Graphics cards today are responsible for much more than simple text output to monitor. Their duties now include heavy-duty 2D and 3D rendering as well as video processing. The output devices they support include not only CRT monitors, but TVs, video recorders, LCDs and HDTV sets as well. To do this, graphics cards are often equipped with a combination of I/O ports/interfaces.
D-Sub output port This 15-pin D-Sub output port is a very common sight. It is responsible for connection to CRT monitors and LCD monitors that support analog input. Digital signals must go through RAMDAC conversion before being sent through the D-Sub port as it is capable of only analog input.
S-Video output port Current graphics processors are equipped with integrated video encoders to provide them with direct video output capabilities. If you didn’t already know, in the past users were required to purchase add-on video encoders in order to realize video output.
DVI output port The once unownable LCD has finally entered the home of the everyday man. While LCDs operate on digital signals, some older graphics cards output only analog signals through the analog D-Sub port, causing compatibility problems to arise. To sidestep this problem, many LCDs are equipped with integrated ADC (Analog to Digital Converter).
RCA output port Also known as the AV or composite video connector, the RCA port is seen on home electronic devices including television sets and video cassette recorders. AV output is separated into one video and two audio signals (left and right channel). The yellow connector is often responsible for the video signal.
D Connector The rise in HDTV popularity has meant a growing number of HDTV ready sets appearing in our homes. This D here obviously stands for Digital. The D-shaped connector hails from Japan and is used for direct transfer of digital video signals.
Video Input/VIVO port In the past, certain high-end graphics card products provided video input ports such as
S-Video and RCA to cater to users with video input requirements. Contemporary graphics cards, however, already have a video output port (S-Video or RCA) on the bracket. To avoid congestion, common mainstream practice is to integrate video input and output capabilities in a single port.
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