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Jun 4, 2010

How To Choose Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI

A friend recently bought a new 18.5-inch LCD monitor. Although the monitor includes VGA, DVI, and HDMI inputs, it included only a VGA cable--even though the setup instructions recommend a DVI or HDMI connection! He wants to know why, and whether he should bother buying a different cable.

I'm going to answer in reverse.

I would indeed recommend using a different cable to connect your monitor to your PC. However, there's no need to bother with HDMI unless you're planning to watch Blu-ray movies. Even then, DVI also supports the HDCP protocol necessary to view that kind of protected video content. HDMI is really best for connecting a PC to an HDTV.

I'd go with a DVI cable. That'll give you a pure digital signal (VGA is analog) and a much sharper picture at higher resolutions. Don't worry, a DVI cable won't cost you a fortune.

So, why do most monitors come with only a VGA cable? Probably because VGA is still the most common type of video connector worldwide, and, consequently, the mass-produced cables are cheap. Vendors could supply DVI cables as well, but then at least one would be going to waste.


erwinz2 said...

im using dvi right now because it is the only available socket in my lcd monitor hahaha ive tried both and they display awesome. only difference would be the sound. on dvi you can output to a different speaker and on hdmi u should have a good speaker on the lcdtv for you to appreciate it. although you can still use another speaker haha it all comes down to prices ^^
analog? not an option anymore hahaha