Watching videos has been a part of human civilization. The video viewing experience has been evolving since its invention. Today, we enjoy videos in high definition. However, it was not always like this. Before the high definition age, there were many video connections available for TV, VCR, DVD, HDTV, and Monitors. This worked rather on analog signals or both like the Digital Video Interface (DVI). The most commonly used monitor cable was the Video Graphics Array (VGA) cable.
Let us see the progress of these cables in brief.
VGA - Video Graphics Array
IBM introduced Video Graphics Array (VGA) in 1987. VGA was one of the most commonly used video cable for linking monitors with the central processing unit of a computer system. It was capable of supporting resolution up to 640x480. In addition, it had a range of 16 Colors. The range of colors was directly proportional to the resolution. That is, you could adjust the resolution up to 320x240 for increasing the range of colors.
This was a very useful function in use for gaming back in the last decades of the 20th century. Its name was Mode 13h. Analog video signals were in use for transmission in VGA. It faded away after the new technical developments of the digital age. It consists of an arrangement of 15 pins in three rows. Here, each row is in connection with the three different color channels for use in display. Namely, red, green, and blue are the colors.
The most popular home video component for audio and video devices that was evident in earlier times was Composite Video. It had three distinct set of cables, the trio of - the red, yellow, and white of the RCA connector. RCA refers to the metal connectors found at the end of these cables manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It had a very important role in popularizing this connection type.
Its basis is analog television signal. Later it modulates onto the RF carrier. The transmission of video signals is over one cable with a single set of composite analog signals. The process further involves demodulation of the modulated composite analog signals. The final video display in the TV introduces several losses due to this. Moreover, the conversion itself produces noise.
Digital Video Interface
The Digital display working group launched DVI in 1999. The introduction of DVI in the market was after 10 years of IBM’s innovative VGA cable. Digital video interface is capable of transmitting both analog and digital video signals. It can convert the analog signals into digital and vice versa. This made it easier for accommodating both digital and analog monitors.
It consists of a single plug, carrying the legacy of VGA. It introduced the new digital only plug connector. It can handle bandwidths in excess of 160 MHz and can support HDTV and UGXA. The cable generally consists of 28 pins. Out of these, 24 are in use for the digital signal and the rest for analog signals. The DVI dual link supports resolution up to 2560 by 1600 pixels.
These are few technologies of the earlier times. This is the age of high definition. High definition and higher transmission speeds. Moreover, least amount of noise while connecting the video viewing screens with the central processing units of a computer. The new modern cables are the high definition multimedia interface.
Let us find out!
High Definition Multimedia Interface
HDMI Cables brought the dawn of the new digital. It is a technology, which came into the market within the first two years after jumping into this millennium. HDMI Cables use a technology, which combine digital video signals and multi channel audio signals into one suitable cable. This eliminates the maze that you assemble around your setup! The set up becomes less complex, it reduces the cost, and managing of the cables can be convenient.
Higher Transfer Rate
First, HDMI Cables are capable of sending uncompressed digital video and audio signals. It sends these signals at a very high transfer rate up to 5 gigabytes per second. In simpler terms, it has the capacity to send large amount of data across a long stretch of wire. Moreover, it can accomplish this task at a very high speed. As you would know, the high resolution and high definition videos need sampling at a very high rate. This makes the output sharper and clearer than the analog signal interfaces.
With the earlier introduction of Digital Video Interface (DVI), you had to plug in the audio cable separately. The requirement of two cables was, as it could carry only the digital video signals. Its length too had a limit of around 16 feet. Above this limit, the quality underwent a compromise. You do not need to worry! HDMI Cable is also compatible with your pre installed DVI. This eliminates the need of immediately upgrading the existence cables and components.
HDMI Cables are the first and foremost interface to carry high definition video of the likes of 720 & 1080 resolution. Along with this, they also support multi channeled surround sound signals. It can be as long as up to 40 feet while still maintaining the optimum quality.
Control Entire System
Another key feature of HDMI Cables is that it provides the ability to control the entire system of components and display by using a single remote control.
Today, there are many versions of HDMI available in the market. They are compatible with the new generation TV, receivers, and other gear. The versions are HDMI 2.0, 2.0a, 2.0b, and 2.1. Depending on the resolution, you can choose the version. HDMI 2.1 is the latest update. It supports a maximum frame rate of 120Hz and supports dynamic metadata. You must control your excitement and know the purpose of choosing the higher versions.
In general, all the devices, which support HDMI, are of the HDMI 2.0 version. It supports a maximum resolution of 4k. It has a frame rate of 60Hz. However, it is not HDR or WCG compatible. Here you can choose HDMI 2.0a or 2.0b in accordance of your need. You must also understand that not all the computers and TV monitors resolution as high as that of the likes of 10k. Moreover, not all of those devices support a frame rate of 120Hz.
The basic knowledge of these cables is must before opting for an upgrade.