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Cables (The Basics)

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Old 08-17-2005, 08:14 PM   #1  
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Default Cables (The Basics)

A basic guide to cables and their application.
Deciphering Cables and Connections


RCA, or composite, cables
These are the most common cables, used to hook up your standard VCR and stereo equipment. Typically, they are color-coded: red, white, and yellow. Red is for right channel audio. White is for left channel audio. Yellow is for video. The entire video signal is transmitted by one cable. This is the lowest quality cable for a video source, but again, it is also the most common. Most new televisions, all video camcorders, all VCRs, and all videodisc players will have RCA jacks for these cables.


BNC cables
A BNC cable is actually just another form of an RCA/composite cable. The end of the cable looks different from an RCA cable, but can be changed to an RCA end with a simple adapter. Most professional video equipment will have a BNC jack instead of a RCA jack. The physical connection is more secure because BNC cables twist and lock in place.


S-video, or Y/C, cables
This cable might also be referred to as a SVHS cable and can be found on most high-end televisions, all videodisc players, camcorders, digital cable and satellite set top boxes, and SVHS VCRs. S-video cables differ from composite cables in that they split video signal into two different components: luminance and chrominance. The S-video cable will offer marked improvement over a composite cable.


Component cables
Component cables look just like composite cables. The difference is that, where a composite cable carries the entire video signal on a single cable, component cables split the signal in three. This connection gives a superior image over composite or S-video connections. The signal itself is referred to as either Y,Cr,Cb, or Y,Pb,Pr. Most manufacturers make connecting these cables easy by color coordinating them. The tips of the cables and jacks will be red, green and blue. Unfortunately, this can be a bit confusing because computer RGB connections are colored the same way. A good rule of thumb is that, if the connections are RCA type, it is usually a component cable. Computer RGB cables will usually be BNC type. Most high-end DVD players and HDTV tuners will have component connections.




Compact input areas and component cables
In order to achieve a sleek, thin design, some LCD TVs and Plasma TVs have very little space for connections. Due to the space restriction, many have the 15-pin VGA connection double as the component connection as well. The LCD TV or plasma TV will use the same three pins out of the fifteen-pin connector for component video that it uses for its RGB computer connections. The LCD TV or plasma TV is designed to detect the type of signal it receives and process it accordingly. If you need a component cable for one of these televisions, you should order a cable that has a 15-pin connector on one side, and three RCA/BNC connectors on the other. Some plasma TVs and LCD TVs have separate component connections. Consult the spec sheets.




RGBHV cables
Again, these cables look identical to simple composite cables. But this time, the RGBHV cable splits the video signal into five. There are three different types of RGB cables. RGBHV is a five-cable system that splits the video signal for color into red, green, and blue, and then has two more cables to carry the sync for the signal (horizontal and vertical sync). RGB H/V is a four-cable system that splits the color the same way, but has the horizontal and vertical sync on a single fourth cable. Straight RGB video cables again split the color signal in three, but carry the additional sync signal on one of the color cables, usually the green (called RGB sync on green).

An RGBHV signal is the way a computer connects to a display device. Five pins on a 15-pin VGA cable are RGBHV. The display device recognizes the type of signal and projects accordingly.

RGBHV connectors are found on most high-end professional monitors and on the most popular HDTV decoder (by RCA). Note that RCA has chosen to send the HDTV signal via a 15-pin VGA cable instead of a component connection. This may become the standard connection for HDTV tuners in the future. We will have to wait and see.


VGA cables
This is your standard monitor cable. It is typically male-to-male with three rows, 15 pins. A VGA cable is used for computer to monitor connections. Its only home theater application may be as a connection to an HDTV decoder, such as the current RCA model.





DVI cables
Digital Video Interface (DVI) cables look a little like a standard VGA cable, but they are slightly larger. Under ideal circumstances, the DVI cable creates a ‘digital to digital’ connection between video or data source and display device. There are, however, only limited situations when this ideal circumstance occurs.

DVI is still developing, so there is no universal standard for the DVI cable as of yet. Currently manufacturers may use different standards. Look for DVI to grow in popularity and become standardized over the next couple of years.

