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Video Connector Types: Your Comprehensive Guide 2023

Video Connector Types: Your Comprehensive Guide 2023

Welcome to the labyrinthine landscape of video connector types and ports—where HDMI wrestles with DisplayPort for supremacy, VGA lingers like a specter of the past, and DVI strikes a delicate balance between old and new! From the familiar territories of commonly used display ports to the treacherous waters of mismatched cables, this multifaceted guide will serve as your compass, helping you navigate every twist with ease and confidence. Let's get started!

A Summary of Common Display Ports


DisplayPort (DP) is a digital display interface that was developed/advanced by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). This interface is primarily used to connect a video source (such as computers or laptops) to a display device (like a monitor or a projector). It can transmit both audio & video signals, and its features also include the ability to support multiple monitors, called daisy-chaining, from a single output.

Mini DisplayPort

The Mini DisplayPort (mDP) is a reduced-size version of the traditional DisplayPort. It was first announced by Apple in 2008 and can be found on Apple computers before 2016 and some Windows notebooks. Although smaller in size, it doesn't lose any functionality compared to DisplayPort. It still has the ability to transmit high-definition video & audio from a source to a display and supports daisy-chaining of multiple monitors, allowing for a cleaner and more simplified workspace setup.


USB-C, or USB Type-C, is a type of USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector that was developed by the USB Implementers' Forum. Its most recognizable trait is its reversible plug orientation and cable direction, which eliminates the frustration brought by the older USB designs. Although not originally intended for video transmission, the versatility of the USB-C has allowed it to act as a video port through the use of alternate modes, such as DisplayPort (DP Alt mode) or HDMI (HDMI Alt Mode). This allows USB-C to handle various tasks, including data transfer, device charging, and video output, all in a single cable.


The High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, is one of the most commonly used display interfaces today. It was developed by a consortium of large electronics corporations and is mostly found on televisions, monitors, and audio devices. HDMI has the ability to transmit uncompressed video data & compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device. It also has support for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) features, Audio Return Channel (ARC), and the ability to carry 3D video and 4K resolution video.


The Digital Visual Interface (DVI), introduced in 1999 by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG), was a significant step above the VGA interface, allowing for crisp, digital video transmission. It has three basic versions: DVI-A, which works with analog signals, DVI-D, designed for digital signals, and DVI-I, which is compatible with both analog and digital. DVI connections are mostly found on computer graphics cards and are slowly being phased out in favor of newer technologies like HDMI and DisplayPort.


The Video Graphics Array (VGA) is an analog-based standard first introduced by IBM in 1987. It was widely adopted for personal computers throughout the 90s and 2000s. Despite being considered outdated today, it is still found in many devices due to its prolonged period of use. VGA ports are most commonly used to connect computers to their monitors. However, with the advent of digital connections, the quality of VGA is noticeably lower compared to its digital counterparts. Its use in modern devices is gradually declining but remains as an option for legacy systems.

What to Do If Your Cable Doesn’t Fit?

Here's a detailed guide on steps you need to follow:

  1. Identify the Type of Connector on Your Device

First, it's essential to know what type of connector your device needs. Here are some of the most common types:

  • DisplayPort
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • USB-C
  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • DVI
  1. Identify the Type of Connector on Your Cable

You should also familiarize yourself with the connector at the end of your cable. It may look similar to the connector on your device, but differences in shape, size, or configuration can prevent it from fitting properly.

  1. Find an Appropriate Adapter

After identifying both types of connectors, look for a compatible adapter. For instance, if your device has a USB-C port, but your cable is DisplayPort or HDMI, you would need a USB-C to DisplayPort or HDMI adapter.

Take a look at these Anker adapters to find the perfect match for USB-C to DisplayPort or HDMI needs! The Anker 518 USB-C Adapter (8K DisplayPort) and Anker 518 USB-C Adapter (8K HDMI) bring your visual experiences to an 8K@60Hz or 4K@144Hz resolution, ensuring you don't compromise on clarity whether mirroring or extending your screen. It acts as a quick plug-and-play transformer, converting your laptop's USB-C port into a DisplayPort or HDMI without extra installation. This device is HDCP-compliant, which means it can display high-bandwidth digital content such as movies and TV shows that are encrypted with HDCP. It can also work with any USB-C devices that have DisplayPort Alt Mode, and can easily connect to various TVs, monitors, and projectors.

  1. Check the Audio Transmission

Besides video, some cables like HDMI can transmit both video and audio signals. When using an adapter, ensure it can handle the same signal transmission if necessary.

  1. Connect Using the Adapter

Once you've obtained the appropriate adapter:

  • Connect the end of your cable to the corresponding port on the adapter.
  • Connect the adapter to your device port.

At this point, you should be able to transmit video through the adapter, from your cable to your device.

Remember, using an adapter is a quick and efficient way to solve compatibility issues between different types of video connector cables and ports. However, ensure to choose high-quality adapters to maintain the integrity of your video signal.


In conclusion, video connector types may seem like a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, and acronyms. Yet, it's your golden key to stunning visuals and connection perfection. So, the next time you find yourself wrestling with a cable that doesn't quite fit, don't despair! The solution is just an appropriate cable and adapter away, ready to shatter your screen's limitations and unlock an exciting world of pixel-perfect beauty.


Here are some commonly asked queries about video connector types.

Is DVI better than VGA?

Yes, DVI is technically superior to VGA. DVI offers better clarity and a sharper image because it uses digital signals, as opposed to VGA which transmits analog signals. The conversion process from digital to analog can often result in a loss of quality, a problem that doesn't occur in DVI.

Is DisplayPort better than HDMI?

The answer to this depends on the specific usage scenario, however, DisplayPort is generally considered better than HDMI for certain functionalities. It supports a higher maximum bandwidth, meaning it can handle more data at once and thus provide better quality at higher resolutions and refresh rates. Additionally, it includes support for daisy-chaining multiple monitors from a single output, a feature not available in HDMI.

Are video connectors interchangeable between devices?

Not all video connectors are interchangeable between devices due to differences in their design, format, and signal transmission capabilities. For instance, an HDMI port can't be used with a VGA cable without an adapter. Moreover, even with adapters, the output quality may be affected due to the differing technical specifications of different connector types.

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