• Can I connect a USB to Firewire?
    USB and Firewire are two competing formats. Though they perform similar functions, they operate at different data bit rates and communcate in a different format. Because of this, you cannot connect a device of one type to a port of the other. Unfortunately, we do not sell any active converters that will convert from USB to Firewire or vice versa.

  • Can I connect VGA directly to Composite or S-Video?
    VGA is a high resolution signal capable of producing analog images that are on par with HD. The signal is transmitted in a format also known as RGBHV where the red, green, blue, horizontal sync and vertical sync signals are all carried separately on dedicated lines within the cable.
    Standard definition signal like composite and svideo are only capable of transmitting a 480i signal and is transmitted in a combined signal using only one or two video elements.

    You cannot directly connect VGA to composite or svideo since they are two completely different and incompatible signals. However, you can use a converter like PID# 4724 or 4722 to actively convert between these types of signals. However, since the devices will need to rescale the picture from high definition to standard definition or visa versa, the image quality will not be as sharp as going from HD to HD. Therefore, these types of conversions may be fine for watching low resolution streaming videos, but they are not suitable for applications like word processing or spreadsheets where the poor image quality makes it difficult or impossible to read text.

  • Can I use M1-D with DVI?
    Yes you can, using this adapter you can connect a M1-D connection to a DVI-D cable PID 2675.

  • Does Monoprice carry a VGA to HDMI cable?
    Unfortunately Monoprice does not carry any VGA to HDMI cables. The only VGA to HDMI solution we offer are active converters, which are needed because VGA is analog and HDMI is a digital signal, PID 6191.

  • If a cable says in-wall; do I have to use the cable in-wall?
    No, CL2 rated cables come with slow burning outer jackets to meet building safety codes. This feature has no impact on the performance of the cable and the cables can be used both in-wall and out of wall.

  • Is DB15 the same as VGA/HD15?
    Technically, no, it is different. DB15 is wider and has 15 pins in two rows of 7 and 8, while VGA, HD15 or DE15 (names are interchangeable) is a smaller connector that has 3 rows of 5. However, some devices and manuals will inaccurately label VGA connectors as DB15's.
     
    DB15 Female Connection (Left) and Male Connection (Right) VGA/HD15 Female Connection (Left) and Male Connection (Right)

  • What are CM/CMG rated cables?

    CM and CMG cables will be communications cable intended for general purpose use. CM rated cables will be rated for in-wall use, which means they may be used in conduit, behind walls, or other enclosed locations where the cable is protected and not in an air plenum environment. Intended for general use means within buildings in accordance with the NEC Article 800.53(E) as well as these cables do not spread flame in accordance to the UL 1865 standard. As a general rule, CM and CMG cables are suitable for installation in cable trays and other non-plenum/non-riser areas.


  • What are Plenum cables used for?
    Plenum rated cable is for use in the plenum spaces of a commercial office building. The plenum spaces are used for circulation of air in a large building. Plenum cables have specially formulated outer jackets that will not produce toxic fumes when burned. While it is okay to use a higher rated cable in lower level applications, you should not do it the other way around, also referred to as CMP cables.

  • What are the fire safety ratings that your cables are available in?
    Fire safety ratings are grades given to cables based on the material they are made of and the material that covers them.  It is important to know what fire safety rating your cables have before running them in certain areas or through certain spaces.  It can be considered hazardous to run cables without a certain fire rating in some places and the repercussions for ignoring these can be as severe as damage to property or life and failing an inspection because of a cable without the proper rating can result in loss of insurance and a fine.  Check with your local code inspection department to find out which fire safety ratings you need to use for the area you are planning on installing your cables.

    VW-1
    VW-1 is a flame test commonly used in the United States to determine the cable's resistance to fire.  Cables that have a VW-1 rating have passed this test and are considered fire resistant.  However, a VW-1 rating does not necessarily mean that the cable is safe to run in wall.  We strongly recommend contacting your local code enforcement, or your insurance company.  They will be able to better advise on whether or not a VW-1 rating is safe for in wall usage.

