What’s Display Stream Compression (DSC)?

what is dislpay stream comrepssion and benefits for gamers

What’s Display Stream Compression (DSC)?

Display Stream Compression is a data compression technology developed by VESA to reduce the bandwidth and enable video interfaces to handle high resolution and high refresh rate video transmission.

DSC is now a common feature for most displays and is widely used in video transmission standards like DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1. With DSC, these connectors become more capable. They can transfer for example 8K@120hz images or even up to 10K@120hz.

As the technology uses a special algorithm to identify patterns and compress redundancies, the compression is efficient, visually lossless, and will not affect viewers’ experience. 

DSC and Graphics Cards

Let’s say you’re working on a desktop with a display. You would love your setup to make use of this DSC tech so that you can watch high-resolution videos or play high-refresh-rate PC games. One thing you need to make sure of is that both your graphics card (if you’re not connecting the output cable on the motherboard) and your monitor/display support DSC.

How to enable DSC with your graphics card? Basically, if the graphics card detects a display that supports DSC, this feature shall be automatically enabled. However, this could be a little bit tricky because graphics card manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD may not mark out clearly on their pages if the model supports DSC.

If you’re buying a new graphics card and want DSC to work, what you can do is to:

  1. Learn the capacity of your setup – your monitor and any other devices if there is any, for example, an adapter, or a KVM switch.
  2. Make sure what you expect, for example, 8K @120hz 4:4:4 HDR, or maybe 10K @120hz 4:2:0 VRR, etc.
  3. Make sure your current devices in the setup meet your standard, and contact the graphics card manufacturer to make sure the model you’re buying support this too.

DSC and Game Consoles

If you are a PC gamer, you can just pay for the ideal graphics card to satisfy your ambition. While If you are an enthusiast of console games like Elden Ring, God of War, or Zelda, will DSC help? You may be interested in PS5, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch supports DSC.

In fact, PS5 does not support DSC. The HDMI 2.1 port only supports a limited bandwidth of 32Gpbs instead of a full 48Gbps. It’s not clearly claimed by the manufacturer if the Xbox series X supports DSC and the device does drive its resolution up to 4K@120hz 4:4:4 16 bit.

If you can’t get this information from the game console company, asking the display manufacturer is also a nice try.

KVM Switch That Supports DSC

Well when you got a dream graphics card and a perfect game display and wanna finish your setup with a KVM switch so to share all your peripherals between your PC, laptop, and game consoles, what KVM switch you’re getting is a make-or-break.

As we have mentioned, devices including a KVM switch connected in the setup affect the performance. If this KVM switch does not support the resolutions you need, and it doesn’t do the DSC feature, you’re wasting your money on the graphics card and display.

AV Access released a brand-new 8K KVM switch in 2023 which supports DSC and can handle resolutions up to 8K@120hz and even 10K@120hz. This is surely a KVM switch for gaming enthusiasts! More are supported here:

  • 10K@120hz
  • 8K@120hz
  • 5K@120hz
  • 4K@120hz
  • 2560×1440@165hz/144hz/120hz
  • 1080P@240hz/165hz/144hz/120hz

kvm switch for gamers that supports DSC


In conclusion, Display Stream Compression is a key technology for pushing display capabilities to new heights, enabling the adoption of higher resolutions and refresh rates across various devices and interfaces.