DVI Guide - Connectors and Cables Explained

What is DVI?

DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is a digital video interface developed by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It is able to support both digital and analogue video signals over a single DVI cable and is commonly found on computers, LCD monitors, projectors and other digital display equipment.

What are the advantages of DVI?

Traditional CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays use an analogue signal to receive image data from the computer's graphics card. For this reason, early graphics cards needed to convert their native digital signal into analogue in order to support CRT monitors.

LCD monitors are digital display devices, but when they were first introduced they needed to be able to accept and adapt this analogue signal to ensure compatibility with the majority of available computers. In order for the LCD to accept the computer's analogue output, the signal had to be reconverted to digital.

Since both the computer and the LCD digital monitor accept and transmit digital signals, the process of translating digital to analogue is fundamentally unnecessary. The DVI digital connection removes this digital - analogue - digital conversion process, and so removes inaccuracies and information loss due to each conversion process.

The DVI interface has proven to be extremely versatile; it provides manufacturers with the flexibility to support digital devices while remaining backwards compatible with analogue devices.

DVI Cable & Connector Types

DVI-D Single Link – this Digital only connection supports digital only displays with screen - this digital only connection supports displays with screen resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080 and 1080p. You can see our range of DVI-D Single Link cables by clicking on the following links: DVI-D Single Link cables, DVI-D Super Long Distance cables and Fibre Optic DVI-D Single Link cables.

DVI-D Dual Link
- this connection uses a second data link and supports much higher resolutions such as 2048 x 1536 (QXGA). We supply a range of dual link DVI cables including DVI-D Dual Link, Premium Gold DVI-D Dual Link and Premium Gold DVI-D Dual Link Super Long Distance cables.

DVI-A, Analogue - this rarely used cable connects only the analogue RGB signals.

DVI-I Single Link - this connection incorporates both the digital and analogue signals in a single DVI cable. This means the cable can send a digital-to-digital or an analogue-to-analogue signal (for use with an analogue display). Click the link to see our DVI-I Single Link cables.

DVI-I Dual Link - similar to DVI-I Single Link, but with a second data link for higher resolutions. This DVI lead connection incorporates both the digital and analogue signals in a single cable. This means the cable can send a digital-to-digital or an analogue-to-analogue signal. Click the link to see our DVI-I Dual Link cables.

Mini DVI - the Mini DVI connector is a single link connector commonly found on Apple computers. Its small size makes it ideal for use with laptops. It can support digital and analogue signals. A range of Mini DVI Adapters are available from LINDY including Mini DVI to DVI-D, Mini DVI to VGA, Mini DVI to HDMI and Mini DVI to DVI & HDMI types.

DVI Cable Distance Limitations

With standard DVI cables you can extend the distance for digital monitors, with fixed cables and connections, by up to 7.5m. For distances greater than 7.5m, special low attenuation cables are recommended to provide satisfactory results. For optimum performance, at distances from 7.5m up to 25m, we recommend you use LINDY Super Long Distance DVI Cables or LINDY Premium Gold Super Long Distance DVI cables. For distances over 25m you can use either a DVI Repeater / Extender solution, or LINDY Fibre Optic DVI Cables.

LINDY Premium Gold DVI Cables

Our Premium Gold DVI cables are an ideal choice for installers who require maximum performance, reliability, build quality and stylish design. These cables are available in lengths from 0.5m up to 25m with DVI-D Single Link, Dual Link, and DVI to HDMI configurations. All Premium Gold cables feature RF-BLOK connectors and a specially optimized, low attenuation cable for excellent long distance performance. The connectors are equipped with 24K plated contacts for corrosion resistance and maximum signal integrity. They're ideal for use in professional AV installations, digital signage etc. and they're backed by our industry leading 25 year warranty.

RF-Blok Connector

n keeping with the LINDY tradition of premium quality connection technology, all LINDY DVI-D, Super Long Distance and Premium Gold DVI cables use a rugged construction RF-BLOK shielded design that ensures optimum performance from your cables. LINDY RF-BLOK cables use a one-piece metal EMI/RF shield that gives reduced interference and increased insulation resistance of up to 25%. The innovative design means there is no soldering required in the assembly of the cable or requirement for a ferrite core, so the cable is less stressed and more flexible - an advantage when the cable needs to be bent into tight spaces.