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DVI - Digital Monitor Connections Explained

What is DVI?

DVI stands for Digital Video Interface, a digital interface developed by a consortium of computer industry leaders called the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It was designed to provide an industry standard digital connection between a personal computer and a desktop display.

What are the advantages of DVI?

Traditional CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays use an analogue signal to receive image data from the computers graphics card. For this reason, early graphics cards needed to convert their native digital signal into analogue in order to support CRT monitors.

LCD monitors are digital display devices, but when they were first introduced they needed to be able to accept and adapt this analogue signal to ensure compatibility with the majority of available computers. In order for the LCD to accept the computer's analogue output, the signal had to be reconverted to digital.

Since both the computer and the LCD digital monitor accept and transmit digital signals, the process of translating digital to analogue is fundamentally unnecessary. The DVI digital connection removes this digital – analogue – digital conversion process, and so removes inaccuracies and information loss due to each conversion process.

DVI, being a digital interface suffers none of the problems traditionally associated with analogue interfaces, such as noise, “sparkles”, “ghosting”, “snow”, poor colour matching and “softness” caused by loss of sharpness.

The DVI interface has proven to be extremely versatile; its two connectors provide manufacturers with the flexibility to support digital devices while remaining backwards compatible with analogue devices.

DVI Connection Types

To provide backwards compatibility with analogue displays. The DDWG specified that the DVI connector should accommodate both analogue and digital interfaces; this is implemented in the DVI-I (DVI-Integrated) connector. A different connector DVI-D (DVI-Digital) is also specified and this handles digital only signals. ]

DVI-Integrated (DVI-I) supports both digital and analogue connections to the display. The DVI-I interface connector carries single or dual-link digital signals on 24 pins and uses 5 pins to carry the analogue connection. It is easily distinguishable by the cross shaped slot on the right of the connector. (Picture shows female DVI-I connector end view).


DVI-Digital (DVI-D) supports digital only connections. Only DVI-D cables can be attached to this Female connector on a monitor. DVI-I cables will not fit! This interface is designed for a 12 or 24 pin connection to enable single or dual-link mode activation. (Picture shows female DVI-D connector end view).

DVI Analogue Connections & Adaptors

Our DVI Cables support even the highest defined digital monitor resolutions (Dual Link Digital), but they do not support analogue RGB signals. If an analogue connection is needed, we recommend using the DVI-I to VGA Short Adaptor Cable (Part No. 41222) in conjunction with high quality VGA Cables. This is an economical and high quality solution and also does not impose the distance limitation of 7.5m for DVI cable lengths. Our DVI / DFP adaptors can connect older DFP type monitors and graphics cards with current DVI models. Adaptors are available as DVI Male to DFP Female (Part No. 41220) and DFP Male to DVI Female (Part No. 41221). Adaptors are also available to connect your Apple computer with ADC output to a digital display with DVI input - ADC to DVI Adaptor Cable (Part No. 41224).

DVI Cables with RF-BLOK


In keeping with tradition of premium quality computer connection technology, DVI Cables use a rugged construction RF-BLOK shielded design, ensuring optimum performance from your flat panel monitor. RF-BLOK cables use a one-piece metal block EMI/RF shield that gives reduced interference, and increased insulation resistance of up to 25%. The innovative interconnect design means there is no soldering required in the assembly of the cable. The design and excellent RF shielding also means that there is no requirement for a ferrite core, so the cable is less stressed and more flexible – an advantage when the cable needs to be bent in tight spaces.

DVI-D cables can be used with any digital flat panel display, and with any DVI graphics card! extension cables (Dual Link Digital) use the Female connector with integrated Micro-Cross connector



Up To 10 Metres Distance Between Digital Monitor & Computer

With our DVI cables you can extend the distance for digital monitors with fixed cables and socket connectors up to a distance of 10m. Please note that cable lengths over 7.5m are above the recommended length laid down by the DDWG. This factor also depends on the hardware combination of graphics card and monitor as to how far this distance can be exceeded.

Please also remember that every additional plug-socket connection you make lowers the quality of the signal transmission. Therefore, especially at larger distances always try to use a single connection cable if possible. At distances over 5m typical problems with digital connections show up as the loss of one colour (Red or Green or Blue), poor picture quality and finally a complete loss of synchronisation.

Please click here to see the full range of DVI Cables & Adapters.


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