Digital Video Interface is a popular form of video interface technology which is designed to boost the quality of flat panel LCD monitors and modern video graphics cards. DVI cables are very popular with video card manufacturers, and most cards nowadays include one or two DVI output ports.

DVI CablesIn addition to being used as the standard computer interface, the DVI standard is the digital transfer method of HDTVs and other high-end video displays for TV, movies, and DVDs. DVD Players have DVI outputs in addition to High quality Analog Component Video.

DVI is one of the most common digital video cables you’ll see on desktops and LCD monitors today.  It has up to 24 pins and support for analog as well as digital video.  DVI can stream up to 1920×1200 HD video, or with dual-link DVI connectors you can support up to 2560×1600 pixels. 

DVI Cables 02Some DVI cables or ports may include fewer pins if they are designed for lower resolution devices.

Note that the HDCP encryption is not supported by default so playing HD Blu-rays and other HD content with only DVI ports is not recommended. However, a DVI to HDMI port convertor can solve this issue.

DVI is both backwards and forward compatible, conversion of VGA to DVI and DVI to VG is also easy and feasible.

Types of DVI cables

DVI Cables 03DVI-D cables are used for direct digital connections between source video (namely, video cards) and LCD monitors. This provides a faster, higher-quality image than with analog, due to the nature of the digital format. All video cards initially produce a digital video signal, which is converted into analog at the VGA output. The analog signal travels to the monitor and is re-converted to a digital signal. DVI-D eliminates the analog conversion process and improves the connection between source and display.

DVI Cables 04DVI-A are used to carry a DVI signal to an analog display, such as a CRT monitor or budget LCD. The most common use of DVI-A is connecting to a VGA device, since DVI-A and VGA carry the same signal.

DVI-I cables are integrated cables which are capable of transmitting either a digital-to-digital signal or an analog-to-analog signal. This makes it a more versatile cable, being usable in either digital or analog situations. 

Like any other format, DVI digital and analog formats are non-interchangeable. This means that a DVI-D cable will not work on an analog system, nor a DVI-A on a digital system. To connect an analog source to a digital display, you’ll need a VGA to DVI-D electronic convertor. To connect a digital output to an analog monitor, you’ll need to use a DVI-D to VGA convertor.

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