Learning Resources

Formats and Interfaces

Display Formats -

A number of common resolutions have been used with computers descended from the original IBM PC Some of these are now supported by other families of personal computers These are de facto standards, usually originated by one manufacturer and reverse-engineered by others, though the VESA group has co-ordinated the efforts of several leading video display adapter manufacturers

Computer Display Formats
Format X and Y pixels
CGA/EGA 160x200
Monochrome Display Adapter
VGA 640x480
Super VGA 800x600 SVGA
1024x768 UVGA, XGA, EVGA, Stardard 15" LCD Size
1152x864 XGA+
1280x768 WXGA
1280x1024 SXGA Stardard 17" LCD Size
1400x1050 SXGA+
1680x1024 WSXGA
1680x1050 WSXGA+
1600x1200 UXGA
1920x1440 4:3 Aspect
Misc VGA 720x480
800x480 LILLIPUT 7" LCD (called 1152000 pixels)
848x480 LCD
852x480 LCD
1360x765 LCD
1366x768 LCD
1792x1344 ATI RADEON 9800XT
1800x1440 ATI RADEON 9800XT
1856x1393 ATI RADEON 9800XT
WUXGA 1920x1200 16:10 Aspect
QXGA 2048x1536 - 4x(1024x768)
WQXGA 2560x1600 16:10
QSXGA 2560x2048 - 4x(1280x1024)
WQSXGA 3200x2048
QUXGA 3200x2400 4:3
WQUXGA 3840x2400 - 4x(1920x1200 HDTV)
HSXGA 5120x4096 5:4
WHSXGA 6400x4096 (156:10)
HUXGA 6400x4800 4:3
UHDTV 7680x4320 - UHDV (33MegaPixels)
WHUXGA 7680x4800


Many computer resolutions are multiples of older resolutions

Resolutions 640 x 480 800 x 600 1024 x 768 1280 x 1024 1600 x 1200 1600 x 1280
2x 1280 x 960 1600 x 1200 2048 x 1536 2560 x 2048 3200 x 2400 3200 x 2560
3x 1920 x 1440 2400 x 1800 3072 x 2304 3840 x 3072 4800 x 3600 4800 x 3840
4x 2560 x 1920 3200 x 2400 4096 x 3072 5120 x 4096 6400 x 4800 6400 x 5120
5x 3200 x 2400 4000 x 3000 5120 x 3840 6400 x 5120 8000 x 6000 8000 x 6400

Video standards associated with IBM-PC-descended personal computers are shown in the diagram and table below, alongside those of early Macintosh and other makes for comparison (From the early 1990s onwards, most manufacturers moved over to PC display standards thanks to widely available and affordable hardware)


Display Iterfaces -

VGA Connector

A Video Graphics Array (VGA) connector is a three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector The 15-pin VGA connector is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and some high definition television sets On laptop computers or other small devices, a mini-VGA port is sometimes used in place of the full-sized VGA connector

DE-15 is also conventionally called RGB connector, D-sub 15, mini sub D15, mini D15, DB-15, HDB-15, HD-15 or HD15 (High Density, to distinguish it from the older and less flexible DE-9 connector used on some older VGA cards, which has the same shell size but only two rows of pins)

VGA connectors and cables carry analog component RGBHV (red, green, blue, horizontal sync, vertical sync) video signals, and VESA Display Data Channel (VESA DDC) data In the original version of DE-15 pinout, one pin was keyed by plugging the female connector hole; this prevented non-VGA 15 pin cables from being plugged into a VGA socket Four pins carried Monitor ID bits which were rarely used; VESA DDC redefined some of these pins and replaced the key pin with +5 V DC power supply

The VGA interface is not engineered to be hotpluggable (so that the user can connect or disconnect the output device while the host is running), although in practice this can be done and usually does not cause damage to the hardware or other problems However, nothing in the design ensures that the ground pins make a connection first and break last, so hotplugging may introduce surges in signal lines which may or may not be adequately protected against Also, depending on the hardware and software, detecting a monitor being connected might not work properly in all cases

An image-


By signal standard

Signal standard name Introduction year Connector Analog or digital Max resolution

(X-px × Y-px (i) @ Z-Hz)

