What is a VGA Cable?

Casting your favourite show or TV series has been made easy as there are different cables and connectors users can use. Cables like VGA, HDMI, and DVI are prominent cables allowing users to cast audio, videos, or both to a TV or projector.

This article will be reviewing VGA Cable, its components, features, and how to use it.

What is VGA?

VGA stands for Video Graphics Adapter or Video Graphics Array. VGA is a popular 15-pin video connector and display standard developed by IBM. It was first introduced in 1987 and is used to transmit or send graphics or media from a source device to a display medium.

What are VGA Cables?

Video Graphics Array (VGA) cables are designed to transmit analog video signals between different types of devices and components. The VGA cable has unique features and socket pins that aid the swift transmission and display of video signals.

A VGA connector is available on most AV components, and it is majorly used to link computers with your device.

So when you connect your VGA to outputs by a PC, laptop, video card, and graphic card, the RGBHV (Red, Green, Blue, Horizontal, Vertical sync) synchronizes to form a unified video signal.

This signal is then is viewable on monitors or any other linked devices at the end of the VGA cable.

Types of VGA Cables

Below are some of the types of VGA Cables available:

  • VGA Cable

The standard VGA cable connects PC monitors, laptops, front projectors, and compatible rear-projection TVs. This cable is available in different lengths, designs, and colours.

The VGA cable supports a resolution of 640 x 480, has 16 colours in graphic mode, while in text mode, it uses a resolution of 720 x 400.

VGA Cable
  • SVGA Cable

The SVGA is a supper cable that supports an 800 x 600 resolution and has a palette of 16 million colours.

However, the number of colours you’ll get depends on the connected device; hence only 256 colours might be available for display.

  • VGA to RGBHV 5xRCA Cables

This cable features five RCA-type connectors for inputs, and it is used with some HDTV displays.

VGA to RGBHV 5xRCA Cables
  • VGA Extension Cable

These cables are used when the display devices have already been connected to a VGA cable. They are alternatively a connector converter and are compatible with breakout cables and pigtails.

VGA Extension Cable
  • VGA to RGHBC 5XBNC Cable

This cable features five BNC-type connectors for inputs, and it is designed majorly to be used with front projectors and high-end PC monitors.

  • VGA to Y-Pb-Pr Cables

These cables are used when a source or display can send/receive both VGA or component signals. 

VGA to Y-Pb-Pr Cables

How to Use a VGA Cable

A VGA is used to connect a computer or laptop to a TV or projector. To get a clear image on your TV or Projector screen, you will need to ensure that you set the output resolution of your PC or laptop to match the device’s resolution. If there is a wrong connection, the image you are projecting will appear blurred or stretched.

Note that the quality of the image will also depend on the native resolution of the TV. And also the output capabilities of the graphic card in your device. Hence, the image you are projecting might not fill the screen with a sharp image as the output resolution may not match the TV perfectly.

Most Laptops use a combination of keys to send the image command to the TV, the most prominent being the function + F7 key.

VGA Cable Configuration and Adaptor

  • SVGA HD15
  • USB – VGA
  • VGA – HDMI Cable
  • VGA – DVI-D
  • D-Sub HD15 VGA
  • VGA – DVI or DVI-I
  • VGA Male – Female
  • VGA Female – Male
  • VGA – Mini-Jack
  • VGA – Phono

Generally, the configuration is suitable for receiving an analog RGB signal from a linked device. This signal is the type you receive from a computer, and it supports standard-definition and high-definition resolutions. Note that a VGA does not transmit audio signals. Hence you will require a separate audio connection to hear audio.

Functions of the 15 Pins on a VGA Connector

The most prominent VGA port of most PCs is the standard 15-pin D-Sub connector. This allows VGA to VGA cables to send a computer image to TVs or Projectors. Below are the functions of the 15 keys:

1RedEnables Red Video
2GreenEnables Green Video
3BlueEnables Blue Video
6RGNDRed Ground Pin
7GGNDGreen Ground
8BNGDBlue Ground
9KEYGraphic card output
10SGNDSync Ground
11ID0Monitor ID
12SDABidirectional Data Line
13HSYNCHorizontal Sync
14VSYNCVertical Sync
15SCLMonitor ID3 in DDC1

VGA Identification

All VGAs are gendered for easy identifications; they come in both male and female connections. Identify which gender you have is very easy.

A male VGA connector comes in pins and plugs, while the female version has holes and sockets. Alternatively, VGAs are identified through their gender connectors by the term Connector A and Connector B.

So, depending on the type of VGA cable you have and the configuration your PC will need, you might require different VGA adapters, extenders, and splitters to sync your device successfully. Below are some of the adapter/splitters available for gendered VGA cables:

  • VGA male to male adapter
  • Female to male VGA adapter
  • Male to female VGA adapter
  • Female to female VGA adapter


Although VGA cables are outdated, most PC monitors and Laptops come with newer cable models like HDMI, DVI, etc. Some device still comes with a VGA port hence making a VGA cable a must-have.

However, note that you cannot send copyright-protected content as a VGA connection does not support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). This is because HDCP protection requires support from all connected devices.