The Difference Between DVI-D, DVI A, and DVI-I Display Connectors

The Difference Between DVI-D, DVI A, and DVI-I Display Connectors

Have you ever had a DVI connector and then bought a DVI Cable or Converter and for some reason it does not fit? It may come as a surprise to some, but there are actually three types of DVI connectors. The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface designed for very high-quality digital display devices such as LCD monitors and digital projectors.

DVI Connectors:

Usually, DVI connectors contain pins to pass DVI-native digital video signals The dual-link systems, however, have additional pins to provide for a second set of data signals.

Together with the digital signals, the DVI connector also includes pins to support analog signals found on a VGA connector, enabling a VGA monitor to connect to a DVI connector with the help of a DVI to VGA adapter. This makes the DVI connector universal as it allows both analog and digital monitors to operate from the same connector.
Now, this is where you need to be careful when you buy that DVI to VGA adapter because if it’s the wrong adapter, it won’t fit.

There are thus three types of DVI connectors, depending on which signal is supported.

DVI-D (digital) DVI-A (analog) DVI-I (integrated)

If you look at the pins on the different DVI connectors, you can clearly see that the DVI-A and DVI-I will be compatible with each other, but when it comes to the DVI-D, it can become an issue. The long flat pin on a DVI-I connector is wider than the same pin on a DVI-D connector, so it is not possible to connect a male DVI-I to a female DVI-D by removing the 4 analog pins. It is possible, however, to connect a male DVI-D cable to a female DVI-I connector. Many flat-panel LCD monitors have only the DVI-D connection so that a DVI-D male to DVI-D male cable will suffice when connecting the monitor to a computer’s DVI-I female connector.

This means that DVI-D is the same as DVI-I, but without the analog portion of the signals. You can connect a DVI-D connector and monitor to a DVI-I output and it will function. A DVI-I monitor can connect to a DVI-D output with the caveat that no analog video will be available.

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