Which Switch?

Today’s question pertains to printers; older printers and inexpensive newer ones in particular. These printers do not have wireless capabilities like some fancier printers, but they are not obsolete and work well in small offices or homes. These

 Question: “Is there such a thing as a double adapter to the printer I have two cables one printer input—Automatic-Icon can be selected on the computer.”

 Answer: Yes, all that is needed to solve this issue is a printer sharing switch. This switch will allow a USB printer to be shared between two computers. You can switch printing between computers by an onscreen icon, by hot keys or by push button. This is also a super affordable solution. The switch also works with USB scanners and cameras as well. The USB device stays available for all computers, so there is no need to plug and unplug the devices.

 

All About FireWire

 Question:

“I have a 2008 iMac. It has an 800 FireWire port along with a 400 FireWire port. The 400 port is being used by my external hard drive. I have another hard drive that I want to plug in to my iMac 800 port. But the external drive has a 400 port in it. Do you have a FireWire cable that can connect it to my iMac?

 Answer:

Even though this is a direct question, we can expand on this by explaining what FireWire is, and the difference between a 400 and 800 port. FireWire is also known by its technical name IEEE 1394, and is seen mostly on Apple computers. IEEE 1394 is a name to describe the serial bus and the way that it transports data. 1394a is FireWire 400 and 1394b is FireWire 800. FireWire was basically originally intended to be what USB cables are to PC’s. FireWire 400 can transfer data rates at 100, 200, or 400 Megabits per second. This was upgraded and replaced by FireWire 800, which was much faster than the 400, and is backwards compatible with the 400. To answer the question above, a cable that has 400 on one end and 800 on the other will work at 400 speeds and is called a Bilingual FireWire cable. FireWire is also hot swappable and is plug-and-play, designed to work perfectly with any apple or other computer with FireWire ports.

As of this year, the FireWire port in Apple products was replaced by the Lightning port. USB ports are also included on Mac computers as well.

DVI to a VGA Monitor

One of today’s questions at CableWholesale was: “I need to connect DVI from my computer to my VGA monitor. How do I do that?”

There are a few steps involved when connecting a DVI cable from a computer to a monitor. First, you need to look underneath the monitor where the VGA port is located. Most monitors will have a DVI port underneath the monitor as well. You will need an DVI-A to VGA adapter to convert the video signal from DVI to VGA. If your video card is DVI-I, you can use this adapter to convert to VGA. Once the signal has been changed, the monitor should connect to the computer.
If your video card has a connector like the picture below, this will be compatible.


 

Xbox on your Monitor

A question we recently encountered was “I don’t have a TV in my room. Is there a way to connect my Xbox to my computer monitor?” The answer is yes, and luckily it’s a really simple solution. The first step would be to connect the HDMI cable from the Xbox to an HDMI to VGA Adapter/Converter to convert the digital HDMI signal into an analog VGA signal. This will allow your VGA monitor to be able to receive the signal from the HDMI game console. The audio can be connected through computer speakers or headphones with the 3.5mm stereo audio cable that is included with the converter. The converter is powered by the USB port on your Console. It will also work with other game consoles, Blu-ray players, camcorders, laptop PCs, and tablet PC’s to your VGA monitor. (Some might require an extra USB power adapter, sold separately)

The New Cable on the Block

There was some big news released recently in the world of cables. The word on the street is that USB will very soon be going through a major overhaul. USB Type-C is set to be the newest technology on the market, and will change how we use USB in several different ways. The design of the new cables is much thinner than the current USB cable; the USB Type-C looks very similar to the iPhone’s lightning connector. One of the most attractive changes for this cable is that they will have symmetrical connectors on both ends; meaning they will fit in their port no matter which way you plug them in. The new USB style will be small enough to fit smartphones and will click when plugged in, so you are aware when it’s connected.

These new specs are set to be released within the next few months, and the new cables are rumored to be available on shelves by Christmas. It will of course take some time to integrate them; the current USB port will likely still be included on computers until the older style is eventually phased out. The new style USB will replace micro and mini USB as well, making USB cables of the future truly universal.

All About DVI

At CableWholesale we get a lot of questions about DVI cables and how they are used. We wanted take a minute to give a little background on these types of cables. For starters, the acronym DVI stands for “Digital Visual Interface,” and these cables were created to transmit uncompressed digital video. DVI cables were originally designed for use with digital flat LCD monitors back when they first came out on the market.
DVI cables are typically used for hooking up your computer to a monitor, but can also be used with video game consoles like PS/3’s, DVD/Blu-Ray players as well as some TVs. DVI cables are considered as replacements for VGA cables. DVI can also provide a much higher resolution than VGA. DVI supports modes like DVI-A (Analog Only), DVI-I (digital and analog) and DVI-D (digital only).
A recent question that we came across was, “I have a monitor that has a DVI with 24-pins. I have a cable that has two 18-pin connectors to the monitor. If I buy a 24-pin male DVI (to connect my PS3) will it work?”
The DVI with 24-pins is called a DVI-D Dual link. The DVI with 18 pins is called a DVI-D single link. The difference between the two is the resolutions they are able to achieve. It can make a difference in a DVI to DVI cable connecting a computer to a monitor with an extremely high resolution.

For a HDMI to DVI cable, either one will work. It doesn’t matter because HDMI to DVI cannot be dual link. HDMI is not capable of that. They originally spec’d an HDMI type B that was dual lnk, but it was never produced. So, either way, the 24-pin DVI will work fine, but you will not get any audio as DVI does not transfer audio.

Another question we received was “A female DVI has 24 holes, and the male that is currently being used by my computer has 18 and I want to know how many pins do I need for a HDMI – DVI cable? Will the 18 or the 24 work best?”
This question has an easy answer as well. In this particular set-up, an 18-pin DVI cable will work just fine. Even though many HDMI Cables support 4K displays, the HDMI cable itself has only 19 conductors available, so the 24 pin DVI is not necessary.
If you would like to learn more about DVI cables, we have a technical article for you to check out, dvi demystified, devoted to DVI cables.