Used for Notes
Composite video 1956 1 RCA, BNC, TV Aerial Plug, Mini-VGA, DIN 5-pin Analog 720 × 576i @ 50
720 × 480i @ 5994
Consumer electronics, including VCR and LaserDisc, 1970-1980s home computers like the Commodore VIC-20, 1980s-1990s video game consoles, some laptops Used with PAL, NTSC or SECAM color
S-Video (aka separate video, Y/C and S-VHS) 1979 1 Mini-DIN 4-pin, 1 Mini-DIN 7-pin, 1 Mini-VGA, 2 BNC, 2 RCA connectors, 8-pin DIN Analog 720 × 576i @ 50
720 × 480i @ 5994
S-VHS, some laptop computers, analog broadcast video, 1980-1990s home computers including the Commodore 64, C128 and Atari 8-bit The 4-pin mini-DIN that is most common in consumer products today debuted in JVC's 1987 S-VHS The 7-pin mini-DIN is commonly used on laptops Used with PAL, NTSC or SECAM color Where two connectors are used, they are labeled Chroma and Luma
SCART 1977 SCART 21-pin Analog 720 × 576i @ 50
720 × 480i @ 5994
Consumer electronics, Commodore-Amiga and various video games European "unified" A/V interface for bi-directional stereo audio, composite video and s-video, and unidirectional RGBS and data Composite and s-video can use PAL, NTSC or SECAM color encoding YPBPR is also available in some non-standard set-ups via the RGB pins
CGA 1981 DE-9 Digital 640 × 200 @ 60 Pre-i80386 x86 machines  
MDA 1981 DE-9 Digital 720 × 350 @ 50, Text only
HGC 1982 DE-9 Digital 720 × 348 @ 50
EGA 1984 DE-9 Digital 640 × 350 @ 60
Amiga video 1985 DB23 Both, GenLock 1280 × 400/512 @ 30/25 Commodore-Amiga Similar to SCART, but also includes a digital RGBI signal, Genlock clock, composite sync and +12/+5VDC power
VGA 1987 VGA connector variants include DE-15/HD-15 (canonical), DE-9, RGB or RGBHV on separate BNC connectors, Mini-VGA, DVI/Mini-DVI/Micro-DVI Analog 2048 × 1536 @ 85 Introduced with IBM x86 machines, but became a universal analog display interface Display Data Channel was later added to allow monitors to identify themselves to graphic cards, and graphic cards to modify monitor settings Successor analog protocols include SVGA, XGA, etc DVI is a more modern digital alternative Where BNC is used, available as 3 connectors with Sync on Green, or 5 connector Red / Green / Blue / Horizontal Sync / Vertical sync
Mac-II/Quadra 1987 DA15F Analog 1152 × 870 @ 75 Macintosh Mac-DA15F and Sun-13W3 were similar in capability to VGA Some Sun machines used 4 or 5 BNC connectors to transfer video signal
13W3 1990 DB13W3 Analog 1152 × 900 @ 76 Sun computer systems
OpenLDI 1998 MDR36 LVDS Digital      
YPBPR 1990s 3 RCA or BNC connectors Analog 1920 × 1080 @ 60 Consumer electronics Also referred to as Component video and YUV
Apple-AAUI (D-Terminal) D-Terminal uses voltage levels to signal resolution
Digital Visual Interface (DVI) 1999 DVI, Mini-DVI, Micro-DVI Both 2560 × 1600 @ 60 3840 × 2400 @ 33 Recent video cards Almost a ubiquitous computer display link Uncompressed video only High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) encryption is optional
2000 Apple Display Connector (ADC) Both 2560 × 1600 @ 60 Apple Inc Macintoshes and monitors Proprietary connector with DVI signals
Serial digital interface 2003 BNC Digital From 143 Mbit/s to 2970 Gbit/s, depending on variant 480i, 576i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p Broadcast video Variants include SD-SDI, HD-SDI, Dual Link HD-SDI, 3G-SDI  
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) 2003 19 pin HDMI
Type A/C
Digital 2560 × 1600 @ 75
4096 × 2160 @ 24
Many A/V systems and video cards (including motherboards with IGP) High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) encryption is mandatory
DisplayPort 2007 20-pin (external)
32-pin (internal)
Digital 2560 × 1600 @ 75 Apple Inc Lenovo, HP, and Dell systems and monitors
ATI RV670 based graphics cards and NVIDIA G92 graphics cards (both as OEM optional implementations)
DisplayPort introduced the 128-bit AES to replace HDCP DisplayPort version 11 added support for HDCP
DiiVA 2008 13-pin Digital 2560 × 1600 @ 75
4096 × 2160 @ 24
A/V systems High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)
HDBaseT 2010 8P8C Digital 4096 × 2160 @ 24 A/V systems, data at 102 Gbit/s, power up to 100 watts