Video game cables | Introduction to Video Cable Types: The Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports

Video game cables | Introduction to Video Cable Types: The Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports

Video game cables

As technology has advanced, so have the cables required for equipment. Even though many manufacturers are moving to wireless solutions, you may still need some form of cable at all times. This is especially true for video equipment. TVs, monitors, and peripherals require a variety of cables and connections to function properly. So, what's the difference between them and which ones do you need? Let's take a look at some of the most popular types of video cables and when you need to use each.

VGA cable
VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. The connection was developed by IBM in 1987, making it one of the oldest video connections still in use today. It is widely used in video cards, televisions, computer monitors and laptops. VGA can support a maximum resolution of 640x480 with 16 colors, although you can increase the color to 256 by lowering the resolution to 320x200. This is called mode 13h and is usually used when booting the computer into safe mode. Mode 13h was frequently used in video games in the late 1980s. VGA is capable of transmitting RBGHV video signals, including red, blue, green, horizontal sync and vertical sync. The iconic blue adapter has screws on both sides to secure the connection. The socket consists of 15 pins arranged in three rows of five. It's since been surpassed by digital connections like HDMI and DVI, but it's still popular thanks to the rise of nostalgic gaming and its inclusion in cheap monitors and monitors.

RCA cable
RCA leads are one of the most intuitive video cables. Red, white and yellow plugs are synonymous with audiovisual equipment produced in the 1990s and early 2000s. It's also the primary connection for many consoles, including the Nintendo Wii. Most TVs no longer support RCA inputs.

DVI cable
The Digital Display Interface Working Group introduced the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) in 1999, the successor to the VGA cable. A DVI connection can transmit uncompressed digital video in one of three different modes: DVI-I (integrated) combines digital and analog in the same connector.
DVI-D (Digital) only supports digital signals.
DVI-A (analog) only supports analog.
DVI-I and DVI-D can be in single-link or dual-link form. Single link can support 1920x1200 at 60Hz, while adding a second digital transmitter for dual link means the resolution can be increased to 2560x1600 at 60Hz.
To prevent VGA devices from being forced out, DVI was developed to support analog connections using DVI-A mode. This means that DVI connections and devices are backward compatible with VGA connections.

HDMI cable
The most popular digital video connection is the High Definition Media Input, also known as HDMI. The proprietary interface was created by several electronics companies including Sony, Sanyo and Toshiba. HDMI connections transmit uncompressed video and audio to computer monitors, TVs, and DVD or Blu-ray players. The HDMI standard has undergone many iterations to accommodate technological advancements. The latest is HDMI 2.1, launched in 2017. Among other technical changes, the update improves support for 4K and 8K resolutions and increases the HDMI bandwidth to 48 Gbit/s. Importantly, HDMI cables are backward compatible, so you can use cables with the latest features on older devices. And vice versa, which means you can use older cables with HDMI 2.1 compliant devices. This is useful because the HDMI Forum has previously ruled that no HDMI cable or device can display the standard they were made to and therefore cannot determine the configuration of the settings. HDMI uses the same video format standard as DVI, so the two are compatible by using an adapter. Since no signal conversion is required, there is also no loss of quality. Although unlike HDMI, DVI does not support audio. There are three commonly used HDMI interfaces. Type A is a full-size HDMI connection for TVs and home theater equipment. Mini-HDMI (Type C) is commonly used in laptops and tablets, while Micro-HDMI (Type D) is mostly used in mobile devices.