Both audio and video cables play an important part in the quality and usability of your electronic devices. Without the correct cable, your picture quality may be reduced and in some cases, you might not be able to use your device at all. The best way to do this is to look at your owner's manual. Here you will find information on the exact connector you need. In the absence of that, this article will guide you in the right direction.
On the lower end of cables is the RCA Composite Video. This type is fairly standard; most newer televisions have at least one RCA input. On the flip side, devices that generally have an RCA output include VCRs, camcorders, DVRs, satellite receivers, and DVD players. While this style offers a decent quality connection, S-Video or Component Video are better options if your machine is compatible.
Which brings us to S-Video. As far as video transmissions go, this one offers high quality. S-Video connectors use multiple pins during transmission. As a result, the color lines are separated from the brightness transmissions. This helps to prevent color bleeding and improve general sharpness and clarity. S-Video cables are common and at least one input for them is seen on most newer TVs. Output connections for S-Video include satellite receivers, DVD players, and DVRs.
RCA Component Video is also higher quality than RCA Composite Video. Though similar in name, these two offer different transmission methods. Component Video is the type of RCA that utilizes three separate cords, each sending a unique signal. The Y or green cable is for luminance. It tells the device information about the brightness or black and white information. The blue and red cables dictate how much blue and red color there is in relation to the amount of luminance. The separation of the three results in a better transmission. RCA Component Video is seen on DVD players, newer TVs and offers much higher picture quality than traditional RCA or S-Video.
A second type of Component Video is BNC. BNC offers superior transmission much the same as RCA; in fact, the difference between them is merely physical. BNC connects more securely to its devices by locking on instead of simply plugging in. Since it doesn't come loose, the picture quality is higher. However, this type is only available on HDTV's and high end projectors. If you have this option on any of your electronics, it is highly recommended that you take full advantage of it.
In a world where digital connections are king, VGA, or Video Graphics Array, offers superior analog video transmission. You can find VGA standard on many video projectors, monitors, and PCs. The many different video pins used by this connection render it capable of delivering more pixels, and therefore more detail, than composite or component modes. While this is a very high quality style, DVI is preferred when available.
And that brings us to DVI, or Digital Visual Interface, one of the best options. DVI takes a few different forms and provides high speed connections between your PC, digital TV, and other DVI-based electronic devices. The advantage here is the uncompressed transfer of HD video. Three types of DVI are available: DVI-D, the most common and found only in high quality digital signals; DVI-A, a rare analog form used mainly with VGA monitors; and DVD-D, which offers both digital and analog transfer simultaneously. As previously stated, this is preferred when available.
Finally, there is HDMI. Standing for High Definition Multimedia Interface, this connector features uncompressed data transmission between digital TV and compatible devices. Unlike DVI, HDMI sends both video and audio signals while adjusting to the most effective format. You can, however, use HDMI with many DVI inputs and outputs, though HDMI is the preferred output.
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