The DVI connector can take various forms. But the fact that it makes use of the same TMDS used in P&D, DFP, and HDMI standards, as well as its backward compatibility with analog VESA video, has led to the development of numerous different types of DVI cables to cater not only for DVI to DVI connections, but also for DVI to analog flat panel monitors and CRTs, DVI to DFP displays, and also DVI to HDMI. Hence, great care should be taken when selecting DVI Cable if you want to get the right product the first time. The first step is to carefully examine the connection points on your source and display device to identify the type of female DVI plugs installed on your gear and therefore, the signals they are compatible with. Also, consult your manuals before investing in a DVI cable. Most manufacturers make the female plugs on their gear with all available pins, meaning that most female DVI plugs installed on home theater equipment look like dual link DVI-I. But this does not necessarily imply that all pins are actually implemented. When selecting your cables, it is important to take note of the following: If you have DVI-D, you can use either a DVI-D or DVI-I cable, provided the female plug on your gear can take the extra pins on the DVI-I male connector. If you have DVI-A, you can use either a DVI-A or DVI-I cable; this applies as long as the female plug on your gear can take the extra pins on the DVI-I male connector on the DVI cable. If you have plugs that are DVI-I, they will accept any type of DVI cable. If you have mismatched plugs, such as DVI-D and DVI-I or DVI-A and DVI-I, you may use either a DVI-I cable or the cable that matches the other plug. For example, you may use a DVI-D cable on a DVI-I to DVI-D connection, but you cannot use a DVI-A cable since you cannot match a DVI-D connection with DVI-A only connection. It is just not possible to go from a digital signal to an analog signal. How to Identify a DVI Cable A most important thing when selecting your DVI connector is analog support; look at the receptacles on your devices to determine if they can take the four pins around the flat blade on the DVI connector. A flat blade alone denotes a DVI-D connection. If there are two holes above and two holes below the flat blade, then it is either a DVI-I or a DVI-A. In other words, you would then need to determine whether both the digital and the analog modes are enabled on your DVI port -- check your user's manual. The pin-sets will vary depending on whether the DVI cable is single or dual-link. A 24-pin connector using 3 rows of 8-pins each stands for a dual-link cable, while three rows of 6-pins each represent a single-link HDMI Cable. However, the exact pins implemented depend on whether it is a DVI-I single link or a DVI-A; to distinguish between DVI-I and DVI-A, check the pin-sets: a full 24-pin set is for a DVI-l while a separated 8-pin and 4-pin set is for DVI-A.