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DVI vs HDMI – What is the difference?

By | February 4, 2017

It hasn’t been long since the world has stepped into the realm of digitization. Everything that we use is available in a digital format. From the smallest of the information to a 3-hour movie, we cannot think of anything without digital technology. But to enjoy the benefits of digital technology, we need digital outputs. The 2 most common connectors used these days for digital output are DVI and HDMI. So, let’s take a look at DVI vs HDMI.


DVI refers to Digital Visual Interface is a video cables that are used in the computers and other digital devices. This type of cable is quite similar to the VGA cables. While HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface is a cable connector that is used in the majority of the digital devices for output purpose.

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

DVI cable do support analog and digital video signals. You can use your DVI to stream HD quality video with the resolution of 1920 X 1200 pixels. You can use a dual-link connector to increase the resolution of the video. In case, you require to use your DVI port for a low-resolution device; you can choose the one that has less than 24 pins in the port. In normal cases, DVI ports do not support the HDCP encryption, so you might not be able to watch full HD videos. The price of the cables will vary depending on the number of ports and the type of signal the cable will be used for.

Benefits Of DVI

When attempting to perform the comparison of DVI vs HDMI, you will want to familiarize yourself with the benefits of each. The DVI cable is very beneficial, because it delivers a crisper and higher quality picture than many of the alternatives. While the DVI cable will not support HDCP, it can still stream up to 1920 by 1200 HD. With a dual-link DVI connector, you’ll be able to receive 2560 by 1600. Since the DVI doesn’t support HDCP encryption, it may not work with all of your HD Blu-Ray content.

Remember that the DVI can be connected to any HDMI port with a small digital convertor. Unfortunately, the DVI cable does not support audio, so it cannot fully replace the HDMI cable. One of the biggest benefits associated with the DVI connector is the fact that it’ll be far more affordable than the alternative. If you need to stream only video and want to save money, you’ll definitely want to stick with the DVI connector.

What Does a DVI Cable Look Like

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI cable is very easy to connect to the device and are very easy to use as well. You can watch streaming videos along with the sound. This type of port normally supports the resolution of 1920 X 1200 pixels. HDMI supports HDCP encryption. The basic advantage of HDMI port is that, you do not need to worry about the pins, you can just plug and play your digital output device.

Benefits Of An HDMI Cable

An HDMI cable transmits uncompressed video and audio from a compatible HDMI source device to a computer, digital audio device or video projector. The HDMI cable is far more beneficial and more versatile than the DVI alternative. This is the case, because it is digital and compatible with DVI and VGA converters. At the same time, this cable is compatible with audio and video. This is something that is simply not available with the DVI cable, since it lacks audio capabilities. Today, the HDMI cable is commonly used with the latest devices, including HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, new computers, and even streaming devices.

The only downside associated with the HDMI cable is the price. If you opt for this model, you can guarantee that you’ll spend a little more. Nevertheless, when it comes to the battle of DVI vs HDMI, you can guarantee that the HDMI cable will almost always emerge as the winner.

What Does an HDMI Cable Look Like

Comparison Table

SpecificationExternal, 24 pins maximum, Digital Video. You can choose less number of pins for a device of lesser resolution.External, 19 - 29 pins, Digital Audio and Video.
Cable type3 types: Analog, digital and bothOnly digital
CompatibilityCan be converted to VGA or HDMI and can be connected with older versions of monitors that have a VGA port.Can be converted to VGA and DVI. Can not be used for older versions of monitors.
LayoutSize of the cable is big, and resembles VGA ports.More compact and resembles USB ports
Audio signalSupports Only Video Signal, so, it requires an additional audio connector for Audio Signal.8 Audio Channels along with Video Signal Support.
ConnectorYou need to check your device for the similar kind of port.Can be used with any modern digital device.
Signal quality1920 X 1200 pixels of resolution, does not support HDCP encryption, cannot play HD Blu Ray quality video. You can increase resolution using Dual DVI port.Resolution range is almost same, supports HDCP encryption and can play HD Blu Ray Quality video. Can not increase the resolution of the display.
PriceDoes not really harm Video quality. So you can choose the one that fits your budget.Won’t harm Audio or Video Signal quality at all, So, you can pick one of your choice at the budget that you can afford.
SignalDepending on the cable you choose, it can transmit an analog signal or digital signal or both of them.Whatever the price of the cable is or the type of the cable is, it can only transmit Audio and Video Signal in Digital Form.


The above DVI vs HDMI comparison reveals that the basic usage of these two ports or the cables is almost same. Whenever you are looking to buy a cable connector for your desktop computer or laptop, make sure you check with your output device first. Choose the type of cable according to your output device. Remember 2 important things while buying HDMI and DVI cables.

1. If you choose to buy a DVI cable, do not forget to buy additional Audio connectors.

2. The price does not affect the quality of the cable and thus the quality of the digital picture. So do not worry about the price at all.

So, choose wisely, use proper guidance to plug in your device, maintain caution while using them and enjoy your digital entertainment.

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