VGA or HDMI?

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VGA or HDMI?

Post by Demon_skeith on Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:07 am

I was always curious, but does it matter if a monitor connects to a tower via VGA or HDMI? Does it affect HD content at all?
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Re: VGA or HDMI?

Post by PCLife on Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:47 pm

VGA cables were designed to carry only video signals from a device to a display. At the time they were first released (1987), analog signals were the norm. When digital signals became more common, VGA cables were enhanced with converters to enable an analog-to-digital conversion. However, newer display devices used digital signals, too, so the process became a two-step conversion from digital to analog and back to digital, with concurrent degradation of the signal. The analog signal would lose some information in the conversion to digital, and more information is lost when converted back to digital. In addition analog signals carry less information than digital, so the original image such a scenario starts out as less "sharp" than what can be achieved in digital.

The HDMI standard allows for the transfer of both digital video and audio signals via the same interface (port) and cable, capable of providing high-definition (HD) video at resolutions of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels and 8 audio channels simultaneously. Because it supports digital copy protection of all signals, HDMI cables are included for devices such as the Apple TV, Blu-Ray players, and game consoles, among other similar electronic products.

Signal Quality
VGA cables are subject to crosstalk (signal interference from other cables) and length issues; for beyond about 4 feet, the analog video signal tends to break down. HDMI cables are less sensitive to crosstalk, but can suffer interference from electromagnetic fields. To avoid this issue in tight places with several cables, the best HDMI cables offer thick insulation. However, most standard HDMI cables offer excellent connections and solid performance without the need for premium cables at premium prices.

Input Lag
Input lag can refer to one of two things: the delay between a display device, such as a TV or monitor, receiving a signal and displaying it, or the delay between pressing a button in a video game and seeing the game execute the corresponding action.

VGA connections generally exhibit less input lag than HDMI connections because they don’t apply post-processing on the input. Post-processing is similar to a Photoshop filter, in that it applies effects, such as depth of field, motion blur, and color correction. While disabling post-processing reduces image quality slightly, it decreases input lag. There is an option on some TVs called “Game mode” which also disables post-processing.

Another factor in input lag is the use of adapters. Technically, every additional device introduces some delay because of the extra distance electrons have to travel, but this is negligible. Using low-quality, unofficial adapters can increase input lag significantly as well.

Compatibility
VGA cables are incompatible with HDMI ports, except with the use of converters. Even with converters, video signal quality is greatly compromised when using VGA cables, so they usually serve as a stop-gap measure. Audio requires a separate cable.

If HDMI cables are used with a VGA port, a converter unit and separate cable are needed to hook up the video display and provide the audio signal to a separate port.
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