I thought it'd be a good idea to take some time and go over all those different video connectors that are out there. Disclaimer: acronyms and tech jargon will be present in this post. However, this is useful information to have when talking to the help desk and/or you plan on adding an extra monitor. Lets dive in:
This is probably the most prevalent video connector in the library system. It kinda makes sense because VGA has been around since 1987. It is the only video connector used today that still uses an analog signal. Often described simply as the "blue plug", VGA is still a widely-supported interface; but that is changing. Already now new devices are coming to market that are no longer compatible with VGA, and we now have to rely on other video connections. Don't worry, there's plenty of alternatives...
Similar in design to VGA, DVI ("the white plug") primarily uses a digital signal, but can (sometimes) be backward-compatible with VGA and analog signals. DVI never really saw too much use around the library system. More likely you'll see it on the monitors than you would on the backs of computers. However, if you plan on adding a second monitor we can more easily offer help if the monitor has DVI.
Often confused with DVI, DMS-59 is exclusively used in dual-monitor situations and requires a special intermediary connector to go from this to either 2 VGA or 2 DVI interfaces. These used to be much more popular in the system than they are now, but we still sometimes come across them.
This is probably the next most popular video connector since it's on every TV sold over the last decade. HDMI is more commonly found on laptop computers (for use with projectors) than it is desktops, but soon desktops will begin shipping with HDMI as well. Something to know about HDMI, though, is that not only does HDMI transmit video, it also transmits audio. So if you start using HDMI and all-of-a-sudden your sound doesn't work it's probably because your computer is sending the sound over the HDMI cable instead of to your speakers. This is easily fixed, though.
Easily confused with a USB or HDMI port, it is neither. So don't try plugging them into this port. DisplayPort has been shipping on Dell computers for the last 6 years. We normally haven't been using it in the system until recently because most monitors at the time did not have DisplayPort connectors on the back of them. Any monitor you buy from us now, though, will have DisplayPort. Most likely, if you call and ask to install a second monitor, we will focus on trying to use this port. As mentioned earlier, we can easily adapt this connector to interface with a DVI monitor. Just like HDMI, DisplayPort will also transmit audio.