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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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

 

Video Resolution Alphabet Soup

August 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM

 

VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, UXGA – if this looks like Greek to you, you are not alone.  Luckily, we can translate this into terms that are easier to understand.

 

These abbreviations designate the resolution that a video monitor or video card supports. For example, a UXGA (Ultra Extended Graphics Array) monitor supports a resolution of 1600 x 1200.

 

Though no matter what the resolution level is, the video format is the same. 

All monitors use the same analog HD15 interface and cabling.

 

Higher resolution monitors are backward compatible with all lower resolutions. For example, a UXGA monitor can display resolutions from VGA to UXGA. Some high end monitors support resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 at 79Hz, which is a part of the same multi-sync format and is also backward compatible to lower resolutions.

 

Here is a chart showing the naming conventions and resolution hierarchy:

 

 

Regardless of what resolution a monitor or video card is able to support, they are all commonly referred to as VGA. The naming conventions were never widely adopted by the general public. Thus, even the most high end 3-D graphics card will be labeled as having a VGA port, in addition to a DVI port in many cases, even though the output resolutions are much higher than 1920 x 1440.

 

Frequently, high end monitor manufacturers don’t mention VGA, SVGA, or any resolution abbreviations. They typically list the maximum resolution that their product(s) support as well as the refresh rate.

 

Whether a product is labeled a VGA, SVGA, LCD, or WQUXGA, you now know how to decipher the video resolution alphabet.

 

How To Differentiate VGA, SVGA and UXGA

May 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM

 

VGA Cable

While knowing these specific terms is helpful in buying some analog display equipment (such as computer monitors), each refers to the same type of video format. These acronyms relate to the resolution a monitor supports, thus the same type of cabling and connectors are used.

 

Another common denominator with VGA, SVGA, and UXGA is that they are all mostly now legacy. No new products are being built using VGA analog video interfaces. 

 

However, if you have irreplaceable or expensive equipment that requires using VGA analog video, you'll find it useful to know its functionality. 

 

Typical VGA cables have a high-density fifteen-pin (HD15) connector on each end, using a combination of mini-coaxial cables and straight or twisted pair conductors to carry a video signal. VGA does not include audio support like HDMI® and DisplayPort cables do.

 

What do these terms mean? VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. As video display equipment that used the VGA standard became more sophisticated, manufacturers began adjusting the name of the standard to reflect the maximum resolution of the display device. For example, SVGA stands for Super Video Graphics Aray which supports a resolution of 800 x 600. As the list grew, it became easier to just list the maximum resolution rather than the letters that corresponded to it.

 

Today, there are over 20 different letter combinations referring to all sorts of different resolutions, a list of which can be found here. Most of these terms are rarely used to refer to analog video equipment anymore. And as mentioned previously, the standard itself is rapidly becoming legacy in the face of digital video standards such as HDMI®, DVI, and DisplayPort.

 

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