What Is a DVI Cable?

By Chris Yokum

Using your computer as a multimedia powerhouse can be easily accomplished with a few components. Installing a high-quality video card and adding a LCD computer monitor and generous storage space will ensure hours of fun. Some LCD monitors have multiple ports that can be used to connect with your computer. Digital Video Interface is one of the most common connection ports on large-screen LCD monitors. You'll need to attach your monitor with a DVI cable.

Function

With the right type of video card and included DVI port, you'll be able to watch your favorite web videos and movies in the best possible way. Older CRT monitors mostly offer VGA ports, which produce lower resolution and image quality. A DVI cable will translate the digital system from your computer to your LCD monitor.

Identification

A flat pin on one side of the DVI cable will tell you whether it's analog or digital. If it has a flat pin with four pins around it, then it is either a DVI-A or DVI-I cable. If there's only a flat pin, then it's a DVI-D cable.

Types

DVI-D cables are usually used for connecting a digital LCD monitor to a computer's video card. You'll have a speedier connection and higher image quality. For CRT monitors with a VGA connection, you'll need a DVI-A cable, which will carry the DVI signal to the analog display. DVI-I cables are used to transmit an analog or digital signal to a computer. Since this type of DVI cable is more versatile than the others, it can be used in either analog or digital connections.

Considerations

Expect a loss of video quality when converting a digital video signal to an analog signal. This type of conversion process will change the high-quality signal to a more manageable signal for the CRT monitor to handle. Only a digital-to-digital connection will ensure the best possible video.

Warning

Depending on the type of computer or monitor you're using, sometimes you'll find more than one connection port. If there's an analog and DVI connection, then consider getting the DVI-A cable. Use a DVI-D cable if both of your connections are DVI ports. If you choose the incorrect type of DVI cable and try to force it into the port, you'll cause possible harm to your system.

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