Technology

HDMI to replace DVI and VGA on new devices


VGA, DVI, MiniHDMI, HDMI Connectors

Today we are at a crossroads of different display connectors : VGA, DVI, M1 (DVI+USB), HDMI and miniHDMI. I think we can all agree that VGA is dying out and is for the most part replaced by DVI in all newer models. M1 was a horrible idea by the projector companies to sell $50 DVI to M1 adapters. It allows you to take a computer and plug in a single cable to the projector to carry over USB for mouse control and VGA/DVI for video. It may of came out of the fact that no one connected the usb to the projector and the mouse control feature was rarely ever actually used. With that convenience you get $50 adapter cables to connect that projector into anything on the market today. Then HDMI came out for TVs to connect high definition digital sources.

The thing that puzzled me the most is the conversion between DVI to HDMI is so trivial. Why do we have both DVI and HDMI? Well DVI actually holds a lot more than HDMI but it’s because it still carries analog VGA signals. Ever wonder why you can just plug a $10 DVI to VGA adapter and connect a VGA monitor to your computer? Well its because DVI-AD [analog, digital] actually is a vga port. That was needed as we transitioned from analog displays to digital displays. Now that we have a large amount of digital ready displays, we really don’t need analog anymore. Which could take us to DVI-D [digital] but at this point, that is basically just a large connector for HDMI. I think in the near future we will see everything turn into HDMI. Your computer will have only HDMI out and your monitor will have only HDMI in.

However, this bring up another issue. Many new smartphone and tablets have mini-HDMI outs because they just can’t fit the full port in. I hope to stop the problem of USB, mini USB and micro USB from infecting HDMI that we instead agree that smaller is better. The next gen of tech devices should only carry mini-hdmi ports. I don’t think there is any benefit of a standard USB connector over a micro USB and we should take that logic to hdmi. When was the last time you wanted to plug something in and realize that you have a mini USB cable and the device is a micro USB. Or even worse, something proprietary. This is a simple message to any manufacture that thinks they are worthy of making a new connector (I’m looking at you Apple), you are not worth it. Sure millions of people buy Apple’s overpriced cables instead of cheap usb cables that basically are the same thing, but that doesn’t mean millions of people are not quietly brooding over your “genius” connector/cable.


I'm a 32 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

View Comments