Digital Visual Interface

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The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface standard designed to provide very high visual quality on digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. It was developed by an industry consortium, the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) to replace the "legacy analog technology" VGA connector standard.[1] It is designed for carrying uncompressed digital video data to a display. It is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode (DVI-D), and VGA in analog mode (DVI-A).



The DVI interface uses a digital protocol in which the desired illumination of pixels is transmitted as binary data. When the display is driven at its native resolution, it will read each number and apply that brightness to the appropriate pixel. In this way, each pixel in the output buffer of the source device corresponds directly to one pixel in the display device, whereas with an analog signal the appearance of each pixel may be affected by its adjacent pixels as well as by electrical noise and other forms of analog distortion.


DVI is mostly compatible with HDMI. The main difference is that DVI typically carries no audio data in its TMDS channel, although increasingly, modern PC video hardware is providing audio (e.g., cards by NVIDIA[2] and ATI[3]), allowing the PC to send audiovisual data through a DVI cable to a high definition television with an HDMI input. If a PC's DVI output does not support HDMI audio, an adapter may be required to combine the DVI video signal with analog or digital audio. Since HDMI carries digital audio interleaved with the video data, these adapters can be relatively expensive (e.g., Gefen DVI w/Audio to HDMI[4]).

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