I'm hoping to be able to output HDMI/DVI-D for my next FGPA project but my FPGA doesn't have native support for TMDS outputs. The FPGA is a Spartan 3E and I believe it only has support for LVDS differential signalling.
I read a lot online about differential signalling and I have a general idea of how it works but I am confused about the different standards. I have also gone through the specifications for HDMI but it's very dry and seems to presume a certain familiarity with these concepts beforehand which I don't have.
For example, what exactly is TMDS vs LDVS? Is TMDS just an encoding scheme run over LVDS? Are TMDS and LVDS just standards for differential signalling but with different electrical characteristics? The absence of search results for LVDS to TMDS converter chips suggests my understanding is broken here.
In a practical sense, I am wondering if I can simply wire an HDMI breakout board directly to the input pins of my FPGA, configure those pins to the LVDS IO standard and expect it to work (given that the software side is written correctly). Some websites imply that I can but it seems that their FPGAs all have built in TMDS drivers where mine doesn't. Other sites say that I need TMDS support but then go onto say that LVDS works too. Wikipedia seems to suggest that LVDS is being phased out as a standard for transmitting data over DVI or HDMI.
Can anybody help me clear up any misunderstanding on how all this works?