The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video connector designed to maximize the visual quality of 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).
The data format used by DVI is based on the PanelLink serial format devised by the semiconductor
manufacturer Silicon Image Inc. This uses Transition Minimized Differential Signaling or TMDS. A single DVI link consists of four twisted pairs of wire (red, green, blue, and clock) to transmit 24 bits per pixel. The timing of the signal almost exactly matches that of an analog video signal. The picture is transmitted line by line with blanking intervals between each line and each frame, and without packetization. No compression is used and DVI has no provision for only transmitting
changed parts of the image. This means the whole frame is constantly retransmitted.
With a single DVI link, the largest resolution possible at 60Hz is 2.6 megapixels. The DVI connector therefore has provision for a second link, containing another set of red, green, and blue twisted pairs. When more bandwidth is required than is possible with a single link, the second link is
enabled, and alternate pixels may be transmitted on each. The DVI specification mandates a fixed single link cutoff point of 165 MHz, where all display modes that require less than this must use single link mode, and all those that require more must switch to dual link mode. When both links are in use, the pixel rate on each may exceed 165 MHz. The second link can also be used when more than 24 bits per pixel is required, in which case it carries the least significant bits.
Like modern analog VGA connectors, the DVI connector includes pins for the display data channel, version 2 (DDC 2) that allows the graphics adapter to read the monitor's extended display identification data (EDID).
The 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.
The DVI connector may also incorporate pins to pass through the legacy analog signals using the VGA standard.
The DVI connector on a device is therefore given one of three names, depending on which signals it implements:
The connector also includes provision for a second data link for high resolution displays, though many devices do not implement. In those that do, the connector is sometimes referred to as DVI-DL (dual link).
DVI is the only widespread standard that includes analog and digital transmission options in the same connector. Competing standards are exclusively digital: these include a system using low-voltage differential signalling (LVDS), known by its proprietary names FPD (for Flat-Panel Display) Link and FLATLINK; and its successors, the LVDS Display Interface (LDI) and OpenLDI.
Some new DVD players, TV sets and video projectors have DVI and HDCP connectors. Computers with DVI video connectors can use many DVI-equipped HDTV sets as display