It may be difficult to remember a time before computers. For the past 30 years, millions of people have had a computer of some sort in their homes. Over time, the graphics for even basic tasks have improved exponentially.

Part of that has to do with better connections. Digital Visual Interface (DVI) has changed the way that we view pictures, games, movies, and more. In this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about DVI as a display option.

Different Types of DVI Cables

What is a DVI cable? As explained, it is a type of connection between a computer and a monitor or other type of display. You don’t have to be heavily into tech to know that there are two different versions of the DVI cable, each serving a specific purpose.

There are two main types of DVI connectors. There is a single-link and dual-link DVI cable. The former is able to transmit not only digital and integrated signals but also the much rarer analog signal. Analog is the least common of the three and is not required for many things. Dual-link is capable of providing better resolutions and refresh rates, making it the preferred option in almost any situation or setup.

How to Tell The Different Types Apart

Another important part of learning about DVI cables is knowing how to differentiate one from the other. You may hear those two types referred to as DVI-D and DVI-I, but there are a couple of other specifications that can help you to easily differentiate between them.

The best way to tell the two apart is by checking out the pin configuration. Single-link has 18 pins and one “cluster.” Dual-link has 24 pins, which are split into two clusters. The more pins there are in a DVI cable, the more data that can be transferred in the process. That is why dual-link DVI cables substantially outperform their single-link counterparts.

The Major Advantages of Using DVI

While knowing all of that is fine and well, it helps to know what you can gain from using this connection type. There are three distinct advantages, laid out below.

Clearer Picture. Computers transmit what is known as a binary digital signal. If you are using a VGA connector, for instance, then you will have to convert the signal to RGB – the primary color signals that go through a digital/analog converter, into the graphics card. If you use DVI cables, it doesn’t need to perform those conversions. There is no risk of signal loss and the image clarity, as well as detail expression, are much better.

Faster Transmission Speed. DVI is able to transmit a digital signal, as well as the digital image information that comes with it, directly to the display device. Remember in the explanation above, there is no need to perform any conversions. The normal process of converting digital and analog is reduced, which saves time in the transmission to your display. Why is this important? It eliminates what is known as the “smear” phenomenon. The signal is stronger for transmitting data, which creates a better and more realistic color palette.

Supports HDCP Protocol. Another great thing about using DVI is that it supports the HDCP protocol, which is basically the foundation for watching any copyrighted HD videos. If you want a graphics card that supports HDCP, a DVI connector isn’t enough. You will need a dedicated chip, which makes it tougher to find graphics cards that support the HDCP protocol. Though this is a niche benefit, it is definitely an advantage if you need to support HDCP protocol.

By Punit