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The digital age has not yet un-tethered us from cables. And, it seems like more and more types of cables are flooding the market. What’s a consumer to do?

Here’s some info that can help.

The most common digital video cables these days are DVI and HDMI. 

DVI came out in 1999 and is an alternative to VGA. While the VGA connectors and cables could only carry analog signals, DVI can carry both analog and digital. 

DVI offers better, sharper display compared to VGA.

HDMI, which came out in 2002, was mainly designed for consumer-electronics applications like Blu-ray players, TVs and video projectors.

And, now there’s a new  player in this market – the display port, or DP cable. 

Both HDMI and display port can send high-definition digital video and audio from a source device to a display.



  • Currently the most common
  • Most similar to VGA connectors
  • Can connect DVI to an HDMI port on a newer monitor with a small digital converter


  • Default cable on newer HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TV, newer computers, and many other other video devices
  • Has 19 pins and are most commonly seen in three sizes
    • Type A – standard/most common
    • Type C – mini (For information on USB connectors see here.)
    • Type D – micro 
    • Type E – Used for automotive applications
  • Can handle a single video stream and a single audio stream, so it can drive only one display at a time. 

Display Port:

  • For computers
  • Has 20 pins
  • Available in two sizes: display port and Mini display port
  • Only the display port 1.3 delivers enough bandwidth to carry video resolutions of up to 3840×2160 pixels at a refresh rate of 60Hz
  • Supports all common 3D video formats
  • Carries multichannel digital audio
  • Cannot carry ethernet data
  • Does not have an audio return channel

In summary, with televisions, HDMI is the most common connector. But if you want to connect a computer to your TV (or you’ve got a new computer monitor), the options tend to be HDMI, display port, DVI, and sometimes VGA. 

The video signal over DVI is basically the same as HDMI. But the maximum resolution potential depends on the equipment. 

Some cables and hardware (called single-link) can only do 1,920×1,200, while others (dual-link) can do more.

We have over 50 years specializing in custom connector and cable solutions. To discuss a project with our team, please see below.