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What’s the Best Video Cable for the Job?

Jan 25, 2013

Video QuestionWhen connecting televisions with video devices, there are often several choices available. Some may look familiar, while others may seem completely alien. Today’s blog post is about the pros and cons of common video connections and how to identify them. Hopefully it will help you identify the right video cable for the job and make connecting your video components even easier.

Probably the most common video cable is the RG-6 coaxial cable. This is the familiar cable TV connection that most Americans have in their home. Its primary benefit is its universality. This connection can be found on many video devices, however it should be noted that it is not the highest quality connection available and is not suited for high definition applications.

After the RG-6 cable, the second most common cable is the composite video / RCA audio cable. This is the classic red, yellow and blue cable often packaged with video components. This cable was once a standard but today it appears less and less on newer televisions and video components. Its advantage is that is carries both video and audio signals, but it is also not a high quality signal cable.

After the composite video cable there are the component video and S-video cables. Both of these cables attempt to improve on the signal quality by separating the color channels. The component video cable has red, blue and green connectors. Each connector carries one color of the RGB video signal preventing crossover and making for more accurate color reproduction. The S-video cable is a single circular connector with prongs. This cable also separates color signals in an attempt to make more accurate color. The disadvantage of these two cables is there lack of audio transfer. Using these cables means an additional audio cable will also be required.

The most recent video cable to join the bunch is the HDMI cable. This cable is designed to carry a high definition video signal along with audio, making it the ideal choice for high definition applications. Its plug is wide and flat and can be found on most new televisions and video components. The only disadvantage of this cable is its lack of compatibility with older analog televisions or video components.

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