DVI Decoded

July 9, 2014 Tripp Lite

Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video display interface standard that is used to send an analog or digital signal from a source (e.g. a computer) to a display (e.g. a video monitor or television). While it doesn’t support audio like the newer HDMI and DisplayPort standards, it is still widely used in computer applications, partly due to its compatibility with both analog and digital video signals.

If you need to transmit an audio signal while using DVI, you’ll need a separate audio cable or an HDMI converter cable that enables audio transmission.

There are five DVI standards:

DVI-I Single Link

DVI-I Single Link supports an integrated (digital and analog) signal with a max resolution of 1600 x 1200 and 4.95 Gbps bandwidth

DVI-I Dual-Link

DVI-I Dual-Link also supports both digital and analog, but it has a greater max resolution of 2048 x 1536 and 9.9 Gbps bandwidth.

DVI-D Single Link

DVI-D Single Link supports a digital signal with a max resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 4.59 Gbps bandwidth.

DVI-D Dual Link

DVI-D Dual Link supports a digital signal with a max resolution of 2048 x 1536 and 9.9 Gbps bandwidth.

DVI-A

DVI-A supports an analog signal with a max resolution of 1920 x 1080. It is typically used for connecting a DVI source to a legacy VGA monitor.

Distance Limitations

Generally, DVI’s standard distance limitation for highest resolution is 15 feet, but lower resolutions can be transmitted successfully up to 50 feet. Transmission beyond that distance will require a signal booster. However, even greater distances can be achieved using a DVI over Cat5 or Cat6 extender, which uses inexpensive Cat5 or Cat6 cabling to extend a high-definition video signal up to 200 feet from the source.

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