What is a DVI Cable?

We live in a world where there is a huge array of digital devices available for a person to use each day. Yet if there’s one downside to living in this exciting era, it’s that because there are so many different gadgets out there, it can be confusing to understand the key differences between the components that go with them. DVI cables are an example of this, as they’re often confused with HDMI, so let’s look now at the key facts of DVI cables, and how they differ from HDMI.

So what exactly is a DVI cable?

A DVI – in its full name known as a Digital Visual Interface – cable is a lead that can support both digital and analogue video signals. Invented in 1999, DVI cables have been in use for many years now, and are typically seen plugged into a computer monitor. 

What Advantage Does a DVI Cable Have Over Other Cables?

While DVI’s are only a little older than HDMI – in their full name called a High-Definition Multimedia Interface – given that the latter was invented in 2002, the reality is they do have one big advantage when it comes to a comparison between these two types of cables. Some DVIs are able to travel both an analogue and digital signal, whereas HDMI’s can only utilise a digital signal. As a result of this, for any purpose were using an older device is necessary, then a DVI cable will be more versatile than an HDMI one.

What Potential Drawbacks Do DVI Cables Have? 

Although DVI cables have an advantage over HDMI cables they also have a couple of key drawbacks. For instance, while HDMI can support both video and audio through its cable, DVI can only support video. In turn, while previously DVI could have a resolution advantage over HDMI, in more recent times HDMI has effectively closed the gap, and is now able to provide an output of 144hz at 1080p – meaning anyone who once would’ve preferred DVI for its output capability may now see little difference between the two. This said, not all computer setups will allow for this output with HDMI, and accordingly, DVI may still be regarded as the better cable for ideal visual output accordingly.

The Importance of Adaptation

While some advantages and disadvantages surrounding DVI in comparison to HDMI remain, it’s also a reality that the ultimate difference between the two cables can often be very small in terms of typical day to day use. This is especially the case if someone looks to make use of an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, or a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. This said, it’s really worthwhile to have an understanding of where differences can exist between these two cables, as in certain specific instances picking a DVI over a HDMI cable could be a far better option.