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). 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 LCD controllers offered with the CCX keyboards offer DVI-D and DVI-I, depending on which controller is selected. This discussion is presented to help clarify the difference between the various flavors of DVI.




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 ConnectorsThe DVI connector usually contains pins to pass the DVI-native digital video signals. In the case of dual-link systems, additional pins are provided for the second set of data signals.


As well as digital signals, the DVI connector includes pins providing the same analog signals found on a VGA connector, allowing a VGA monitor to be connected with a simple plug adapter. This feature was included in order to make DVI universal, as it allows either type of monitor (analog or digital) to be operated from the same connector.


The DVI connector on a device is therefore given one of four names, depending on which signals it implements:


DVI-D (digital only)

DVI-I (integrated, digital & analog)


The connector also includes provision for a second data link for high resolution displays, though many devices do not implement this. In those that do, the connector is sometimes referred to as DVI-DL (dual link).


The long flat pin on a DVI-I connector is wider than the same pin on a DVI-D connector, so it is not possible to connect a male DVI-I to a female DVI-D by removing the 4 analog pins. It is possible, however, to connect a male DVI-D cable to a female DVI-I connector. Many flat panel LCD monitors have only the DVI-D connection so that a DVI-D male to DVI-D male cable will suffice when connecting the monitor to a computer’s DVI-I female connector.


Essentially, DVI-D is the same as DVI-I with DVI-D missing the analog portion of the signals. A DVI-D connector and monitor can connect to a DVI-I output and function. A DVI-I monitor can connect to a DVI-D output with the caveat that no analog video will be available.