HDMI & DVI - Your Questions Answered

October 5, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

HDMI and DVI cables are the two most popular video cables used today. Both HDMI and DVI far outperform traditional VGA cables cables that only transmit analog video signals. These digital interconnects are used to link everything from desktop computers and LCD monitors to HDTV’s and entertainment sysyems.

 

DVI is commonly used to connect computers to monitors. They are the most similar to traditional VGA with 24 pins that support analog and digital video. DVI can stream up to 1920x1200 HD video pixels, or up to 2560x1600 pixels using dual-link DVI technology. If the DVI cable or port does not have all 24 pins, it is designed for lower resolution devices, but as long as all the pins are accounted for, it should be able to support the maximum resolution. One downfall of DVI is that it doesn’t support HDCP encryption by default, which means you may not be able to play full HD Blu-rays or other HD content if your harware only includes DVI ports.

 

HDMI is the standard cable used on newer HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, computers and many other video devices. HDMI cables and ports are easy to use and connect with no pins to align, it’s a simple plug and play connection similar to USB. These cables can stream both digital video and audio at the same time. They support up to 1920x1200 HD video and 8 channel audio, as well as HDCP for the newest HD content. HDMI is the first industry supported, uncompressed, all digital audio/video interface and is backwards compatible with DVI-D.

 

 

Still have questions? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our support team gets asked about HDMI and DVI:

 

 -  What is the maximum length for a DVI cable?

  •    A DVI-D signal can travel 5 meters over a single cable. For distances longer than 5 meters, a DVI extender/repeater is needed.

 

 -  What is the maximum length for an HDMI cable?

  •    A HDMI signal can travel 5 meters over a single 28 AWG cable. A HDMI extender/repeater is needed for distances longer than 5    meters.

 

 -  When using a long HDMI cable, the monitor display is blank or the resolution looks bad. Why?

  •   Currently, HDMI cables up to 5 meters in length will operate properly. If the cable is longer than 5 meters, the signal begins to       degrade and a signal extender is needed.

 

 -  Can I get a HDMI to DVI adaptor?

  •   HDMI is only compatible with single-link DVI-D and single-link DVI-I. It is not compatible with DVI-A, dual-link DVI-D or dual-link      DVI-I, the adaptors will plug-in but will not work for these formats.

 

 -  Can I get a HDMI to VGA adaptor?

  •   No, HDMI is not compatible with VGA.

 

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Video Blog- L-com's Toughest Cable Field Test

November 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Have you ever wanted to test your cables and really push them to the limit? If so, we have a video you MUST watch. We wanted to see just how much abuse our metal armored cables could endure, so we put them through our toughest test ever.

 

Our series of metal armored cables are capable of withstanding the harshest environments and are specifically designed for outdoor, industrial and military applications. Rugged metal armor protects the cable from damage and provides up to 1,500 pounds per square inch (PSI) of crush resistance. The metal jacket also secures the cable from dust, oil, moisture and UV damage. These cables can be used in a variety of industrial applications including factory automation, manufacturing and chemical or petroleum processing networks.

 

Our metal armored cables are currently available off-the-shelf in USB, DVI, HDMI, Ethernet (RJ45) and D-Subminiature styles. Plastic armored cable assemblies with up to 800 PSI of crush resistance are also available. In addition to our extensive off-the-shelf armored cable offering, we can also design and manufacture armored cables to your specifications.

 

Now, check out the video to watch our field test and see just how tough our armored cables are.

 

 

For more videos, tips and tutorials, click here.

 

Engineers’ Choice

October 13, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

We depend on our engineers for their innovative ideas. We asked them what topic, technology or trend they thought we should feature in this weeks post. Our engineers’ choice: USB Type-C connectors. Here is an inside look at the connectors that got our enigneers’ stamp of approval.

 

We all love using USB. The plug-and-play interface makes it easy to connect and charge our devices. But it can be aggravating to figure out which USB cord goes with which device, and then which end plugs in where. Forutnately, our prayers have been answered and the technology gods have given us Type-C connectors.

 

USB Type-C is a tiny connector that boasts fast speeds, more power handling capabilities and a simpler, sleeker design.

 

The smaller, slimmer USB Type-C is a single connnector that can be used on all devices. Designed to replace both full-sized USB connectors as well as micro-USB connectors, it is tailored to fit mobile devices, yet powerful enough to be used with laptops and tablets. Whether you’re connecting an external peripheral to your laptop or charging your smartphone, Type-C connectors provide one cable small enough and powerful enough to do it all.

 

The Type-C connector has a simple, reversible design that makes using USB easier than ever. Completely reversible plug orientation and cable direction eliminate the guess work and frustration of not knowing which end is up when plugging in your USB devices.

 

Made for SUPERSPEED+ USB 3.1, Type-C connectors boast lightning speeds of up to 10 Gbps. They also support a vareity of different protocols that, with an adapter, allow output of HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort and other types of technologies from a single USB port. Type-C connectors are designed to provide scalable power and performance to adapt to whatever your future needs may be.

