the basic information to lay it on top of. Think of it as building a house. You can’t start building a house until you have the foundation in place. EDID is your foundation that everything is built on top of.

3. What happens if I do not have an EDID going from one electronic device to the next?

Nothing. Without the required information sent via EDID, you will not have an output to the display and your screen will remain blank.

4. Can I trick the source or display to thinking there is EDID present?

Yes. But that requires the source, or an in-line device like a switcher, to produce the EDID signal required. Many higher-end processors will copy the EDID signal (or Keys) – so, when you are switching, the equipment does not go down for an extended period of time. By making copies of the EDID, the equipment does not have to re-establish the full connection so there is less downtime.

5. What is an EDID Detective/Selector/Generator?

An EDID detective uses generic EDID Keys, or allows you to record the EDID so your display sees that EDID information and everything flows through smoothly.CSP-HDEDID

Comprehensive offers an EDID/CEC (CSP-HDEDID) selector designed to manipulate the EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) information to be provided to the source device so that it can recognize the capabilities of the connected display equipment and output the video/audio signal, accordingly. The Pro AV/IT HDMI EDID/CEC selector provides selections (SET Mode) of the major video/audio parameters including video resolution, video color depth, and audio format. It also has an EDID Bypass Mode (TV Mode) for comparison and verification.

Comprehensive’s Pro AV/IT HDMI EDID/CEC selector is perfect with Blu-Ray players, Set-Top Boxes, Home Theater, PCs and game consoles that connect to an HDMI display.

Posted by Martin Fensterstock

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