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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Readers' Choice -Top Blog Posts of 2016

December 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM


As another year comes to a close, so does another chapter of our blog, Engineering Hub. We covered a wide variety of topics in order to keep you, our readers, in the loop with what’s going on in the world of wired and wireless technology. Here are highlights of the 2016 posts that were the most popular with our readers.


1.       802.11ay: 20 Gig Wireless!

The next generation wireless standard will blow you away with triple the speed and 30xs the transmission distance of 802.11ad. Learn about all of the benefits of 802.11ay and what it means for the world of wireless networking technology. (Read more)




2.       Fiber Showdown: Multimode vs. Single mode

Multimode and single mode are the two most common types of fiber optic cables. Both have very different attributes and one may work better than the other, depending on the needs of your application. This post will help you decide which will give you the best results. (Read more)




3.       Cat6 Cable: Shielded vs. Unshielded

Category 6 Ethernet cable is designed to provide high speed data rates, but how do you decide between shielded or unshielded? Here, we compare them side by side so you can choose which will work best for your application. (Read more)




4.       Good Vibrations: Vibration-Proof USB Connectors


Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most widely used technologies to connect and power devices. One fundamental flaw of USB is its sensitivity to vibration, causing the connector to dislodge. In this post we show you some solutions to keeping your USB connected. (Read more)




5.      Next Generation Positioning: A look at what’s around the corner


GPS apps and positioning technology is something we use everyday to get directions or find something or someone nearby, and that usage is expected to continue to grow at a staggering rate. Here’s a look at what the IEEE has in store for next gen positioning technology. (Read more)

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.


Technological Oddities

October 20, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Ideas for new technology never cease to amaze.  There is no shortage of outlandish gizmos and gadgets being developed.  The next time you think you have a crazy idea, just remember that there’s probably something even crazier out there. Here, we’ll highlight some of the more quirky ideas we’ve seen.



Frying eggs on a laptop. -We’ve all felt the scorching heat from a laptop burning the tops of our thighs. But who knew a laptop could actually get hot enough to cook an egg? Though not recommended, this can apparently also be done inside a motherboard.



LED eyelashes - For those who want to make a fashion statement, or when you can’t find your flashlight. These motion sensor lashes turn on and off by tilting your head. 




Prototypes have been made of contact lenses with Micro-LEDs in them. These redefine screen time by providing the wearer with the same view they might have if they were looking at a computer screen.




Cat door that uses facial recognition technology - The latch only opens once it’s confirmed that there’s nothing in Fluffy’s mouth. No more gifts of dead mice at your feet!




Last but certainly not least – the prosthetic finger USB drive. A man lost his ring finger in an accident and replaced it with a USB drive. It’s accessed by peeling back the “fingernail” to expose the USB slot – he’ll never lose his drive again.




If you have a wacky app to tell us about, or if you have comments, please email us at engineeringhub@l-com.com.


Good Vibrations: Vibration-Proof USB Connectors

April 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most successful and widely used connectivity technologies. It can be found on televisions, computers, printers, keyboards and cell phones.  Not only does USB allow devices to connect to one another, it can also be used to power devices.


As popular as USB is, there is one fundamental problem that plagues the technology: sensitivity to vibration. Traditional USB connectors rely on a friction-fit, meaning that they don’t latch or lock when they are mated. A friction-fit can result in a USB connector to unexpectedly pop-out and dislodge from its mated port when jostling, vibration, or cable pull occur.  This is especially problematic in high-vibration, military, industrial and medical applications.


Fortunately, there are several vibration-proof USB connector options to improve connection performance and put your USB cable on lockdown.


Latching USB Cables


Latching USB cables feature latching plugs on the side of the USB connector. This provides a secure connection with lock-down mating retention.  Latches are located on USB 2.0 Type-A connectors.


USB coil cables also utilize latching connectors to battle vibration and cable pull. They have latches that lock into the channels on each side of a USB jack and the cord retracts and expands from 2.5 feet to 12.5 feet




Thumbscrews are another great way to protect a USB connection from vibration. They ensure a secure connection and prevent the USB connectors from disconnecting. Locking thumbscrews can be used with machine vision applications or in any application where vibration is an issue.


High-Retention Connectors

High-retention connectors are an effective way to combat the effects of vibration on your USB connection. With a mating force of 40N max and an un-mating force of 15N min, they have 50% higher retention than standard USB connectors.  USB adapters with high-retention connectors are easy to use and feature screw mount hardware for a secure connection every time.


For all the ease of use that USB offers, vibration can be a problem. If standard USB’s friction-fit isn’t keeping your devices connected, one of these solutions may be the perfect fit to turn these problematic pulsations into good vibrations.


For more information on USB, read our blog post A Tutorial on USB.


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