HDMI STB Vs DVI Vs MHL Vs ARC – Which is Better?

Nowadays different types of ports are present in our display and audio devices. As for the display, we have a TV  and monitors. For Audio soundbars, Home theatre. It’s difficult to understand which port is useful for the activity we want to perform on our system. HDMI, RCA, AUX, and VGA ports are different types of ports available in the devices. 

Among these ports also, the most commonly found port today is HDMI. It is present in most of the display and audio devices. TV sets generally have a 2.0 version of HDMI which easily helps us to watch 4K videos with 60-hertz frequency. This resolution of video gets lower as we go to earlier versions like 1.4 HDMI and improves as we go for the latest version of the HDMI port which is 2.1 HDMI port. In HDMI’s also there are several HDMI ports present in the TV and other devices like computers which confuse us while using it. which HDMI port should we use for experiencing the best sound and display as all look similar? So here we will tell you which HDMI port is best made for your usage as it’s not even written or labeled sometimes at the back of the display device and which type of HDMI port is present there. 

The first thing one should know is that the HDMI of a TV is compatible. This means we can use any HDMI port for any usage. Ex: if a TV has 2.0 compliant it signifies that we can use this TV for watching a movie, connecting gaming consoles, and other activities with any of the HDMI ports. Each port will provide the same video resolution with similar efficiency for all the activities.

If your TV has just one HDMI port it becomes difficult to understand whether this port will be helpful for us or not.


Here are some different types of HDMI port and their properties which in turn tells about their performance


STB HDMI port is labeled as HDMI1 or in some devices, it is labeled by name. We can mostly use STB for connecting gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStations. Although It’s not compulsory to connect the consoles to STB port only, we can get the same experience with other HDMI ports. STB’s full form is the Set-top box. Their name is STB because this HDMI port connects all the devices like consoles and other devices that are put on the TV.


HDMI DVI ports have the label HDMI 2 on the back of the TV. It helps in connecting TV, computer, and other displays with some devices. This HDMI port is better than ordinary earlier-used DVI ports which cannot transmit sound. All the new versions of HDMI after a 1.4 HDMI port can transmit the audio. DVI ports are of two types DVI-I and DVI-D which both look similar by having tiny square holes for pins.

But if we have a close look the DVI-D type will have a thin line like a dash. And if it’s a DVI-I port it will have two holes above and below with the same dash line as in a DVI-D port. DVI-I supports analog signals whereas DVI-D supports digital signals. Nowadays a new type of DVI port called Dual-link ports is also found in the market.


HDMI ARC port is the HDMI port with hdmi3 in the reverse audio channel. This port mainly focuses on audio providing. The Arc cable provides sound to the stereos without compressing. Whereas 5.1 sound is present in old 1.4 HDMI ports in compressed form. The latest 2.1 HDMI ports provide 5.1 sound and even 7.1 not in compressed form.  

, these ports help in connecting soundbars and home theatres.


MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition. This port helps in connecting our smartphones with other devices. Your smartphone should have this MHL port for providing this service, not all phones can easily use this facility. But if in case you don’t have this MHL port in your phone you can use HDMI Adapter to connect your Android smartphone to some other device, like a TV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which HDMI port should we use?

There is no compulsion to use a particular HDMI port for connecting any specific device. We can connect any device to any of the HDMI ports. The label is just there to suggest that you can use this particular name of the port for your work. You should use any of the HDMI ports according to your comfort. From that port, the cable can easily connect with the device without getting overstretched.

Q2. How to perform any activity or connect our device if we don’t have an HDMI port on our TV?

 If you don’t have an HDMI port present on your TV don’t worry we can connect other devices with the help of some other ports present there in it. EX: RCA, firewire, USB ports for both audio and video. AUX port, VGA port for audio and Display port, DVI port for video if we have individual needs.

Q3. What is the difference between MHL and ARC HDMI?

MHL is used for connecting mobile devices with other devices whereas ARC is useful for connecting any two devices through a single HDMI cable.

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I am Steven S. Martin, the person behind HDMITechnologies. Personally, I run my tech hub in Texas and used almost thousands of devices for my hub for the last 15 years. I put all my experiences and knowledge to make your decision better and valuable.

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