Overview of Video Port Types

Last Update: November 7th, 2020
Article ID: 380988

There are many types of video ports that can connect monitors and televisions to a PC, and many revisions of these connection types. The specification version of each connector type can determine things like the maximum resolution and refresh rate that can be output, the types of audio that can be transmitted in tandem with the signal, as well as the vibrancy of colors.

Be sure to check the specification of the port on your Plugable product as well as the specification on your display to ensure the best experience.

USB Type-C (USB-C)

USB-C PortThe USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which is responsible for defining USB standards, has unified data, audio, and video into a single cable type. USB-C is capable of carrying HDMI signaling, DisplayPort signaling, and other audio/video formats to allow easy conversion from a USB-C device's output to virtually any display type with an adapter. Due to the compact size of the port, it is being included on most modern smartphones, laptops, computer monitors, and game consoles.


DisplayPort PortDisplayPort provides digital audio and video and it comes in a variety of sizes and standards. DisplayPort is most commonly found on high resolution computer monitors. It is limited in terms of the audio formats it can output to, and it is important to check the DisplayPort version specification of your devices to determine the maximum resolution and refresh rate supported.


HDMI PortHigh-Definition Media Interface (HDMI) ports can carry both digital audio and video signals. Introduced in December 2002, it has gone through many iterations and is one of the most commonly-found ports today. However, due to the age of the port, it is especially important to check which version is in use on your devices since early HDMI implementations can be limited in terms of resolution and refresh rate.


DVI PortDigital Video Interface (DVI) was one of the first common digital video ports available, succeeding the analog-only VGA standard. DVI can carry digital or analog signals. Differences in DVI port types are discussed in the specifications information.


VGA PortVideo Graphics Array (VGA) is an older standard that carries analog video signals, but no audio. While most modern displays do not use VGA input, there are still many displays in use that accept VGA input. It is also commonly found in conference rooms and conference halls with projectors.