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Computer Ports

Descriptions of the variety of ports used in Information Technology

Chris Kalodikis

on 22 February 2011

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Transcript of Computer Ports

Ports Serial Port Parallel Port Universal Serial Bus (USB) Port Video Graphics Array (VGA) Port Firewire Port Digital Visual Interface (DVI) Port Audio Jack Ports / TRS Connectors Power Supply Ethernet Port A port that transmits data a bit at a time. Commonly used for modems and mice and some printers PS/2 Connector The PS/2 connector is used for connecting some keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system.

The PS/2 designs on keyboard and mouse interfaces are electrically similar and employ the same communication protocol.

However, a given system's keyboard and mouse port may not be interchangeable since the two devices use a different set of commands. Following the release of USB keyboards, PS/2 keyboards and mice have become less popular. Also known as a printer port or Centronics port. The IEEE 1284 standard defines the bi-directional version of the port, which transmits data bits at the same time (in "parallel"). This is the opposite of serial transmission where one bit is transmitted at a time.

Probably one of the earliest devices to use parallel were dongles used as a hardware key form of software copy protection. Zip drives and scanners were early implementations followed by external modems, sound cards, webcams, gamepads, joysticks and external hard disk drives and CD-ROM drives.

The USB interface—and in some cases Ethernet—has effectively replaced the parallel printer port. USB-to-parallel adapters are available that can make parallel-only printers work with USB-only systems. USB establishes communication between devices and a host controller (usually personal computers).

USB can connect computer peripherals such as mice, keyboards, digital cameras, printers, personal media players, flash drives, and external hard drives. USB is intended to replace many varieties of serial and parallel ports, so for many of those devices, USB has become the standard connection method.

USB communication takes the form of packets. Some of those packets direct a device to send some packets in reply.

USB was designed for personal computers, but it has become commonplace on other devices such as smartphones, PDAs and video game consoles, and as a power cord between a device and an AC adapter plugged into a wall plug for charging. The IEEE 1394 interface, commonly known as Firewire, is a serial bus interface standard for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer, frequently used by personal computers.

Nearly all digital camcorders have included a four-circuit 1394 interface, though, except for premium models, such inclusion is becoming less common. It remains the primary transfer mechanism for high-end professional audio and video equipment.

Not all personal computers utilize the FireWire protocol. VGA was the last graphical standard introduced by IBM that the majority of PC clone manufacturers conformed to.

The 15-pin VGA connector is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and some high definition television sets. On laptop computers or other small devices, a mini-VGA port is sometimes used in place of the full-sized VGA connector.The same VGA cable can be used with a variety of supported VGA resolutions, ranging from 640 x 400px @70 Hz to 1280 x 1024px @85 Hz and up to 2048 x 1536px @85 Hz.

There are no standards defining the quality required for each resolution, but higher-quality cables typically contain coaxial wiring and insulation which make them thicker. A quality cable should not suffer from signal crosstalk (ghosting), which occurs when the signals in one wire induce unwanted currents in adjacent wires
The DVI interface uses a digital protocol in which the desired illumination of pixels is transmitted as binary data.

It is partially compatible with the HDMI standard in digital mode (DVI-D) VGA in analog mode (DVI-A).

DVI is a video interface standard designed to provide very high visual quality on digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. It is designed for carrying uncompressed digital video data to a display. Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

The combination of the twisted pair versions of Ethernet for connecting end systems to the network, along with the fiber optic versions for site backbones, is the most widespread wired LAN technology. This cable distributes electricity from a power out let to the PSU of a compuetr. A power supply unit (PSU) is the component that supplies power to the other components in a computer. S - Video Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video, is an analog video signal that carries video data as two separate signals: luma (luminance) and chroma (color).

S-Video is commonly found on consumer TVs, DVD players, high-end video cassette recorders, digital TV receivers, DVRs, game consoles, and graphics cards. It has been replaced by component video and digital video standards, such as DVI and HDMI.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Port

HDMI supports, on a single cable, any uncompressed TV or PC video format, including standard, enhanced, and high-definition video; up to 8 channels of compressed or uncompressed digital audio; and a Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) connection.

The CEC allows HDMI devices to control each other when necessary and allows the user to operate multiple devices with one remote control handset. Because HDMI is electrically compatible with the signals used by Digital Visual Interface (DVI), no signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used.

HDMI connects digital audio/video sources—such as set-top boxes, DVD players, HD DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players, AVCHD camcorders, personal computers, and AV receivers — to compatible digital audio devices, computer monitors, and digital televisions.

HDMI is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It represents a digital alternative to consumer analog standards, such as radio frequency (RF) coaxial cable, S-Video, or VGA. A TRS connector (tip, ring, sleeve) also called an audio jack, is a common analog audio connector. It is cylindrical in shape, typically with three contacts.

The three colours all represent a different function in relation to PC hardware. Red is audio input, and is used for microphones. Green is audio output and is the primary port for speakers. Blue is also audio output and can be used as a secondary port for audio output.
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