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Video Cable Buying Guide

Updated on July 6, 2008
Video Cables
Video Cables

Video Cables

Cables are the lifeline of the electronics communication systems. Whether you are connecting a modem to your computer or setting up your home theater system, having right types of video cables are important for the proper running and safety of the equipment as well as for you.

The basic components of a cable are: the conductor, shielding, and the connector. The primary goal of any cable is to transfer a fully preserved signal from its source to the destination. Even the best cables loose some signal strength. The loss is caused by outside interference, such as radio frequency and electromagnetic interference. Low quality cables provide least protection from this interference while high quality cables keep away such interferences.

What types of video cables you choose, it should maintain the clarity, dynamics, and power of the original signal. TV screens and DVD players are capable of great detail and clarity. To ensure the best picture quality you should choose cables that don't want lose part of the signal. The two main categories of video signals are analog and digital. Analog has been the standard for long but the improvements in technology have produced high quality digital sound and image that revolutionize the quality of pictures and sound we see and listen.

Here is the description of some of the best video cables you can choose for your video equipment.

DVI Cable
DVI Cable

DVI Cables:

Digital Video Interface is relatively new. It offers a high-bandwidth digital-to-digital video connection that provides unmatched video quality. DVI is capable of maintaining the video signal in its purest digital form, obtained from satellites and DVI-equipped DVD sources to the monitors or projectors.

HDMI Cable
HDMI Cable

HDMI Cables:

High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a more evolved version of DVI cables. It provides greater bandwidth than DVI and transmit higher-definition uncompressed digital video signals. It has a smaller and sleeker connector than DVI. HDMI connections are equipped with the High Definition Content Protection (HDCP) protocol.

Component Video Cable
Component Video Cable

Component Video Cables:

Component video cables are the best non-digital cables for high definition video. These cables break down the video signal into three cables, thus enhancing the image clarity and sharpness. They look just like the composite cables but provide larger clarity. Both of them use RCA type connectors.

Composite Video Cable
Composite Video Cable

Composite Video Cables:

Composite video cables use an RCA-type plug and jack. It is a direct video connection and is superior to the RF type of connection but inferior to S-video and component video. However all video signals are carried on a single conductor, which is not the ideal form of transmission. Usually composite video cables are sold bundled with a pair of stereo audio cables for convenience.

S-Video Cable
S-Video Cable

S-Video Cables:

S-video cables are considered much better than composite video cables. These cables break the video signal into two component parts and greatly improve picture quality. These days S-video inputs are found on most high-end TVs and AV components.

RF Video Cable
RF Video Cable

RF Coaxial Cables:

Though RF coaxial cables are the most common but the least desirable for AV connections. Both the audio and video signals are 'modulated' onto one cable, thus making it impossible to transmit high quality signal. Coaxial RF cable connects your cable box or digital satellite box to your TV. It can also be used to connect a VCR to your TV.


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