Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a widespread mode of video-interface technology that optimizes flat-panel Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors and newer graphics cards. Replacing Plub-and-Display technology, DVI is an evolution of the Digital Flat Panel (DFP) standard for old flat panel screens.

Digital signals sent to an analog monitor are converted into analog by using a DVI connector and a port. A flat-panel digital monitor needs no conversion due to built-in DVI connections with most monitors in the market. Video card companies have contributed to the increasing popularity of DVI cables. They now manufacture cards that include ports for Video Graphics Array (VGA) and DVI output.

Types of DVI Connections

  • DVI-D (True Digital Video) – In DVI-D, cables directly connect the source video (such as video cards) and digital LCD monitors. The nature of this digital standard offers an image of higher quality in comparison to analog. Video cards initially create digital signals transformed into analog signals at the VGA output. The analog signals are transmitted to the monitor and then converted back to digital. DVI-D enhances the connection of the source and the display and omits the process of analog conversion.
  • DVI-A (High-resolution Analog) – In DVI-A, cables transmit a DVI signal to an analog display such as CRT monitors or budget LCDs. Due to carrying the same signal, DVI-A is commonly linked to a VGA device. A digital signal should be present whenever possible because quality loss occurs in the digital-to-analog conversion.
  • DVI-I – In DVI-I, integrated cables can transmit a digital source signal to a digital display, or an analog source signal to an analog display. This makes the DVI-I connection highly versatile.

Like other formats, analog and DVI are not interchangeable. A DVI-D cable will not function in an analog system. A DVI-A will not work in a digital system. A VGA to DVI-D converter will link an analog source to a digital display, while a DVI-D to VGA converter will connect a digital source to an analog display.

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