    CL2
    A CL2 rating meaning that a cable has passed the required NEC test for a high rating of fire resistance.  The cable's materials are not going to burn during a sudden surge of electricity up to 150 watts and the cable itself will not carry a flame.  CL2 is what we most often recommend for in wall usage, we still recommend contacting your local code enforcement for confirmation, as this rating may be unnecessary or possibly even insufficient.  This rating is most commonly found on our copper cables such as our HDMI cables, Bare Copper Wire, VGA, DVI and Coaxial cables.

    CL3
    A CL3 rating is very similar to CL2 in the respects that they are both usable in wall, and are both resistant to holding and carrying flames.  The main difference between the two is the wattage that a CL3 rated cable can carry.  While CL2 cables can carry a surge of up to 150 watts, and CL3 can carry twice that at 300 watts.  A CL3 rated cable can take the place of any CL3, however, a CL2 cannot take the place of a CL3.  We only have a very limited selection of CL3 rated cables with only the Luxe Series of HDMI cables carrying this rating.

    Plenum
    Plenum rated cables are meant to be used in areas with a lot of air flow, typically air ventilation systems.  These cables have a special type of insulation and jacketing that cause them to smoke and burn far less than other cables.  It is because of these characteristics that they are considered safe to run through areas that will give or take air from populated areas as they will not release toxic chemicals into the air for people attempting to evacuate to breathe in.  A Plenum rated cable should be able to take the place of any CL2 or CL3 cable, though, as always, we recommend contacting your code enforcement office as these cables to tend to be more expensive and would serve no real purpose if a CL2 or CL3 cable is all that is needed.  We offer Plenum rated cables for HDMI, VGA, and Bare Copper Wire.

    CM, CMR and CMP
    CM, CMR and CMP are ratings given to our Network cables.  These ratings are very similar to the previously discussed CL2, CL3 and Plenum, but are given specifically to network cables due to their lower wattage.  CM cables share the same values as CL2 and CL3 cables, in that they are most often accepted for simple in wall installation.  CMR, sometimes called Riser rating, is usually required for network cables that will span one or more floors.  CMR cables are treated and tested to prevent a fire from travelling along the cable itself, insuring that the cable will not allow a fire to quickly span several floors quickly.  CMP is the equivalent of a plenum rated cable.  These cables are much thicker and more ridged than CM and CMR due to their thicker jacketing.  As always, we advise contacting your local code enforcement for specifics on which of these cables you are able to use in whatever installation you plan on using them with.  We offer all three of these cables types with various Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a cables.

    Non-Copper Cables
    All of the fire safety ratings we have mentioned so far are for copper based cables.  We are often asked if our optical cables are able to be run in wall.  The brief answer is, yes they are.  Our fiber optic cables are OFNR rated, Optical fiber nonconductive riser.  This means that the cables have been tested to resist a fire should they come in contact with fire.  As these cables to not carry any electricity, they themselves could not become the cause of a fire in the event of an electrical surge.

  • What are the USB 3.0 Micro B Cable Specifications?
    The new Ultra Slim Series USB 3.0 Micro B cables are 34AWG for data and 23AWG for power. The cable diameter is 4.0mm.

  • What does CL2 mean?
    Inwall rated cables have a slow burning outer jacket so that in the event of a fire, the flames won't be spread by the cables. Most areas have fire codes that require CL2 rated cables for inwall installs. You should check with your local fire department to see what the requirements are in your area.

  • What is a DB25 connection?
    A type of D-Sub connector. DB-25's are commonly found on computing equipment where they are employed to connect peripherals. They are common to parallel ports or RS-232 ports on PC computers, but also often used in a variety of ways in the audio community. For example, TASCAM commonly uses the DB-25 connector for analog and/or digital I/O on their products, as do some other brands.

  • What is a DB9 serial port?
    Rack mounted servers typically have a DB9 serial port, which gives system administrators a way to access a server remotely through a serial console session even if the network is down.



  • What is External Serial ATA (eSATA)?
    Similar to the standard SATA connector, the eSATA connector is shielded and designed to connect external mass storage devices or optical drives to an eSATA port. This connector is sometime referred to as the SATA “I” connector due to the shape of the connector.

