If you are buying a new piece of home entertainment equipment then you have probably faced the problem of deciding which type of connection you should use. A lot of consumers just want to know once and for all which is the best, HDMI or DVI? Unfortunately there is no simple way of saying one type of connection is better than the other, it really does depend on a number of factors such as the individual requirements of the consumer, not to mention the specification of the other home entertainment hardware that they already own. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at HDMI and DVI and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
HDMI and DVI actually make use of the same technology to handle digital video signals. This means that each type of connection is able to deliver exceptional quality pictures that are protected against degradation caused by outside interference and noise. In fact it is even possible to connect a HDMI cable to a DVI port and vice versa by using a HDMI-to-DVI or DVI-to-HDMI converter. Since both cables use the same technology they should both deliver exactly the same picture quality.
However, there are a number of differences between the two formats. For instance, HDMI cables carry both digital video and audio signals, so you only need to use one cable to create a connection. DVI cables on the other hand only carry video signals, so if you are using DVI then you will also require an additional cable to handle the audio output. This may lead to extra expense as you need to buy two cables as opposed to one, and obviously having multiple runs of cable connecting your devices isn’t as tidy as a single cable.
HDMI is fast becoming an industry standard and the vast majority of new entertainment equipment features a HDMI port. DVI is very much an older connection, and while it was used quite widely a few years ago it has now mostly been replaced by HDMI. As such, DVI is more commonly found on older hardware although it is still widely used in computers. DVI is also compatible with analogue video signals as well as digital, so is ideal to use with older or second hand equipment.
So, which is better? Well that really depends on you! If you are buying a brand new entertainment system then it makes sense to opt for HDMI as it is fast becoming the global standard – almost every piece of hardware manufactured in the past couple of years is HDMI compatible. Using HDMI also means that you only need to use one cable, which helps to keep your home neat and tidy and may also be less expensive than buying multiple cables. HDMI is also great for connecting multiple devices together as the two way mode allows each device to communicate with all other devices.
However, if you can’t afford to upgrade your entire system then DVI is still a good alternative as it will work with old and new equipment alike. In fact if your entertainment system is computer based then DVI is the best option because it is rare to find HDMI ports on computer hardware. No matter which connection type you opt for, both deliver exceptional quality pictures, so it really does all come down to which connection your existing entertainment equipment is compatible with, and whether you are upgrading your current system or buying a completely brand new system.