Image credit: Digi-Key Corporation; SFCable.com
VGA cables use three-row, 15-pin video graphics array (VGA) adapters to connect video and computer monitors, video cards, and some high definition televisions (HDTV). They carry analog signals rather than digital signals, including RGBHV – an acronym for red (R), green (G), blue (B), horizontal sync (H), and vertical sync (V). Like other types of component analog video (CAV), RGBHV splits a video signal into multiple channels. Although RGBHV uses high bandwidths, there is no compression.
VGA cables also support VESA DDC data. VESA DDC is an acronym for the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), an international standards body for computer graphics; and Display Data Channel (DDC), a set of digital communications protocols designed for plug-and-play computer displays. DDC enables a video display to communicate its supported modes to an adapter, and enables a computer host to adjust parameters such as brightness and contrast.
Types of VGA Cables
The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database contains information about both VGA and SVGA cables.
- VGA cables support a resolution of 640 x 480 (with 16 colors) in graphics mode, and a resolution of 720 x 400 in text mode.
- SVGA cables support a resolution of 800 x 600 and a palette of 16 million colors. Depending on the connected device, however, only 256 colors may be available for display. SVGA is an acronym for Super VGA.
Suppliers of VGA cables offer standard and extension cables, as well as VGA cables that are designed for specific types of inputs.
- Standard VGA cables are used to connect PC monitors, front projectors, and some rear-projection TVs. They are available in various lengths and may include ferrite chokes, gold-plated flex jackets, and black braided sleeves.
- VGA extension cables are used when the display device has a fixed or permanently connected VGA cable. These cables are also used for long runs and connector conversions, and in conjunction with breakout cables or pigtails.
- VGA to RGHBV 5xBNC cables have five BNC-type connectors for inputs. They are used mainly with front projectors and high-end PC monitors.
- VGA to RGBHV 5xRCA cables have five RCA-type connectors for inputs. They are used with some HDTV displays
VGA to Y-Pb-Pr cables are use used when a source or display can send or receive both VGA or component signals.
Conductor diameter is an important specification to consider when selecting VGA cables. In the U.S., conductor size is measured by the American wire gauge (AWG) standard. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter and thinner the wire. Typical household wiring is AWG 12 or 14, while telephone wire is usually AWG 22, 24, or 26.