  • What is FireWire 400?
    FireWire 400 refers to any FireWire port that conforms to either IEEE 1394 1995 or IEEE 1394a 2000 standard.
    FireWire 400 can apply to both the 4 pin and 6 pin FireWire connections. For more information, see the definition for FireWire.


  • What is Firewire 800?
    FireWire 800 refers to any FireWire port that conforms to the IEEE 1394b standard. This standard, which amends the IEEE 1394 1995 and IEEE 1394a 2000 standards, upgrades the prior standards by allowing for faster speeds (up to 800 Mbit/s), new cabling, and compatibility with the FireWire 400 standard. New cabling includes CAT5 unshielded twisted pairs and UTP5 glass and plastic optical fiber. The new amendment is fully interoperable with
    1394a 2000 and 1394 1995 standards. It uses a 9 pin connector. By using a 9 pin to 6 pin or 9 pin to 4: pin FireWire cable, you can connect FireWire 400 devices to a FireWire 800 chain.


  • What is the difference between DVI, HDMI, and VGA?
    DVI. HDMI. VGA. These abbreviations may not sound like household names, but chances are you’re likely to spot them in most homes. Known as “cable connectors,” these fellas are responsible for the transfer of digital video content, and all operate differently.

    DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface, HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. In the early days of computers, monitors were originally monochrome or two-color. Over the years, technology has allowed for better and better ways of transmitting visual images to your computer monitor. That’s where cable connectors come into play.

    Cable connectors The oldest VGA (analog) hardware was developed in 1987 and produced from 1987 to present day, followed by DVI (analog), which was developed in 1999 and produced from 1999 to present day. HDMI (digital) was developed in December 2002, and produced from 2003 to present day.

    The number of pins per each connector varies. VGA is equipped with 15 pins, HDMI with 19 pins, and DVI with 29 pins.  If you guessed that the newest connectors have the best picture quality and fastest speeds, you’d be right! Let’s take a look why.

    A Glance At Cable Connectors

    VGA was first developed by IBM in 1987. The VGA standard originally allowed for a display resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, but has gone through many revisions since being introduced. The most common is Super VGA (SVGA), which allows for resolutions greater than 640x480, such as 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. VGA allows for the display of 256 colors on computer monitors, uses RGB color (Red, Green, and Blue), and is always shaped like a trapezoid. VGA is today’s basic standard for color resolution in computer monitors, and represents the lowest common denominator for compatibility. (Note: HDMI does not transmit audio signals to VGA adapters.  You will need separate audio cables.)

    DVI was designed by Digital Display Working Group in 1999, in attempts to replace the date technology of the VGA. This hardware allowed computer monitors to display a true-color pallette. (Note: HDMI does not transmit audio signals to DVI adapters. You will need separate audio cables.)

    HDMI was developed by the following companies in December of 2002: Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic/National/Quasar), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson, RCA and Toshiba. Due to its high-definition capabilities, HDMI makes previous technologies completely obsolete. HDMI’s functionality enables the transmission of high-definition audio/video, along with 8-channel audio transmission.

    Though the predecessor to newer and more progressive hardware, VGA still plays an integral role for current technology. 99 percent of all desktop monitors still have a VGA port, while a full 30 percent only have a VGA connector! Furthermore, more than 70 percent of flat-panel TVs have VGA connectors, and projectors are primarily for VGA.

  • What is the supported speed of our External Mini SAS 26 pin cables?
    6GBits/s is the supported speed.

  • What is USB 3.0?
    Regardless of what computing platform you choose to use, chances are your system will support the Universal Serial Bus (USB). It is the de facto standard expansion interface across just about every computing system whether Windows, Mac, Linux or even OS's specific to cell phones, video games and portable devices. While connectors may vary, the serial connection protocol remains the same.
     
    The beauty of USB not only lies in its standardization across so many computing platforms and devices, but also the simplicity with which it function. Most common USB peripheral devices such as keyboards, mice, storage devices, webcam and more are plug n'play, meaning, you don't even need to load drivers. These devices will simply be supported natively by the operating system. Additionally, devices are hot swappable in most cases, meaning you don't have to shut down your whole system to plug in or unplug a device.
     
