What Is DVI Port?

What Is DVI Port?

A DVI (Digital Visual Interface) port is a type of connection used to transfer video signals from a source, such as a computer, to a display device like a monitor or projector. Introduced in 1999 by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG), the DVI standard was developed to accommodate both analog and digital video signals and improve the connectivity between computers and monitors.

Types of DVI Connections

DVI connectors come in several different types to suit various requirements:

  • DVI-D (Digital Only): This type of connector carries only a digital signal. It is available in both single-link and dual-link configurations. Single-link can support resolutions up to 1920x1200 at 60 Hz, while dual-link supports higher resolutions, up to 2560x1600 at 60 Hz.
  • DVI-A (Analog Only): This connector is less common and carries only an analog signal, making it essentially a way to connect to VGA devices without carrying digital signals.
  • DVI-I (Integrated Digital and Analog): Combining capabilities of both DVI-D and DVI-A, DVI-I connectors can transmit both digital and analog signals. Like DVI-D, it also comes in single-link and dual-link versions.

Characteristics of a DVI Port

  • Connector Appearance: DVI connectors are typically bigger than other video connectors like HDMI and have a distinct flat pin along with either 18+1 pins (single-link DVI-D and DVI-I) or 24+1 pins (dual-link DVI-D and DVI-I).
  • Video Quality: DVI ports provide a sharp digital video transmission that does not suffer from compression or conversion issues, making them suitable for use where high visual fidelity is necessary.
  • Compatibility: DVI is compatible with both digital and analog standards, allowing a broad range of device connections, especially with the use of adapters (e.g., DVI-to-VGA or DVI-to-HDMI).


DVI connections are commonly found on:

  • Desktop Computers: Many graphics cards and computer monitors feature DVI ports.
  • Monitors and Projectors: Especially those produced in the early 2000s to early 2010s.
  • Home Theater Systems: Some high-definition televisions and home theater projectors used DVI before HDMI became prevalent.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • High Video Quality: Especially with DVI-D and DVI-I dual-link configurations, which support high resolutions and refresh rates.
  • Versatility: The ability to handle both digital and analog signals (with DVI-I) makes it versatile for various display needs.


  • No Audio Support: DVI does not carry audio signals, requiring separate cables for audio transmission.
  • Physical Size: The connector is relatively large compared to newer standards like HDMI.
  • Decreasing Relevance: As HDMI and DisplayPort become more ubiquitous, DVI is being phased out in newer devices.

Current Relevance

While DVI is less commonly used today than HDMI or DisplayPort, many devices still include DVI ports, particularly in environments where legacy hardware is prevalent. DVI remains a reliable choice for high-quality digital video connections, especially in cases where audio transmission is either not required or can be handled separately.

Does DVI Carry Audio?

No, DVI (Digital Visual Interface) does not carry audio signals; it is designed solely to transmit video. Unlike HDMI, which can handle both audio and video signals through a single cable, DVI connections require a separate audio connection if audio transfer is needed.

This limitation means that in setups where both audio and video are required (such as connecting a computer to a television or an entertainment system), additional audio cables (such as 3.5mm audio jacks, RCA cables, or digital audio cables like optical or coaxial) must be used alongside the DVI cable. This setup can lead to more clutter and complexity in cable management compared to using HDMI.

For users upgrading or setting up new systems, HDMI or DisplayPort are generally preferred over DVI due to their capability to transmit both high-definition video and audio simultaneously, reducing cable clutter and simplifying the connections between devices.

Related FAQs

For Anywhere Work Takes You.