Why Cables?

Visualizing your input on an output device would require communication between the device and your monitor or TV as the case may be. It would be a lot easier and fun to send video and audio signals over the air but so far, as this medium of communication is wires or cables.

Apart from the old school VGA, and the recent HDMI cables, DVI cables somewhere in between the two is one of the main digital connecting cables used with computers, projectors and visual output devices generally today. In older days, the VGA days, it was easier to walk into stores and get video cables but now, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you’d keep complaining and asking why your video cables are giving you so many problems. After reading this article, you’d know the exact DVI cable you need if you need one at all.

What is DVI

DVI was introduced in the late 90’s; it is short for Digital Visual Interface. It is a popular video display interface used to connect a video source to a display device such as a monitor. It replaced the also popular VGA (still but rarely in use today) and the ‘plug and display’ in the digital market. It eventually became the digital display standard due to its prevalent acceptance.

Signals from a digital source by default cannot be read by an analog output device even if the cable permits transfer in both ways.  If your display device supports both analog and digital signals, then there are DVI cables that allow this type of transmission. DVI is mainly digital but some DVI conductor formats allow the transmission of analog signals through the use of a passive converter. With the DVI transmitting cable, you can transmit video signals via three different ways that will be discussed below.

The Three DVI Connector Formats

DVI analog and digital formats are not substitutable. This is why if you make wrong connections because it’s still DVI, your video signals may not go through. DVI-I (Integrated), DVI-A (analog) and DVI-D (digital) are the three DVI cable connectors. They work in different ways. The right cable for your connection will depend on the device you’re connecting and the signals they permit. One of the best still remain the ones from

DVI-I (integrated)

The DVI-I cables are integrated cables capable of transmitting either a digital to digital signal or analog to analog signal.  It is able to carry the signals of both DVI-D and DVI-A. Hence, the female port of a DVI-I connector will allow the transmission of signals with any other DVI cable.

DVI-D (Digital) exclusively permits digital signals.

It is not compatible with DVI-A since analog and digital signals are not compatible. This means you cannot use a male analog DVI cable with a female digital DVI port and vice versa.

DVI-A (Analog) supports analog only. DVI – D is completely digital and is not compatible with VGA (analog). VGA is only compatible with DVI – A or DVI -I devices.

Now that we are familiar with these DVI devices, how do we know the exact one to use?

It is not possible to connect the devices with a single cable if one is essentially digital and the other is analog. You must know that first. Then when connecting different DVI cables and ports, bear in mind that DVI-I will work with either of the others but DVI-A and DVI-D cables cannot be interchanged.