Monitor Port

Last Updated: April 23, 2020

Definition - What does Monitor Port mean?

A monitor port is a port used to establish the connection between the monitor and computer in order to display the computer's output.

The connection can be either analog or digital.

Most computers, laptops and other portable devices have built-in hardware, modules and monitor sockets to support monitor ports.

Techopedia explains Monitor Port

Connection to a monitor port is required in order to get an output display.

Each type of port has different characteristics and can support only video signals, or audio as well, with a wide range of different definitions.

Common Types of Monitor Ports

High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI)

Provides both audio and video signals and is pretty much the standard interface for connecting PC monitors, recorders, and TVs.

It was established in 2002 and has quickly become a ubiquitous digital audio/video interface for home electronics, gaming consoles, digital cameras, and smartphones as well.

Newer versions of HDMI support higher resolutions and refresh rates – up to 10K resolution at 120Hz for HDMI 2.1.

Digital visual interface (DVI)

Introduced in 1999, the DVI interface was the last market standard for monitor connection before the introduction of HDMI.

Today, it is mostly used for older systems or for higher frequencies (144hz). It can support multiple modes, such as:

  • DVI-D (digital only)
  • DVI-A (analog only)
  • and DVI-I (digital and analog)

Video graphics array (VGA)

The 15-pin VGA connector is an old type of interface that was used in the past as the past standard before DVI became mainstream.

Both in its standard and mini-VGA port for, it was provided on most computers, TV sets, projectors, and monitors, but is now used only in legacy systems.

It only supports video signals, with no audio. For a long time, it coexisted with DVI and DisplayPort interface connectors.

DisplayPort

DisplayPort was first commercialized in 2006 in the attempt of replacing the VGA and DVI interfaces.

However, despite the fact that it was royalty-free and that it could transmit high-quality audio and video signals, DisplayPort couldn’t surpass HDMI.

DisplayPort 1.4 can pass uncompressed 7.1, 192Hz/24-bit audio and transmit up to 8K at 60Hz and HDR.

DisplayPort is supported by some of the best, top-tier gaming PC monitors.

Newer Types of Connectors

USB Type-C

Mostly used for smartphones and laptops.

Network Device Interface (NDI)

Used to send video and audio via ethernet networks.

Serial Digital Interface (SDI)

Used in professional environments because of its longer range (nearly 300 feet).

VGA is mainly used for analog signals, whereas all others are digital. Digital visual interface does not generally carry audio signals, and it provides a higher quality signal compared to video graphics array.

The signal quality of both DVI and VGA is impacted by the length and quality of the cable used.

High-definition multimedia interface connectors are less expensive and can carry audio signals as well.

However, at times for high frame rates and high resolutions, it is less suited and might require newer hardware to support it.

Adapters are also available for converting one format to another.

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