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HDMI Vs DVI: What's The Best AV Input?
Dec 12, 2017

HDMI vs DVI: Layout

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The principal difference between HDMI and DVI cables is in layout. DVI is bigger, and features a 24-pin set-up similar to VGA or SCART cables, although some do come with less pins for lower-resolution devices. HDMI is much more compact, and resembles a USB input, measuring about an inch across.

DVI comes in a variety of layouts designed for very specific tasks. It's now possible to get DVI-D (digital) and DVI-I (both analogue and digital), as well as the less common DVI-A (analogue) versions of the cable. To make things even more confusing, these are also available in single-link or dual-link dvi cable  varieties (which is important for when we come onto refresh rates).

HDMI keeps things a little more simple, with newly released versions of the cable sticking to a numbered system. We are currently on 2.0v Hdmi , with 2.1 expected mid 2017, bringing support for resolutions up to 8k and higher frame rates. 

One difference, however, is that HDMI supports up to eight channels of audio, whereas DVI is strictly video-only. This means that if you’re planning to use your cable to hook up anything with sound, you’ll either need HDMI, or an additional audio cable.

HDMI vs DVI: Compatibility

Naturally, the biggest question when shopping for cables is that of compatibility. Nobody likes buying a fancy monitor, and then finding that their hardware doesn’t have the right ports to connect it.

Ultimately, this comes down to what inputs your existing tech has, but it’s worth noting that HDMI is by far the most common connection source. A HDMI cable is likely to fit pretty much any modern PC, laptop, monitor or games console, while DVI is a little rarer.


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