    The latest upgrade to this popular standard is USB 3.0. USB 3.0 will offer over 10 times the transfer speed of USB 2.0 for a top speed of 5.0 Gbits/s while using an interface that remains backward compatible with previous versions of USB. Of course, to take advantage of the increased speed you will need both a USB 3.0 controller card on the host side and peripherals that are capable of handling the higher speeds.
    What does this increased speed mean? It means that data transfers that currently take several minutes will only take seconds. If you're streaming media from a USB 3.0 storage device, it will mean smoother playback at higher bitrates and better resolution. Off loading raw files from your SLR won't be such a drag anymore.
     
    What will you need to take advantage of this new technology? While it may be a while before you see computers with USB 3.0 ports built in or even any peripheral devices that support 3.0, there have been a few external hard drives that have been recently released. Monoprice is actively working to bring this new technology to you as quickly as possible. We are currently planning to release USB 3.0 PCI-E controller cards, USB 3.0 compliant cables and hard drive docking solutions so that you can connect your internal SATA hard drives.
     
    3.0 will certainly raise the bar. The increased overhead will make it possible to bring other new technologies into reality just as performance increases in other areas such as chip speed and broadband have made revolutionary changes in the technology we use today. We are looking forward to these changes and will work hard to continue to bring you the latest innovations without the price stings the early adopters are usually expected to pay.

  • Which Cable is right for me?
    There are many cables that can be used for many different types of audio and video devices.  The goal of this article is to help identify which cable you have, or which cable you may need.  

    HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)
    High Definition Multimedia Interface, abbreviated HDMI, cables are among the most common video cables used today.  You will find these cables used for most cable boxes, televisions, DVRs, computers, monitors, and BluRay Players.  They are identified by a long flat side on the top of the head with two indented corners leading to a shorter flat bottom.  HDMI cables can come in several sizes, though the smaller sizes are often only found on portable devices such as Cameras or Tablets.  These are often referred to as Mini HDMI or Micro HDMI.  HDMI Mini will be the same size as a standard HDMI but much thinner, while the Micro HDMI will look will be both thinner and smaller than a standard HDMI.
     From left to right: Standard HDMI, HDMI Micro, HDMI Mini.

    Displayport
    Displayport cables are a newer form of video cable that are most often used by Apple and high end Graphics Cards.  We most commonly see these on iMacs, graphic cards, laptops, and computer monitors.  Displayport comes in two varieties, standard and Mini.  The standard Displayport will look very similar to an HDMI head, however only one of it's corner will be indented.  A Mini Displayport Head will look like a smaller square with two indented corners.  We are more likely to see Mini Displayport cables on modern iMacs sometimes called Thuderbolt cables by Apple.  Although it is not very common some of the older iMac devices did use a port called Mini DVI.  This port is not seen on any current Apple products and has been slated of obsolescence, meaning that no future Apple products will use this port.

    DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
    Digital Visual Interface, abbreviated DVI, is a common video connector used in many computer monitors, televisions, laptops and graphics cards.  It is often described as a trapezoid with numerous pins and is often accompanied by a screw on each side of the connector head.  DVI is a little older than HDMI or Displayport and comes in several forms.  While all of DVI's forms look similar, the amount of pins will often tell us just what kind of DVI cable we are using.  Now, something to keep in mind with DVI is that it is used for both Digital and Analog video.  These are considered DVI-A (Analog) and DVI-D (Digital), though we often also see DVI-I (Integrated) which is capable of doing either Digital or Analog signal.  On a final note, DVI can be either single or dual link.  This will determine how much data the cable is able to push through and define what resolutions that DVI cable or port will be able to output.



    VGA (Video Graphics Array)
    Video Graphics Array, abbreviated VGA, is an older video cable that is often seen on projectors, computer monitors, computers, laptops, and older iMac computers.  These are often described as a small trapezoid with 15 small pins on the inside and a screw on each side of the head.  VGA cables are sometimes confused with DB9 cables, as they both have the same shape and similar size, but have different pin outs with the DB9 having 9 pins and the VGA having 15 pins.  VGA cables use an analog signal and are therefore difficult to convert into digital formats such as HDMI.