Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between DVI and HDMI

dvi_hdmiDVI vs HDMI

Traditionally all video and audio signals are carried over lines in an analog format. This means that the information is transferred along cables as a series of voltage variation that can be converted at the other end in the original picture and sound that was sent. Transporting signals in an analog form is very prone to signal loss and other environmental factors that cause distortion of the end result.

These problems were the primary goal in mind as the new digital formats were introduced. Today there are two prominent digital formats available. The first is DVI or Digital Video Interface which has found its way in computer monitors. The second is HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface, has found its use predominantly in TV and set top players.

The DVI format and HDMI format are totally identical in transporting digital video information. That is why there are a lot of DVI-HDMI converters that are being sold in stores. These converters no longer need any specialized hardware to convert the input, they just need to have the wiring right.

But they are still not the same, since HDMI also carries up to 8 channels of digital audio and an extra channel for CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). The CEC allows your devices to communicate via HDMI, this means that they can control each other and you can use a single remote control to manipulate both devices. Those features would mean that HDMI is way more superior compared to DVI not in the sense that it is capable of carrying better video quality but because it can greatly reduce the number of cables at the back of your devices.

DVI monitors could also not play videos that are protected by HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) from a HDMI source. This is due to the lack of HDCP support in DVI devices. The source would simply suppress the video signal instead of transmitting it.

When choosing your next computer monitor or TV, it is best to opt for one that has a HDMI connector at the back. It’s not that DVI is bad but HDMI would provide you with extra options once you choose to buy new equipment in the future. Even if the products you buy later on would only have the DVI connector, you can simply acquire converters and you are good to go. Although this could also be true for the opposite, it is not always the case.


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