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Choosing the right video cable – DVI

Yesterday we discussed VGA and the particulars for usage, options, and things to look out for to avoid. Today, we’re taking a look at DVI, one of the more versatile, but confusing cables in the production world due to so many options, varieties and specifics.

DVI – Digital Visual Interface


DVI is a digital video standard developed for computer graphics. DVI is unique because it can implement digital or analog signals in one of three configurations.

  • DVI-D carries only digital signal.
  • DVI-I carries both digital and analog signal on the same connector. D
  • VI-A carries only analog video.

(DVI-I and DVI-A are both fully compatible with VGA devices via a simple adapter.)


DVI-D and DVI-I are available in two varieties, single link and dual link. Single link DVI can transmit up to 1920×1200 at 60Hz. Dual link DVI adds pins to increase signal bandwidth. Dual link DVI can support up to 2560×1600 at 60Hz. Both Single  and Dual link DVI can be run about 30’ at full resolution. Past that a signal booster is recommended. At 720p or lower resolutions Single link DVI can be effective to 50’.


The analog compatibility of DVI-I makes it very flexible. DVI is a great choice for most computer based systems, offering a wide range of resolutions at high clock rates. DVI also has some compatibility with HDMI, which opens up your options even more. DVI-D is fully HDCP compliant, allowing a wide array of protected content to be displayed (Blu-Ray, HD Video, etc.) DVI is limited to RGB color, and you must be careful of EDID issues when configuring DVI systems. Also be aware of which DVI standard your equipment utilizes, it is not always easy to tell based on the connector. For example, a certain high end projector manufacturer uses DVI-I input connectors, but the input cards will not recognize the analog part of the signal.


DVI is quite versatile, but you need to know what you are working with to ensure the signal will pass from and two all your components. Have any questions about DVI technology or looking for more resources? Stop by our Twitter and Facebook pages and let us know what we can do for you.

Tim Southwick

Author Tim Southwick

Tim is the Brand Manager for TripleWide Media. He has 10 years experience in the event management world and has a strong desire to see visuals and media used to increase the user experience.

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