HDMI STB Vs. DVI- Which One Is the Best?

The STB extension on the HDMI is meant to show the user the correct port for connecting a receiver or consoles such as Xbox, PS, and any other HDMI-enabled devices. 

You will undoubtedly get torn when choosing between an HDMI and a DVI cable when it comes to video interface options. 

However, if you choose the suitable cable, you will have a fun experience with the TV or console for a long time.

So which is better? Which cable has what properties and what features set them apart from each other? Let us jump right into it.

HDMI STB Vs. DVI

HDMI STB stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface Set Top Box, and it is mostly the cable of choice for gaming consoles, receivers, and TVs. 

In addition, it is the most frequently used interface for transmitting high-definition video and audio signals. 

DVI stands for Digital Video Interface, and it is a video-only interface. The most commonly used type is DVI-D since it carries digital signals that are commonly used. It provides a faster and better quality video output.

Which is better? Suppose you had an option between HDMI and DVI; the best choice would be HDMI. 

This is because HDMI can offer better video quality and resolution than a DVI with the added advantage of transmitting audio.

It is important to note that cable’s choice depends on what your laptop or computer supports. Also, you can only use a cable if there is a port available for it on your device, so check to see what ports are there before purchasing.

Differences Between HDMI And DVI Connections

Some monitors or TVs with labeled DVI/HDMI inputs might mislead you into believing they are the same when they are not. Some differences make each type of cable stand out, and we need to know them;

  • The most significant difference between HDMI and DVI connections is that HDMI supports both Video and Audio transmissions, but DVI supports only video signals. 

Therefore, if you use a DVI connection, add another audio cable to move the sound. Even if you use an adapter to change the input from DVI to HDMI or vice versa, there will be no audio transmission since the change only affects the jack and not the signal.

  • The Signals they carry can also bring up a difference. For example, all the available types of HDMI cables carry digital video and audio signals, which is part of their popularity. 

DVI, on the other hand, is more flexible when it comes to the signal they carry. Depending on the type of DVI, it could carry a digital signal (DVI-D), an analog signal (DVI-A), or both analog and digital signals (DVI-I)

  • When it comes to screen resolution, HDMI has much higher capabilities than DVI. HDMI version 2.0 is the fastest, and it can support a resolution of up to 3840×2160 pixels at 60Hz. 

Version 1.2 supports 3840×2160 pixels at 24Hz. DVI has two versions, single link and dual-link. 

A dual-link has a higher bandwidth thus is the best version of DVI, and it supports a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels at 60HZ, which is lower than that of the HDMI. Single link DVI supports 1900×1200 at 60 HZ.

  • The physical appearances also make these cables different. The HDMI has a resemblance to the standard USB cable; only it is a bit bigger. It is, however, much smaller than the DVI cable, and it has no locking mechanism. 

The DVI cable, on the other hand, resembles a VGA cable. It is the same size as a VGA, and it has almost similar pins. 

In addition, it has two thumbscrews on the back of its head to lock it in place when it connects to a TV or monitor.

Similarities Between DVI And HDMI Connection

DVI and HDMIs have significant differences, so they cannot be used interchangeably, but some similarities cannot be ignored. Some of the most prolific similarities include;

  • They are both capable of transmitting digital video signals. It is more complex in DVIs, but DVI-I and DVI-D can transfer digital video signals as an HDMI would.
  • They can both transmit 4k resolution, and the quality of transmission improves with the screen resolution; thus, you can use them on an HDTV.
  • They both get their signals distorted if the cable is long and thin; thus, you have to get a short and thick cable to cut down on signal attenuation.
  • They both have high refresh rates of approximately 60Hz, making them worthy choices for a gaming setup that needs constant high-quality graphics rendering.

How To Choose The Best HDMI Or DVI Cable

Most people using HDMIs believe that you have no reason to spend extra money on a fancier product as long as the cable functions correctly.

In addition, HDMIs transmit digital signals that are not so susceptible to interference; thus, we might believe quality is not a concern.

Some HDMIs are overpriced because of useless features to the user, but then again, some are incredibly cheap, and you should avoid them. So what dictates your choice of buying an HDMI or DVI cable? 

The material used to make the cable

The material inside the cable can make a big difference in the cable’s performance since it is responsible for transmission. However, this does not mean you need to go for cable with very expensive alloy cores.

Cheap HDMI cables sometimes use steel which is not a good conductor, so your transmissions will be messed up. 

Copper-coated steel has better performance, but it is not that big an improvement from steel cables.

Go for cables with pure copper wiring inside. The good thing is that copper cables are not expensive, and they go for around $8 on Amazon.

You also don’t need to worry about getting more premium wiring; instead, look at the wire’s thickness.

The Interior wiring’s thickness

In HDMIs and many other cables, the thickness of a wire is measured using a gauge number. A lower number on the gauge means that the wire is thicker.

The thickness is critical since it affects both the transmission and durability of a cable. For thin 32-gauge wires, the cable length should not go above 1.5m. 

As the cable gets thicker and thicker, you can have a longer cable run up to 8m with 24 gauge wire.

This will be possible since a thick cable is less vulnerable to attenuation or interference than thin cables. 

The thickest is a 24-gauge since anything thicker would make the cable too bulky and difficult to bend. Generally, shorter and thicker is better to reduce attenuation and signal interruptions.

The connectors at the end of the cable

Gold plating would be the best choice if you can find it. By gold plating, I am not referring to the large part on the outside that is often painted golden to look more premium.

I am referring to the contacts inside the head of the cable. Gold plating will not affect your cable’s performance, but it will increase the cable’s longevity. 

This is because Gold is an effective barrier against corrosion and wear and tear, especially if you constantly plug and unplug the cables.

The cable’s testing

Even if the cable is made of high-quality material, try to find out if it has been tested and approved to work with a wide range of equipment. 

It would help if you got a cable you can use on your TV, PC, Console, and any other HDMI available device. 

Some cheaper cables are only tested with a few monitors, so they might have problems with your gadgets if you use a complex setup involving adapters and HDMI splitters. 

If the manufacturer has not provided testing methods on the product or their website, you can go online and read reviews to see what issues came up from other users. 

Compatibility

Make sure you buy a premium high-speed cable if you want to get 4k at 6HZ or HDR. 

Premium cables have a speed of around 18 Gigabits per second at 60Hz. This is much better than the 10 Gigabits per second at 30Hz offered by Standard high-speed cables. 

In addition, the increased bandwidth will accommodate deeper colors and higher frame rates. 

Conclusion

DVI cables work well in transmitting Video signals, both analog and digital, but if you had to pick a cable, you should pick HDMI. 

This is because HDMI can support higher resolution transfers, and it can also transmit sound, eliminating the need to make other connections for audio.

DVI and HDMIs have many similarities, but they have some differences, the most significant being their respective transmission capabilities. 

DVI can only transmit video, and it is of lower quality as compared to HDMI cables. When purchasing a DVI or HDMI cable, you need to be keen to get a cable that will last long. 

Getting a short and thick cable is better since it will increase performance while reducing interference. Gold-plated head contacts will help reduce wear and tear.

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