Video Graphics Array is an analog video device connection standard commonly used to connect computers to monitors prior to the Digital Visual Interface connection standard. VGA does not feature any proprietary versions of the connection ports: the standard only uses one type of male and one type of female connector. VGA should only be used when a digital standard is not available to ensure the best image quality on high-resolution screens.
VGA Female Connector
Female VGA connectors are usually found on the video devices. The female port handles the video-signal transmission and reception for the device sending the video signal and the device receiving the signal respectively. Computer monitors, computer video adapters, laptops and projectors may feature female VGA connectors. Female VGA connectors feature three rows of five pin sockets on an upside-down trapezoid. Female VGA connectors typically have a blue face color, but may be black or another color depending on the device. The connectors may also feature two bolt sockets on opposite sides of the port to secure a cable in place.
VGA Male Connector
VGA male connectors are usually found on VGA connector cables. Because devices feature female connectors, both sides of the cable feature male VGA ports. Male VGA connectors feature three rows of five pins within an upside-down trapezoid socket. The male VGA connector recedes to let the pins completely enter the female socket without leaving any metal exposed. Male VGA connectors usually feature a blue colored plug that may have two built-in bolts that can be used to secure the cable when connected to a female connector.
VGA BNC Connector
Some VGA-compatible devices use BNC connectors instead of the standard female VGA cables. BNC connectors split the VGA signal into five separate channels. According to PC Magazine, BNC connectors are used on devices that require a tight connection. BNC connectors appear circular with a single pin on the male cable end and a single socket on the female side. The cable's slot slides over the female connectors pin to lock the cable in place. VGA BNC cables will have a male VGA connector on one side and five BNC male connectors on the other.
The DVI connection standard superseded VGA, but some DVI video output devices have built-in backwards compatibility with VGA displays. Devices equipped with analog DVI can be converted into VGA; the feature was designed to ease the migration to DVI process. A female DVI port can be used as a female VGA port by attaching a male DVI-to-female VGA adapter. The male-to-male VGA connector cable can be used with a DVI connector through the adapter. The adapter will not work with digital-only DVI ports.
- PC Magazine Encyclopedia: Definition of: VGA
- PC Magazine Encyclopedia: Definition of: BNC Connector
- PC Magazine Encyclopedia: Definition of: Definition of:DVI
- Computer Hope Jargon: VGA
- Cnet: HDMI vs. DisplayPort vs. DVI vs. VGA: Which Connection to Choose?
- Extron Electronics: 15-pin HD Male to BNC Female Mini High Resolution Cables
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