One major benefit of Video Graphics Array (VGA) serving as an industry standard interface and connector format for video signal reproduction is that it’s often found on a range of consumer electronics – most notably, High Definition TVs, projectors, and computer graphics/video cards as well as almost every computer monitor. Yet with the advent of digital technology and widespread adoption of newer video display interfaces such as Digital Visual Interface (DVI), DisplayPort, and current industry-standard High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), the analogue-based, video-only capabilities offered by VGA connectors have fallen out of favour with consumers.
DVI was developed to serve as a highly configurable, industry standard when it came to transmitting high-quality, uncompressed digital video signals. Primarily associated with computers, DVI is also found on DVD players, TVs, and gaming systems. By processing both digital and analogue signals, DVI is afforded compatibility with the older VGA interface.
Introduced as its successor, DisplayPort offers additional advantages over DVI: in addition to transmitting video, DisplayPort can also carry data such as USB and audio signals. Active and passive adapters provide DisplayPort with backwards compatibility with both VGA and DVI interfaces.
HDMI effectively serves as a comprehensive digital replacement for analogue video standards of the past – VGA included. In addition to transmitting high definition, uncompressed video data from a source device to a display monitor, HDMI can also convey up to eight channels of compressed or lossless audio through a single cable.
Depending on your graphics card chipset, a source device such as a computer may be able to output its video signals through separate VGA and HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort cables at the same time, resulting in extended displays or cloned desktop screens across multiple monitors. However, numerous factors such as system hardware, software drivers, and your graphics processing unit (GPU) will affect the maximum screen resolution, range of colours, and picture quality available to you.