Last edited by mrm64; 08-17-2005 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:16 PM   #2  
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It's grown so much, it's not even called DVI anymore... it's added digital audio capabilities & a new smaller connector... and it's called HDMI. HDMI is replacing DVI, which is now obsolete for HDTV use.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:56 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSawdey
HDMI is replacing DVI, which is now obsolete for HDTV use.
Oh dear,
I am using a DVI connection from my Euro 1080 receiver box to my TV. Is this a problem?
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:27 AM   #4  
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Obsolete was probably a poor choice of words, how about passé?
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:43 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHKRICH
Oh dear,
I am using a DVI connection from my Euro 1080 receiver box to my TV. Is this a problem?
Not at all. You just can't pass audio over a DVI connection. For the video it should make no difference.
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:10 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by daleb
Not at all. You just can't pass audio over a DVI connection. For the video it should make no difference.
Jolly good news! Thanks guys.

I wonder if you can help me with my other question;
The engineer who is helping us with our dish says that we need a special (rotating) tool to fit the connector to our cable, which he says he doesn't have. Will there be signal loss if I just fit it normally myself? He says because it is HD that this is critical.

Any ideas? Cheers, Rich
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Old 03-30-2006, 05:33 AM   #7  
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Talking Help



I have a philips 32" lcd tv model No. 32PF4320/10

I have just upgraded my telewest to T-Drive and was told by the engineer that i could run HDTV on my screen. my only problem is i dont have any of the three connection on my tv, all i have is the standard monitor connection phono, svideo and scart. the panel res is 1366 x 768p and it has progresive scan ?

for full specs please go to http://www.philips.co.uk/ and type in the modle number into the search box

my T-Drive box has composit and hdmi conncection among others

On searching in google there are an array of converters that can be used to connect a standard monitor connection to composite , and then converters that allow a scart to be plugged in one end and hdmi out the other....

Help can i run hdtv on my screen !!!!

I dont want to spend cash on converters or leads if this will not work....

or do i have to save a buy a new hd ready screen

please help me
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:02 AM   #8  
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Which are better for HD, YpbPr or RGB? Is RGB basically the same quality as component?
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:34 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSawdey
It's grown so much, it's not even called DVI anymore... it's added digital audio capabilities & a new smaller connector... and it's called HDMI. HDMI is replacing DVI, which is now obsolete for HDTV use.
Umm.. The new HDTV-DVR boxes that comcast are issuing all have DVI-D, not HDMI. I think obselete may be a bit strong. DVI-D is capable of a pure digital signal so if you either buy an adaptor or a hdmi-dvi cable you should still be all set.
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:59 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conshy04
Umm.. The new HDTV-DVR boxes that comcast are issuing all have DVI-D, not HDMI. I think obselete may be a bit strong. DVI-D is capable of a pure digital signal so if you either buy an adaptor or a hdmi-dvi cable you should still be all set.
I think he meant obsolete as to how common it is used, not the quality of the signal passing through a DVI connection.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:42 PM   #11  
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one question, i seem to recall the difference between YPbPr and YCbCr was one was digital and one was analog... which one was which?
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:40 AM   #12  
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Scoob, HDMI is the way to go. It transfers digital sound and video directly to the TV rather then having the output convert to analog and then let they TV reconvert the signal to digital. If you use componenet you get straight ditgital to digital connection also but you lose in sound quality because you have to use analog RCA cables. Hope this helped you.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuttyinnyc
Scoob, HDMI is the way to go. It transfers digital sound and video directly to the TV rather then having the output convert to analog and then let they TV reconvert the signal to digital. If you use componenet you get straight ditgital to digital connection also but you lose in sound quality because you have to use analog RCA cables. Hope this helped you.
You can transmit digital sound with coax or optically also. I don't think there is hard evidence one is better than the other, or either is worse than doing it over the HDMI cable.
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:56 AM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ych
one question, i seem to recall the difference between YPbPr and YCbCr was one was digital and one was analog... which one was which?
The P is analog and so is the C - now - at one time it was the designation for the professional digital component video (ca. pre-Y2K) but the consumer market uses both for analog - sometimes if both are on the same equipment - the C is a lower bandwidth analog input designed for for 480i DVDs and the P is the high bandwidth for 1080/720 HDTV - but not always
google or wiki for more info - such as
http://books.elsevier.com/us/booksca...0vs%20ypbpr%22 -page 7 - among others

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Old 09-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #15  
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