Pros: A convenient shortcut that appears to be an economic alternative to buying a custom cable.
Cons: This device offers an interim mechanical fix, not an electronic one.
Connecting modern Audio/Video components to older "Legacy" Personal Computers Given: A PC equipped with a video card^ with two monitor outputs, both DVI-I Dual Link, a technology that was developed to replace VGA. HDMI was developed to replace DVI. If the monitor (or TV) has an HDMI input, the GE 22701 enables the user of a DVI source to send HDMI signals to it. In the wings is yet another standard called DisplayPort, which adds Ethernet Signal capability to HDMI. It is not clear which will prevail. Currently, some monitor manufacturers are hedging the outcome by installing VGA, DVI, and HDMI cable receptacles to appeal to the installed base. The only thing certain about these converging trends is change. Such adapters are meant to allow users to bridge each novelty.
Manufactured by General Electric (GE) Corporation under the "Ultra Pro Digital brand"
Part Number 22701 - Male 19 pin DVI-D Single Link to Male 19 pin HDMI - 1.0
A hard molded plastic body encases the electrical and physical parts of the GE 22701
Dimensions: 2.2 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick. Weight - a few ounces.
WHAT IT DOES
The adapter provides a physical, mechanical means by which "legacy" 1999 DVI-I Personal Computer video output can be transmitted using a 2002 era HDMI Cable. The adapter does not change the resolution since both types of connector are Electrically Compatible.
What it Doesn't
Transmit Audio Signals - Still requires 2 conductor RCA Stereo Cable
...Affect electrical signals.
HOW IT WORKS
Captive Male Thumb Screws with flat (female) screwdriver slots hold or mate the DVI* end physically and electrically by engaging matching female nuts and some or all of the 25 male plugs, pins, or prongs to female receptacles, sockets, and slots.
The design is driven by the maxim that a pin can be damaged by bending and needs protection. By convention, the pin will be found on the cable; which is more readily replaceable than the fixed mounted female connections used ON electronic equipment.
(Exception: 120VAC prongs on PC power supplies are recessed for safety. Low voltage prongs, not life threatening, may be handled.)
On the cable end, those male pins are surrounded by a physical shield that happens to mate with the raised and matching female receptacle on the equipment. Here, the analogy fails. Whereas the shield is a socket (female?) and the raised receptacles appear to be a (male?) plug, the true gender depends on a simple rule: where are the pins?
(Confusion can result, note the accompanying image of the subject adapter which is correct - the caption is wrong, ignored herein.)
Down at the other end is what looks like a marvel of simplicity - The HDMI* female receptacle, socket or slot. The part of the HDMI cable that we see and can touch is not more than a polarizing device and acgts as a shield for protection of the Male 'Pins' located in a row inside. The maleness is clearly visible on the GE 22701 images. Instead of pins, leads are wrapped onto a double-sided miniature card, there are always 19 pins but not all are used at this time. That card structure is Male.
The matching cable plug engages the card with female sockets, secured by friction between opposing parts and polarized by the shape of the physical plug at both ends. In this case, the delicate Male card edge is protected by the stout plastic shell.
HDMI can be a blessing; by adding a couple of pins, the venerable RCA Stereo Audio cable becomes history. (VGA may be with us forever.)
Fortunately, there is a standards arbitrator, VESA*, that coordinates interface products so that company A cables are interchangeable with those of Company B.
The GE 22701 subject is an adapter that can bridge the different connections used in the development over the years of Personal Computers and Audio Visual Components. Perfectly good equipment might appear to be obsoleted, left behind by manufacturers who thrive on new technology. Not everyone can afford to replace a PC just to accommodate more pins; the subject provides an affordable interim solution.
Done, that is, if old work habits and the immortal works are to be preserved. While we may agonize over the fewer choices in PC products; some are swept along by the Tsunami of hand-held devices that represent the convergence of other different technologies that combine Telephony with Television. Just such a convergence is underway again - as represented by the GE 22701 cable adapter.
Here and now, we can observe the merger of Computing with High Fidelity Sound and Video. Incidental to this revolution, we can get a glimpse of two relatively new means of connecting a desktop PC to a desktop Monitor using DVI and HDMI interfaces. Incredible as it seems, both of these are being displaced by yet another called DisplayPort.
It is a physical revolution, not an economic one. No matter what is being eclipsed, the manufacturers must pay heed to what we call The Installed Base. Here is the arbiter of what may or may not be accepted by the "market". Think of Sony's Beta Tape and Microsoft's Vista. We still have VHS and XP because not every user can be persuaded to jettison the old and drop a bundle on the new. We simply cannot afford to do that. Or, even simpler, users may choose not to.
OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIENCES
The monitor I use is an HP2511x that does have the three above noted Interfaces Receptacles. In operation, the monitor has a control panel that allows the user to select the desired display signal. I noted that no difference in video quality occurred when VGA was selected by DVI in the Monitor Control Panel. Most of my output is text documents, the video quality of which is not critical to me nor did HDMI selection make a difference.
Comes the light. Checking in the PC Control Panel, I saw that the Video card resolution was set to 800 x 600. I reset that to Maximum (1920 x 1080), as I am told should be the case. The next time I logged onto the Internet, there was the familiar 16:9 display on the HP2511x. The Video Card trumps the Monitor Controls.
Users can benefit from this experience; an economic solution to avoid being forced to buy a hybrid and expensive DVI to HDMI cable.
It took a while to find out but the GE 22701 was not necessary except as a physical convenience. The PC in question was built Fall 2008 with two DVI outputs and compatibility with HDMI. Now, both DVI and HDMI are being superseded by Displayport.
The adapter is only applicable to mechanical mismatches. It has no effect on electrical signals; which are simply passed through.
Recommended only for its intended use as as a mechanical workaround.
DVI = Digital Video Interface
HDMI = High Definition Multimedia Interface
VGA = Video Graphics Array (aka D-Subminiature or HD-15 vs 9 pin Serial.)
HDTV = High Definition Television
VESA = Video Electronic Standards Association (VESA.org)
^ Video Card noted in paragraph 1is an eVGA NVIDIA GEForce 9500GT Max Resolution 2560 x 1600 with Maximum Refresh Rate of 240Hz, HDTV out Support
A Complete Guide to the Digital Video Interface http://www.datapro.net/
HDMI described at http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx
Gender of connectors and fasteners - Wikipedia
Digital Video Interface - for illustrations of the 5 Types of Connectors - Wikipedia