DVI Male to HDMI Female adapter Gold-Plated NEW M F Converter For HDTV LCD IE (WHL #5)
I gotta sneak something in that I need to rant about a little. It’s a good old passive signal adapter – for getting HDMI video signals into a DVI monitor. What could the Wan Hung Lo engineering department or qualitty management possible f ck up?
Well, as it turns out, making a nonworking (nonfitting) unit isn’t trivial. You have to use deep knowledge about both signal protocols to make it …not work.
First, let’s talk about HDMI. To make all this copy protection (HDCP) crap work, you better use digital signals only, that is, not only the video is digital, but also the audio channel. Nothing wrong with that, except the protection stuff. I spare you the details of the plug construction, as it is the same for every connector.
DVI is different: There are three major variants, which are DVI-D, DVI-I and DVI-A. DVI-D does digital video signals only (audio is non-standard). DVI-A does analogue signals only. DVI-I mixes both types and can carry whatever you throw at it. As long as your output device (GPU) does route it to the correct pins. There are two more groups which differentiate the digital pins, you can have DVI single link or dual link, the latter having a second data channel, allowing for higher resolutions and/or refresh rates. I’ve included the Connector types image from Wikipedia, as well as the full pinout for reference.
So, why the blog entry? Because the Wan Hung Lo factory has successfully f cked up. They sent me this, and I even saw it on the product page and didn’t think they would produce that:
What’s wrong with it? Guess what:
DVI-I Dual Link!
(Also note the great reproduction of the HDMI logo, I bet they paid their bloody license fee, like every other reputable manufacturer does…)
You might ask: What’s wrong with DVI-I to HDMI? Just don’t use the analogue pins and you’ll be fine!
That’s correct, but there are two catches to it:
1) Digital displays only want digital signals on their digital inputs. As this adapter is intended to be plugged directly into the monitor while using an HDMI cable to feed data from the computer, that’s a problem. Because such monitors might only have a DVI-D port. Guess what: Those four extra pins won’t fit! Alright, let’s kill those suckers. Take your good tweezers and wiggle em out. Not the intended use for your tweezers, not the thing the average user should to. But hey, it can be done:
Bam, plug it in. Oh, wait…
2) This bad contact killing thing was already anticipated by the guys who wrote the specs. And they did a thing one could argue about: They made the large center pin (of the analogue section) a tad wider. Not so wide one would notice. I heard about it, but I didn’t think of it when doing it. So this is what happened:
wait for it!
You can clearly see the size difference of anticipated pin and the actual size of the GND pin of the DVI-I connector. Given some force (and old plastics), this pin will almost make contact. Almost…
Still, it works with the pin removed – people in the forums were not so sure about it. And it is much easier to pull it out of the monitor than to wiggle it free from a proper connector. Engineering ingenuity from Wan Hung Lo!
On a side note: If that is Gold Plating, I’d like to supply the Gold for it. I’ll even give them a 10% off the official precious metal exchange prices. Geez. Why even bother if you can only do such an obvious fake?