DVI is a Digital Video Interface that is used for connecting VDC (video display controller) and a monitor. It was invented in 1999 to support an image in digital form. It is a popular choice to enhance the quality of videos on monitors and LCD screens. Initially, it was designed as a replacement for VGA cables.
DVI cable was also used as a digital transfer method for TV for some time but are commonly used with computers. Nowadays, most of the video cards also come with DVI ports for a high-quality representation of video content. Digital Video Interface can transmit digital video at resolutions up to 2560*1600. For all the gaming freaks out there DVI cable is a must for an impressive display.
Types of DVI Cables and Connectors:
DVI cables are divided into three categories DVI-A(Analog), DVI-D(Digital), DVI-I(Integrated) depending on the format they support. A DVI connector is 37mm in width and consists of multiple pins. The DVI connectors are categorized into single-link and dual-link based on data rates. There are three types of DVI connectors, based on the format it supports which are given below:
DVI-A is the rare type of DVI connector that only supports an analog format. It does not contain a dual link and comes with a total of 17 pins. A DVI-A is capable of transmitting a maximum resolution of 1920*1080. They are suitable for connecting older devices to modern equipment. The signals supported by DVI-A resemble VGA signals but have some changes. If you want to connect VGA video card to a DVI-A monitor, you need a VGA to DVI adapter.
DVI-D stands for DVI-Digital, and this connector only supports digital video signals. It is probably the most widely used type of connector for monitors and works with both DVI-D and DVI-I cables. A single-link DVI-D connector consists of 24 pins divided into three rows equally. The maximum resolution supported by a single-link DVI-D is 1920*1080 at 4.59 Gbps. The dual-link DVI-D type comes with a grounding slot making the total number of pins 25. A dual-link DVI-D can transmit a maximum resolution of 2048*1536 at 9.9 Gbps.
DVI-I is the integrated type of DVI connector that can transmit both analog and digital video signals. Even though it can transmit both but cannot convert the analog signal into digital and vice versa. DVI-I connector supports all the types of DVI cable, but a DVI-I cable cannot support all DVI connectors.
A single link DVI-I connector contains 23 pins divided into sets of 18 and 5. It can transmit a maximum resolution of 1600*1200 at 4.95 Gbps. There are total 29 pins in a dual-link DVI-I connector consisting of sets of 24 and 5 pins. A dual-link DVI-I can support up to 2048*1536 at 9.9 Gbps.
Gender Configurations :
The DVI cable connector is divided into different gender configurations. A male connector known as the plug has an outgrowth that connects with the female connector which is called receptacle. Different gender configurations of DVI cables are given below:
- Male-Female: One end of the cable has a male connector, and the other has a female connector.
- Male-Male: There are male connectors on both ends of the cable.
- Female-Female: There are female connectors on both ends of the cable.
DVI and HDMI Compatibility:
The HDMI cable is compatible with DVI-D and DVI-I type. There are also DVI to HDMI cables and converters available in the market. These cables can send a DVI output to HDMI input and vice versa. Keep in mind that a DVI cannot transmit audio signals so you cannot get sound from a DVI to HDMI cable.
Another unpopular type of DVI connector is DVI-DL (Dual Link). It has an additional internal connection used for data delivery at high-resolution. DVI-DL is not commonly used, but you might need it for devices with this interface.
Which DVI Cable to Choose:
Although DVI connectors are of different types, all of them use the same standards as used by other cable types. The first thing to notice while choosing a DVI cable is the connection points on the connector of your device. You should also consult manuals before selecting the DVI cable. There are many companies like Scondar that guide customers to select the right type of cable.
Some key points to consider while choosing a DVI cable are given below:
- With DVI-D plug, you can either use DVI-D cable or DVI-I cable. It is possible only if the female plug of your device can connect to DVI-I connector’s extra points.
- For a DVI-A plug, both DVI-A and DVI-I cables can be used. It is possible if your device’s female plug can connect to the extra points on the DVI cable’s male connector.
- For a DVI-I plug, you can use all kinds of DVI cables.
Advantages of a DVI Cable:
- One of the main advantages of a DVI cable is its ability to transmit both analog and digital signals. DVI cables do not require digital to analog conversion, and that is the reason for negligible data loss during transmission.
- Unlike VGA cables, DVI cables can be hotplugged. It means that you do not need to shut down the computer for attaching and detaching DVI cable.
- The superior resolution quality offered by DVI cable is another prominent feature that makes it an excellent choice.
- If you compare the transmitting speed of DVI with VGA, you will find DVI way better.
- Digital video signals transmitted by DVI are better than VGA because they do not get affected by analog noise.
- A DVI cable has a better shielding compared to VGA cable. It means that the transmission of DVI cables is unaffected by the distortion caused by surrounding cables.
- DVI cables have a capacity of carrying signals for a longer period without any distortion.
- The DVI cable is also a cost-efficient option compared to VGA because it provides a better return on investment.
DVI cables have made VGA cables obsolete due to their dual compatibility and high-quality resolution. All the information given above will help you understand every aspect of DVI cables.