What is the difference between DVI and HDMI?
Posted in: Articles
Feb 2022 3 min read

What is the difference between DVI and HDMI?

It was much easier a few decades ago, when most people just had VCRs to link to their TV. Our displays were smaller, and the world was simpler. It's never been more difficult to pick cables and connections. We'll try to sort through the confusion and get to the core of the two most used digital video connections today: HDMI and DVI.

What’s the difference between Digital Cables?

HDMI and DVI are both popular digital cables, plus some modern computers support DisplayPort, and there are tiny and micro versions of all three. So, what are the main differences between HDMI and DVI?


DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface. DVI is a popular digital video connection for PCs and LCD displays. It has up to 24 pins and supports both analogue and digital video. Some TVs support DVI, but only a few DVI cables can provide audio. The DVI connection has three names: DVI-A (analogue only), DVI-D (digital only), and DVI-I (interface only) (both digital and analogue).

DVI can transmit up to 1920 x 1200 HD video or 2560 x 1600 with dual-link DVI interfaces. Watch out for DVI cables or ports with fewer pins meant for lower resolution devices. If your port has all the pins, it can handle the highest resolution. However, DVI doesn't support HDCP encryption by default, so if your gear just has DVI connections, you won't be able to play full HD Blu-rays or other HD videos.

A tiny digital converter can convert DVI to HDMI on a modern display. Because DVI doesn't support audio, you'll need a separate audio cable to connect to an HDMI connector. A newer connection with more versatility, DVI is backwards and forwards compatible but less convenient. Also, if your visual output supports analogue video, a DVI to VGA converter may effortlessly connect an older monitor with only a VGA connector.


HDMI is the standard cable type for contemporary HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, laptops, and video cards. HDMI cables and ports are practically as simple to use as USB devices. Now you can just plug and play. HDMI cables broadcast video and audio simultaneously—video and audio support up to 1920 x 1200 HD. HDCP encryption is also supported. A single HDMI cable is nearly always sufficient to connect a computer or video device to a monitor or TV.

Summing Up

In our opinion, HDMI is the best cable option. It's the standard connector on most devices and displays, and it can transport video, music, and more on one cable. One cable does it all.

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