NEW: Time Extended: Call for Proposals: AR/VR Display Stream Compression Download

NEW: DSC Hypothetical Reference Decoder HRD Buffer Model Introduction Download

Call for Requirements: AR/VR Display Stream Compression. Download

VESA introduced the first Display Stream Compression (DSC) standard in 2014 and it quickly became the industry standard for data compression across the display interface. DSC was the first to offer a low latency, low complexity codec expressly designed for this purpose. DSC 1.1 has been incorporated into the VESA Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) and MIPI® DSI embedded mobile interface standards, and DSC 1.2b into the DisplayPort and HDMI® external video interface standards. The latest VESA Display Compression-M (VDC-M) standard has also been adopted into the MIPI DSI standard.

For mobile applications, DSC 1.1 and VDC-M mainly serve to reduce the video interface data rate, which reduces system power, prolongs battery life, and reduces interconnects to enable sleeker designs. For external display interfaces, DSC 1.2b extends resolution across existing connectors and cables, enabling 8K video and legacy support from the same connection.

The VESA Display Compression Codecs are designed to work with a wide variety of displays in a wide variety of use cases. They provide efficient compression and visually lossless quality for consumer and professional products. They work seamlessly with today’s wide variety of visual content including text and graphics, photographs and video, including high resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) content, and the dramatic and/or pastille graphics in games. The codecs are designed to perform well in HDR and Wide Color Gamut consumer and professional displays, in embedded displays for mobile computing, tablet, and high-resolution smart phones, in automotive applications, and in artificial and virtual reality headsets.

To assure visually lossless performance, VESA’s display interface compression standards are rigorously tested for subjective image quality using a diverse group of test subjects. Test images and a summary of test results are available from VESA. A bibliography of technical papers is also available.


Since its introduction in 2014, VESA’s Display Stream Compression (DSC) standard has achieved widespread success in enabling video transport compression. Adopted across the major display interface standards—including DisplayPort, HDMI® and MIPI®—DSC enables visually lossless compression for ultra-high-definition (UHD) display applications, while also facilitating High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 8K video across DisplayPort and USB-C.

Learn more about DSC


The VESA VDC-M compression standard provides an increased compression level while maintaining visually lossless quality, targeting additional markets such as low-power mobile computing. Useful in applications where raw transport bandwidth is limited, VDC-M provides more image compression when compared to the DSC Standard, with a trade-off of higher complexity. VDC-M has been adopted by the MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI-2) specification for use in embedded mobile display applications to save both power and compressed-frame memory size in high-resolution displays.

Technical Bibliography

For more information about the codecs and visually lossless compression, please refer to the publications referenced in our technical bibliography.

View References

Download the Specs

The Display Interface Compression Standards are available for free from VESA.

Download Now

Video and Image Files Download

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA®) has made one of the largest sources of high-resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) image and video content available for unrestricted public use. More than 28,000 files (500-plus Gigabytes) of uncompressed HDR image and video content are now free to download from the link below. The content comes courtesy of a multi-year, multi-phase research contract that VESA initiated with York University (Toronto, Canada) led by professors Robert Allison and Laurie Wilcox. The research encompassed the validation and improvement of the visually lossless performance of VESA’s Display Stream Compression (DSC) and VESA Display Compression-M (VDC-M) video compression codecs for stereoscopic 3D use cases, including for augmented/virtual/extended reality (AR/VR/XR) applications.

While the potential applications for the published material are nearly limitless, university students, faculty and researchers can leverage the content for visual science research projects, while companies can use the material for experimenting with or developing AR/VR/XR display technology and devices. The video and image files as well as instructions for downloading them can be found at: Access the files

If you have questions about the data, please email


Comparison of Features

Features DSC 1.1 DSC 1.2a VDC-M 1.1 VDC-M 1.2
Visually lossless compression performance verified by subjective testing
30 bit color, compression ratio (bits/pixel) 3.75:1 (8 bpp) 3.75:1 (8 bpp) 5:1 (6 bpp) 5:1 (6 bpp)
24 bit color, compression ratio (bits/pixel) 3:1 (8 bpp) 3:1 (8 bpp) 4:1 (6 bpp) 4:1 (6 bpp)
IC complexity1 Low Low Medium Medium
Backwards compatibility DSC 1.x DSC 1.x VDC-M 1.x VDC-M 1.x
Both encoder and decoder are specified
Normative C language code
Frame-by-frame compression
8, 10, 12 bits per color support 8/10/12 8/10/12/14/16 8/10/12 8/10/12
High Dynamic Range-ready
RGB and YCbCr 4:4:4 native encoding
YCbCr 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 native encoding No
Image test data base available from VESA
Compliance test guideline and test scripts
Publicly known adopting standards MIPI DSI 1.2
DSI-2 1.0
VESA eDP 1.4b
HDMI 2.1
VESA eDP 1.4b
MIPI DSI-2 1.1 MIPI (forthcoming)
✓ = Available now

1 These codecs are capable of operating in real-time within the throughput rate guidance, refer to the technical specification for details.