When it comes to the best quality of video transfer, there’s nothing in the commercial market that can match the power of the HDMI and DVI formats. Although they are very similar, DVI is used mostly for computers and monitors. HDMI, on the other hand, is used for televisions and home theaters.
The similarity comes from the fact that they both use a protocol called Transition Minimized Differential Signaling or TDMS. A protocol is a set of rules on how data is transferred and presented on a screen. The TDMS protocol handles digital data over both HDMI and DVI, which gives a much better video resolution than analog data.
The similarity ends with the video. Audio is a whole different matter. Since DVI was developed for computer monitors, there was no need for audio, because a computer monitor doesn’t produce sound. It is the CPU that handles sound when it’s needed. On the other hand, HDMI was developed for high definition televisions and displays, and therefore, it was designed to incorporate and transfer audio. In fact, it displays 8 channels of digital audio.
Although the plugs for each format aren’t compatible, since normally you wouldn’t use a source device that supports HDMI for a DVI receiver, or vice versa. However, in certain circumstances, you may want to do exactly that.
For example, let’s say that you bought yourself a Blu-ray player, but you don’t have a high definition TV and you still want to use the blu-ray player’s high definition capabilities. In those cases, you can watch your Blu-ray movies with an HDMI to DVI converter.
If you get an HDMI to DVI converter, you can also hook up any other HDMI device that you get later on. It’s not that expensive, and it’s definitely much cheaper than buying an HDMI receiver, for example, a high definition TV. Just take into account that while an HDMI to DVI converter will indeed let the image be displayed, the resolution will depend on the receiver.
An advantage of an HDMI to DVI converter is that it converts both ways, so it also functions as a DVI to HDMI converter as well. That’s because in fact, the term “HDMI to DVI converter” is a misnomer since the signal is never “converted.” What a DHMI to DVI converter really does is just make the plugs compatible.
Speaking of which, you want to make sure that your HDMI to DVI converter is compatible with your plugs. An HDMI to DVI converter will have both male plugs. Another type of HDMI to DVI converter will have both female plugs. The third type of HDMI to DVI converter will have a male HDMI plug and a female DVI plug. Finally, the last type of HDMI to DVI converter will have a female HDMI plug and a male DVI plug.
Because of this variety, you’ll want to check the plugs and cables you plan to use with the converter, so as to get the one you that’s appropriate for your situation.