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 analog video signals over a single DVI cable and is commonly found on computers, LCD monitors, projectors and other digital display equipment.

Traditional CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays use an analog 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 analog 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 analog signal to ensure compatibility with the majority of available computers. In order for the LCD to accept the computer’s analog output, the signal had to be reconverted to digital.

Because both the computer and the LCD digital monitor accept and transmit digital signals, the process of translating digital to analog is fundamentally unnecessary. The DVI digital connection removes this digital – analog – 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 analog devices.

DVI Cable and Connection 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 Fiber 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, Analog This rarely used cable connects only the analog RGB signals.
  • DVI-I Single Link This connection incorporates both the digital and analog signals in a single DVI cable. This means the cable can send a digital-to-digital or an analog-to-analog signal (for use with an analog 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 cable connection incorporates both the digital and analog signals in a single cable. This means the cable can send a digital-to-digital or an analog-to-analog 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 analog signals. A range of Mini DVI Adapters are available from The Connectivity Center including Mini DVI to DVI-D, Mini DVI to VGA, Mini DVI to HDMI and Mini DVI to DVI & HDMI types. 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 our Super Long Distance DVI Cables or ther Premium Gold Super Long Distance DVI cables. For distances over 25m you can use either a DVI Repeater / Extender solution, or Fiber Optic DVI Cables.

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

In keeping our premium quality connection technology, all 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. 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.

DVI Adapters

DVI Adapters allow different monitors and graphics cards to be connected to the DVI interface. A wide range is available including DFP, VGA, P&D and HDMI versions.