What Is VGA (Video Graphics Array)? – POFTUT

What Is VGA (Video Graphics Array)?

Video Graphics Array or VGA is a 15-pin video connector that is mainly used to transmit graphics or media from source to display like monitor, TV, projector, etc. VGA is created in 1987 which was based on IBM based D-subminiature connection type. VGA was a very popular connection type between the start of the 1900s and the end of the 2010s. As an old technology VGA utilizes analog signals which makes it less capable than newer digital protocols like HDMI, DVI, etc. VGA is a generic term even the real name is Video Graphics Array it can be also named as Video Graphics Adaptor because its connectivity capabilities for graphic cards.

VGA Use Cases

VGA is a very popular technology and connection type which is used in different cases and areas in order to transmit or send graphics or media from the source device to the display. Below we will list some example use cases about VGA.

  • VGA mainly used to connect a Personal Computer or PC to the monitor.
  • Laptops and Ultrabooks use VGA in order to share the media with the external monitor or projectors.
  • SmartTV, Kodi, Chromecast can show graphics on the TV or projector by using the VGA connection.
  • Different streaming devices can be used to show graphics on the TV or projector for the public.

VGA Connection Components

VGA connections consist of simple components. VGA consists of two connectors in order to connect the source and destination. There is a VGA cable between these two VGA connectors.

VGA Connection Components

VGA Connector

VGA Connector is the most important part of the VGA. It contains 15 pins in order to connect cables with the source device. These pins are used to transmit analog signals. VGA connectors can be also called as VGA male. Female type VGA contains holes which are located on source and destination device like laptop, PC, Streaming devices, monitor, TV, projector. As we can see below a typical VGA contains two screws both sides of the connector head which is resided two sides of the ping. These screws are used to connect and nail the VGA connector to the source of the destination device to protect.

VGA Connector

VGA Connector Forms

The most used and default VGA connector for most of the source and destination devices is DE-15 male connector which shown below. But for small factor devices, VGA provides a small and less pinned VGA connector called as DE-9 which contains only 9 pins. BNC is another type of VGA connector which is not practical or popular to be used.

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VGA DE-15 Connector

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VGA DE-15 Connector

VGA DE-9 Connector

VGA Male DE-9 Connector or Plug

VGA BNC Connector

VGA BNC Connector

VGA Resolutions

As an analog technology VGA supports resolutions not too high. But in some cases, this resolution can be enough to be used. Actually, until the HD, 2K, or 4K resolutions, the VGA was very popular and enough to transmit different resolution but with the advancement of the graphic resolutions, VGA become insufficient. VGA technology provides resolutions up to 2040x1536px @85 Hz refresh rate. But it’s resolution can be lesser according to the VGA cable and connector quality with the length of the cable.

When the VGA first released the most popular resolution was 640x540px which is called as VGA.

Super Video Graphics Array or SVGAresolution is an extended version of the VGA and which can be used for 800×600 px.

Extended Graphics Array or XGA supported by most of the laptops and create in 1990. XGA provide 1024x768px resolution.

Super Extended Graphics Array or SXGA supports 1280×1024 resolution.

Ultra Extended Graphics Array or UXGA supports 1600×1200 resolution.

Wide Extended Graphics Array or WXGA supports resolution up to 2040×1536 @85 Hz refresh rate.

VGA Pinout

VGA contains 15 pins which are used to transmit signal from source to destination. As analog signals are used more cables or pins are required to send data. Below we will list the pins and their functions.

VGA Pinout
Pin 1REDRed video
Pin 2GREENGreen video
Pin 3BLUEBlue video
Pin 4ID2/RESReserved since E-DDC, formerly monitor id. bit 2
Pin 5GNDGround (HSync)
Pin 6RED_RTNRed return
Pin 7GREEN_RTNGreen return
Pin 8BLUE_RTNBlue return
Pin 9KEY/PWR+5 V DC (powers EDID EEPROM chip on some monitors), formerly key
Pin 10GNDGround (VSync, DDC)
Pin 11ID0/RESReserved since E-DDC, formerly monitor id. bit 0
Pin 12ID1/SDAI²C data since DDC2, formerly monitor id. bit 1
Pin 13HSyncHorizontal sync
Pin 14VSyncVertical sync
Pin 15ID3/SCLI²C clock since DDC2, formerly monitor id. bit 3
VGA Pinout

VGA Extender

VGA can carry signals around 20 meters which means after 20 meters the signals can not be carried properly and without errors and problems. In order to carry signals more than 20 meters, VGA Extender can be used which will simply increase the signal strength. VGA Extenders also named VGA boosters and multiple VGA extenders can be used for single VGA connection in a serial connection topology.

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VGA Alternatives HDMI, DVI

As old technologies there are a lot of alternatives to the VGA. But some of them are very popular where they are replaced for the VGA. HDMI and DVI are the most popular alternatives to the VGA. HDMI is more widespread than VGA and DVI. Let’s compare VGA with the HDMI.

  • HDMI uses digital signals where VGA uses analog signals.
  • Both HDMI and VGA are compatible with each other by using converters.
  • HDMI can transmit audio signals in different formats bu VGA can not transmit audio signals.
  • HDMI provides a lot of higher resolutions with better color depth than VGA.

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