HDMI to DVI Cable

After many years of waiting, high definition video and audio equipment is finally available at prices that most buyers can afford. High definition provides sharp and vibrant picture quality in a widescreen format, along with the capability for surround sound. The home entertainment system will never be the same again, as high definition movies and television programs become more common. This new age in entertainment has also introduced a new connector to the already cluttered back panel of most systems. The HDMI port allows high definition equipment to be connected together with a single cable. It is an essential feature for any system that has a Blu-ray disc player or HDTV receiver.

The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is the new standard connector for video and audio equipment. It transfers both video and audio signals through one thin cable, and frees a home entertainment system from the jungle of wiring that is commonly seen behind most systems. HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI, which means that the two connectors can be wired together without any complex electronics between them. This means that a HDMI to DVI cable is cheap to manufacture, and also ensures that its signal loss is kept to a minimum. While DVI will eventually be replaced by HDMI in the future, it will still need to be supported for many years to come.

The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) has been the standard connector for computer monitors for many years now. It replaced the analog VGA port that was the old standard, and allowed people to replace their bulky CRT monitors with slimline LCD monitors. Since most computer monitors do not have speakers, it was decided early on that DVI cables would not need to carry audio signals. Consequently, a HDMI to DVI cable can only be used for video, so some other way must be found to hook up the speakers. There are both analog and digital versions of DVI, but HDMI is a purely digital standard. The cable will typically only work with the digital DVI-I and DVI-D versions, and not with analog DVI-A version.

Many computer users are familiar with the DVI port and know that it is used to connect an LCD monitor, but few would be aware that it can also be connected to a HDMI port with the help of a HDMI to DVI cable. This type of cable can also be used to connect a computer monitor to a modern gaming console with an HDMI port, such as the Sony PlayStation 3. One of the great things about HDMI is its similarity to USB. The connectors look similar on the outside but the HDMI one has two small bevels, and it also has many more pins on the inside. Just like USB, the main problem with HDMI is that cable lengths need to be kept short to avoid signal loss.

When choosing a HDMI to DVI cable, look for one that has good shielding, gold plated connectors, and ferrite cores on the ends to reduce interference. The cable should work in both directions, provided that the connectors have the right gender. As with all audiovisual cables, avoid making sharp bends and twists that may damage the internal wiring or shielding. Some users report seeing a black screen after installing a HDMI to DVI cable. This occurs when either the cable or display does not support HDCP, which is a type of digital content protection that prevents copying.

Most computer monitors are connected with a short DVI cable. As long as the distance between the monitor and the other equipment remains short, there is little need to have a long HDMI to DVI cable coiled up behind them. In those cases, it is often cheaper to buy an adapter instead. This small and simple device has both a HDMI and DVI socket, but it does not have a cable between them. It is plugged into the output socket on the equipment and connected to the cable from the monitor. The weight of the adapter may cause it to fall out if the cable is moved around, so any screws on the sides of the adapter should be tightened to prevent this happening.

This HDMI to DVI Cable Review is Written/Updated on Feb 24th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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