HDMI and DVI are two of the most common interfaces for sending video over a cable from one emitting or source device to a display or receiver.
DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface and it features a bandwidth of up to 7.92 Gigabits per second. HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. And it features a bandwidth of 10.2 Gigabits per second. Both formats support Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) protocol.
However, the main difference is that DVI only supports video transfer, and is used more for computer monitors. Since monitors don’t emit sound, there was no need to develop sound capabilities for them. When the need for sound came, it was the CPU that handled sound, either through built-in speakers or external ones.
On the other hand, HDMI supports the transfer of video and audio and it was designed for high definition TVs that need to display video and emit sound.
However, there are times when you would need an HMDI to DVI converter. For example, when you have a source device that supports HDMI, like a blu-ray player, but lack a proper HDMI supporting receiver that can display it, like a plasma TV.
If you happen to have a receiver that supports DVI, you can use an HDMI to DVI converter. Since they both work with a digital signal and the TMDS protocol, there is no need to code or decode the signal in any way.
An HDMI to DVI converter is rather cheap, especially compared to the price it would cost you to buy a plasma TV or a high definition TV. Instead, you can use the HDMI to DVI converter to connect your HMDI supporting device to your monitor. Although the screen will be smaller; the video resolution will stay the same.
An HDMI to DVI converter can come in two forms, the first one is a small connector that is plugged at the end of the HDMI cable and its function is to adapt the HDMI cable to the plug.
Another type of HDMI to DVI converter is a cable that has an HDMI type plug on one side and a DVI type plug on the other. This type of HDMI to DVI converter completely substitutes the HDMI cable with the connector.
The second type of HDMI to DVI converter mentioned is a bit more expensive, but not much, and it handles video quality better.
In conclusion, any type of HDMI to DVI converter is a cheap alternative, and it may let you use your HMDI supporting appliances while you take time to save up for a plasma TV.