Editorial

What is DVI Cable, and What are its Uses?

These days, particularly with all the devices most people have, life is a jumble of cables. You need specific cables for certain devices, and if you choose to update something, you have to often deal with a whole new set of wires. Something as simple as your Optimum TV packages connection requires a few different kinds of wires. Whether they’re coaxial, HDMI, or DVI cables, they’ve practically become a necessity. 

If you’re new to all this, the first thing you should know is that not all cables are built the same. In fact, different heads mean different things. There’s this common misconception that these cables all have different heads just to make people buy them all. However, the truth is that different types of cables support different functions. 

Remember those old TVs where you’d have to plug in three different kinds of cables to get things working? Well, time has moved on since then, and the tech industry is working on more efficient solutions which can handle all sorts of inputs and outputs. With HDMI, USB-C, and other newer cables, the aim is to reduce the number of cables needed to connect devices to each other. This is because we still need wires to get clear signals and results for a variety of formats. While a universal cable is not really close to reality right now, DVI cables are a great innovation. 

What Is a DVI Cable?

DVI is basically short for Digital Video Interface. It is a video display interface that was designed to be the universal standard for transmitting digital video content to display devices with resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600. They’re most commonly found in computer monitors and projectors. 

There are three types of DVI cables. These are:

  • DVI-A (only analog)
  • DVI-D (digital only)
  • DVI-I (analog & digital)

As there are virtually no analog devices in the market anymore, the other two options are the ones you’ll find. These are basically rectangular shaped, with 24 or so pins in the head. They either plug right into your devices or have screws at the sides you use to put them in securely. They are most often used for desktop systems, with DVI-D cables and ports. 

Why Do You Need It?

You might think the world is becoming increasingly more wireless these days. However, the truth is much more complicated. While there is some great wireless information transfer technology out there, you simply can’t get the high video quality you want between devices without a cable. A DVI cable preserves the quality of the original transmission and showcases it in your display device. 

Basically, it preserves the visual quality of the video and translates it at its best onto your screen. With wireless transfer technology, you can’t transmit content in its best quality, and you cannot transfer heavy files. Most high-quality videos are well over a GB in size, and Bluetooth technology simply can’t handle transmission that far at the instant speeds you need. 

Therefore, many consoles, TVs, and desktops use DVI cables to display content without compromising on quality and speed. These cables differ from the older VGA and newer HDMI cables in a variety of ways. 

How Is It Better Than VGA Cables?

VGA cables are the older industry standard used to connect computers, consoles, and projectors to display devices such as monitors and TVs. These transmit analog information, so may not be supported by most modern devices these days. 

However, if you have your Xbox 360, PS 2, or PS 3 still lying around, you can use your VGA cables with these older consoles. However, now almost all content is in digital format, so you need a corresponding cable. Simply put, as things stand, a DVI cable is better than a VGA cable, as it is more usable, particularly with current devices. 

DVI Vs HDMI Cables: What’s The Difference

You may see that many of your display devices have both DVI and HDMI ports. While there are only subtle differences between the two, you’ll notice that DVI serves higher frame rates at higher resolutions. However, you need a separate audio cable, as DVI only transmits visual signals. 

HDMI cables transmit both audio and visual signals and are quite convenient. However, they tend to slightly slow down the frame rates at 1080p resolution. This doesn’t really matter if you just want to watch TV shows or movies. 

The difference matters when it comes to gaming. Video games require high frame rates and have increasingly better graphics these days. If you have a top-of-the-range graphic card and a 4K monitor, you may want to use a DVI rather than an HDMI cable to keep your frame rates at a high level. 

Does Price Matter?

When you look up DVI cables online or at the store, you’ll notice they come in a myriad of different lengths, brands, and prices. But does the price really matter when you’re getting these cables? Tech experts say that there is almost no difference between the cheapest and most expensive DVI cable you’ll find online. They all transmit digital signals, which are not affected as much by cable quality as analog signals used to be. 

Therefore, price is not really a factor when buying the right DVI cable for your needs. You should choose what fits your budget, and pick the right length for your devices. If you have multiple devices and screens, try to get a separate DVI cable for each one, so that you don’t have to unnecessarily have to unplug and replug the cable every time you want to use a different device. 

In conclusion, you’ll probably need to buy a DVI cable for your devices, especially if you’re an avid gamer. It is a good option to connect your devices to display screens, and is commonly available online and in stores.  

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