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Home > Education Center  > FAQ's > DVI FAQ's

DVIGear is your source for information on the audiovisual industry's technologies. We have compiled our most frequently asked questions on HDMI, DVI, HDCP, and more. We will continue to add to and update this list, so check back often!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us by email at: or by phone at 770.421.6699.

Why should I use DVI or other types of digital connectivity?

Today, most new displays (monitors, flat panels, projectors, etc.) and many source devices (DVD players, cable and satellite cable set-top boxes, game stations, and PCs) offer digital connections for superior image quality. The new technology behind these connectors allows for direct digital connections between your source and your display leaving you with pixel-for-pixel accurate images on your display. Inside your computer the video information is processed digitally and sent to the display. The display also processes the information digitally. If a VGA or other analog-type cable is used to connect these two devices, then the digital signal must be converted to analog to pass over the cable and converted back up to digital to be shown on the display. Hence, bypassing this conversion creates noise-free images with perfect color and timing accuracy.

Do I need Single or Dual Link Cables?

The term “Single-Link” refers to the fact that the DVI connection supports one set of digital RGB signals, plus a clock signal (4 signals). “Dual-Link” means that there are two sets of digital RGB signals, plus a clock signal (7 signals). In most implementations, Single-Link DVI supports pixel rates up to 165 MHz with RGB bit rates up to 1.65 Gbit/sec. Dual-Link supports the same clock rates, but since there are two sets of digital RGB signals the effective bit rate can be as high as 3.30 Gbit/sec. Today, most DVI enabled products have Single-Link DVI ports. Generally speaking, PC resolutions less than 2048x1200 pixels, as well as most HDTV systems (including 1080p) use Single-Link DVI connections. PC resolutions such as 2048x1536 (QXGA) and 2560 x 1600 (some 30” LCD monitors) usually require Dual-Link DVI connections. Important: You can use a Dual-Link DVI cable for a Single-Link DVI signal, BUT not the other way around.

What are the Distance Limitations of DVI?

In common practice, most DVI cables will work well to 5 meters (15 ft.). For longer distances, we suggest using DVIGear’s range of Super High Resolution™ copper cables for cable lengths up to 50 meters (164 ft.) and/or DVI Fiber Optic Cables for cable lengths up to 100 meters (328 ft.). DVIGear also offers Extenders and Repeaters that can also be used to optimize a DVI signal for applications that require long cable distances. If you have questions on which approach to use, please contact us and we will be happy to offer the best solution for your application.

Why are DVIGear cables more expensive? Are they really better quality?

Yes. We use the heaviest gauge wire (22AWG) in the industry for our DVI and HDMI cables. This thicker wire makes our cables larger than conventional consumer-grade cables. More importantly it minimizes the insertion losses which all cables suffer from due to cable capacitance. Furthermore, our cables are specially designed for extremely low skew. The best way to understand skew is that it manifests itself as a timing error whereby the various signal components no longer are precisely in-sync with one another. The longer the cable, the greater these two problems become; collectively they deteriorate the digital signal to a point where visible artifacts (sparkles) can be seen in the displayed image. In extreme conditions, these phenomena can make the image unusable or even non-existent. By maintaining insertion loss and skew values that are the lowest in the industry, DVIGear is able to offer
Super High Resolution™ copper cables with the same performance as Fiber Optic Cables for a fraction of the price.

What is the difference between DVI-I and DVI-D?

DVI-D is a connection standard that supports digital-only signal transmission. DVI-I is similar with the addition of several extra pins to support analog signals in addition to the digital signals normally offered with DVI-D. DVIGear offers a convenient variety of DVI Adapters that break-out the analog and digital components of a DVI-I signal connection.

However, DVI-I allows for digital or analog signals to pass over this cable/connector. You could have a VGA connector on one end of a cable and a DVI-I connector on the other and transmit an analog signal to the display. You could also have a DVI-I or DVI-D connector on one end and transmit a digital signal. The DVI-D male connector will connect/transmit with a DVI-I female. The DVI-D female connector will not connect/transmit with the DVI-I male. Contact us if you have further questions about these connectors. Important: You can insert a Male DVI-D connector into a Female DVI-I connection, BUT not the other way around. For this reason, most DVI female connectors are 29-pin DVI-I types.

What is EDID?

EDID - Extended Display Identification Data is a VESA standard data format that contains basic information about a monitor and its capabilities, including vendor information, maximum image size, color characteristics, factory pre-set timings, frequency range limits, as well as character strings for the monitor name, model number and serial number. EDID is an essential aspect of all Plug & Play connectivity systems as it allows the display to tell the signal source what types of signals and what resolutions it is capable of accepting. EDID is communicated over two conductors imbedded in the DVI cable called the DDC (Display Data Channel) lines.

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