 

Type-C connectors are also made to support  USB Power Delivery (PD). Currently, a USB 2.0 connection provides up to 2.5 Watts of power, that’s enough to charge your phone, but not your laptop. With USB PD, the power delivery is increased to up to 100 Watts, and the power is bi-directional so it can be sent or received. That means that as long as the device and cable support USB PD, you can use a Type-C connector to charge devices from one another and possibly eliminate the need for a separate laptop charging cord.

 

Though USB technology is backward compatible, Type-C connectors are not, so we will continue to see devices and cords with both Type-A and Type-C connectors. Type-C connectors have been integrated into an increasing number of devices over the past year, they are now found on Google’s Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s MacBook and in the furture they may even replace Lightning connectors on iPads and iPhones.

 

For more information on Type-C connectors and USB 3.1, check out our blog post USB 3.1 – Fasten Your Seatbelts

 

For Your Viewing Pleasure: HDMI 2.0

September 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

The next generation of TV’s will continue to raise the bar to improve your viewing experience. New high-resolution and frame rate requirements have led to the creation of the next generation of high-definition multimedia interface, HDMI 2.0.

 

To meet the increased bandwidth required by next generation TV's, HDMI 2.0 supports 2160p up to 60fps. This allows for full-resolution 4K 3D coupled with higher frame rate 2D content, including PC-based video games and home videos.

HDMI 2.0 increases the size of the "conduit" between the TV or display and the transmitting source, such as a Blu-ray player. This allows for higher frame rates at higher resolutions compared to the previous version, HDMI 1.4. Plus, HDMI 2.0 devices DO NOT require new cables to function! This means you can avoid forklift upgrades of your cabling infrastructure when implementing new HDMI 2.0 products!

L-com manufactures a wide selection of HDMI 1.4/2.0 Cable assemblies. From consumer-grade to industrial armored versions, we offer one of the widest off-the-shelf selections available anywhere. As a certified HDMI adopter, all of L-com's HDMI cable designs are tested and approved by HDMI Licensing LLC.


Here are some of the features HDMI 2.0 supports:

 

  • - 4K@50/60, (2160p), which has 4-times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution
  • - Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
  • - Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
  • - Simultaneous delivery of dual-video streams to multiple users on the same screen
  • - Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (up to 4)
  • - Support for the wide-angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
  • - Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
  • - CEC extensions provide expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point

 

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DisplayPort Connectivity Primer: What You Need To Know

October 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

 

You may wonder why there’s a need for DisplayPort when HDMI® is as ubiquitous as it is, and with all of its capabilities above traditional analog video.

 

Well, DisplayPort is similar to HDMI® in a lot of ways: smaller connectors, digital video, audio/video on one cable, high definition video, 3D capabilities, etc. For most consumers, especially in the home theater market, if they plug it in and get a display on the screen then it works! And little else matters. As you'll see, however, not all audio/video applications are the same.

 

DisplayPort wasn't necessarily developed to improve on HDMI®, so when we compare HDMI® to DisplayPort, we're not saying it should be either/or. Instead, we're saying before you assume all the personnel in your business need HDMI®-only video cards and laptops, consider taking a look at DisplayPort's capabilities.

 Close Up View of DisplayPort Connector

HDMI® vs. DisplayPort

 

 

HDMI® is in many ways the successor to DVI, which was in many ways the bridge between analog video like VGA and digital video. Improving on DVI, HDMI® includes audio with the video in one cable, does away with the screw locks, and can provide up to 1080p HD video which is necessary for most of the latest TVs used in home theater applications. That's really what HDMI® was developed for and it does a great job.

 

DisplayPort was developed by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) as a standard for higher resolution computer display devices. It has most of the features of HDMI® plus some capabilities that are important for the high-graphic demands of some business applications.


Among the top benefits of DisplayPort are:

 

1. Unlike HDMI®, which does not support a very good refresh rate at the higher resolutions, DisplayPort maxes out at 3840 x 2160 pixels with a refresh rate of 60Hz, allowing it to handle very demanding video and 3D applications.


2. The DisplayPort standard can support multiple monitors (up to 4) with a single card, each receiving independent audio/video streams. This is important for individuals working on high resolution graphics, but needing more than one screen to handle the different tool bars or multiple applications running at the same time. In some cases, monitors may be "daisy chained" together, simplifying the setup.


3. DisplayPort has some other minor benefits such as longer cable lengths and a latching feature that makes them more secure in vibration applications than HDMI®'s friction fit connectors.Engineering Drawing of a DisplayPort Connector Calling Out Latches

4. Though DisplayPort is nowhere near as common as HDMI® for peripherals, that is changing. For instance, Thunderbolt, the standard developed by Intel based on the DisplayPort standard, is present on nearly all of Apple's MacBooks and other laptops and computers. Manufacturers of peripherals to be used on MacBooks and elsewhere are designing in either Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort to comply.

 

HDMI® isn't going away. Nor should it! It works great for the vast majority of applications. However, there are several applications that will benefit from DisplayPort. In time the technology for DisplayPort will probably be as relevant for those applications as HDMI® is for home theater.

 

 

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