Useful Tips

Home cinema practice

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• What is he doing? A component video cable conducts a video signal with high quality, delivering the greatest number of details and color tones than you can get when using coaxial, composite or S-Video cables. It divides the video signal into three parts, each of which is transmitted on a separate channel. Unlike the other three types of analog connection, a component video cable can conduct a high-resolution signal with progressive scan up to 1080p (this is a common limitation of the resolution of the output of a component signal to 1080i for video equipment).

• When can it be used? Since a component video cable is capable of delivering high-definition video, this is an excellent “B” plan, replacing an HDMI cable. Component video connectors can be found on most DVD players, Blu-ray players, televisions, HDTV tuners, cable or satellite modulators, and A / V receivers. It should be remembered that not all video components can be transmitted, and not all TVs can receive a full 1080p signal through the component connector.

• What you should pay attention to? High quality materials, gold-plated connectors that provide reliable fixation, shielding (two or three layers of protection), as well as at least a copper center conductor of the cable.

• What is he doing? S-video cables are mostly round, have 4 connectors and transmit color, brightness and parts of the video in different ways. As a result, they provide better color reproduction and image detail than coaxial or composite cables. S-video can transmit video at resolutions up to 480i.

• When to use it? S-video cable is well suited for connecting old receivers, S-VHS video recorders and old TVs that cannot display a resolution of more than 480. It is because of this limitation that it is less popular than other types of cables.

• What you should pay attention to? For proper quality lossless video display, look for cables with an internal copper conductor and double shielding.

Composite video cable

• What is he doing? The composite video cable, also known as RCA, often has yellow video connectors with matching red and white stereo audio connectors. This cable can also transmit video with a resolution of up to 480i.

• When to use it? This type of cable is most often found in sets that come with video components. It can be used to connect video recorders, old TVs, and in other cases when the source cannot play high-frequency video.

• What should I look for? It is necessary to check the quality of RCA connectors, as well as the presence of double shielding protection.

Coaxial RF Cable

• What is he doing? A coaxial RF cable, also known as a “coaxial F cable,” is designed to transmit video and stereo audio signals from a television antenna or cable TV jack. Keep in mind that it is only intended to transmit signals to your video system outside the home. This cable only conducts video of the lowest quality (compared to other cables), and supports a resolution of about 350i.

• When to use it? Coaxial RF cable is suitable for connecting antennas, cable distributors or satellite dishes (do not confuse this type of cable with coaxial audio).

• What you should pay attention to? The standard coaxial video cable is marked “RG-59”. You need to find a cable of higher quality - “RG-6”, which reduces signal loss and has better protection. During installation, make sure that all regulations are complied with and that the cable is protected from the weather.

Types and methods of transmitting analog video signal

Composite

Since the most popular is relatively inexpensive video equipment and television sets of a budget class, the most widespread among the people so far is the method of transmitting a video signal, where all its components are transmitted in mixed form via one single coaxial cable. Such a video signal is called “composite”. And if in the era of the dominance of VHS tapes, such a method of transmitting a video signal could be considered quite acceptable in quality, since the VHS cartridge itself (in comparison with DVD, for example) cannot boast of high-quality clear images, but with the advent of inexpensive DVD players composite video signal, if it was not doomed to death, at least it began to leave for the very backyards even in the class of low-cost equipment (it has not been used for a long time in expensive household video equipment). Now only VHS players / tape recorders have a composite video output (in fact, except for composite, they have never and never will have another low-frequency video output), and karaoke consoles. The vast majority of other devices, such as DVD players, modern video cameras, satellite receivers and so on, already have much better video outputs, where the components of the video signal are transmitted separately from each other. Although, in most modern devices, composite video output is still present, so as not to deprive the user of the ability to connect the device to "less advanced" display devices. For example, many modern TVs with small screen sizes (14 ″ -21 ″), not to mention the previously released models, still have only composite video input.

Usually the output and input of the composite video signal is made in the form of a yellow RCA jack (in the photo there is a connector in the lower left corner), or it can be transmitted through a universal Scart.

The cable used to transmit the composite video signal is 1 coaxial cable with RCA (“tulip”) connectors at the ends.

S-video

This type of video signal provides separate transmission of the luminance signal (Y) and two combined color signals (C) via independent cables. The standard for this type of connection is a round 4-pin connector. S-V Transmission>

Compared to composite video, S-Video connection provides some gain in image clarity and stability, to a lesser extent in color reproduction. However, these improvements will be noticeable only when using a high-quality source (DVD-player, high-quality satellite receiver, and so on) together with a sufficiently large diagonal screen (25 ″ or more). With a diagonal of the 21 ″ TV screen (or less), the difference between the composite video signal and S-Video may not be so obvious, since much already depends on the quality of the TV itself.

Component

Or another name - color difference (Y'PbPr or in another way YUV, YIQ). To transfer components, three independent coaxial cables are used, where one cable (Y) transmits signals in the ratio 0.299R + 0.5876G + 0.114V, the other (Pr) - red minus the brightness (R — Y), and the third ( Br) - blue minus brightness (BY). The connectors at the ends of the cable are usually RCA or BNC.

And here is how a component video output of a DVD player usually looks.

The quality of the picture when connected to the component is fundamentally (for the better) different from S-Video, and even more so composite. Here the improvements are immediately visible: the picture is more clear and stable with accurate color reproduction. The benefits of component connectivity will be especially apparent when using high-quality video sources and large screens (29 ″ -36 ″ televisions, good plasma panels, large-screen projectors).

In this case, a separate transmission of three primary colors and a synchronization signal is used. To be precise, this type of video signal is called RGBS (Red, Green, Blue, Sync). Information is transmitted via independent cables. It can be 3 or 4 separate coaxial cables (in the case of 3 cables, the synchronization signal goes with green) with RCA or BNC connectors, or RGBS can be transmitted via Scart.

There is also an even more complex version of RGB, where not 3 or 4, but 5 cables are used to transmit signals, since the horizontal and vertical synchronization signals are transmitted separately from each other. This variety is called - RGBHV (Red, Green, Blue, H-Sync, V-Sync). You can no longer find RGBHV in a Scart cable, since for such a video signal, separate coaxial cables with RCA or BNC connectors, or one VGA cable (on one side of which BNC connectors can also be present (on the photo)) are usually used.

By the way, it is RGBHV that is used to transmit the signal from the video card of the system unit of your computer to the analog monitor - see how clear, clear and stable the picture is.

Frequently asked Questions:

How can I arrange the above analog video signal transmission standards in terms of image quality?

In ascending order:

  • composite (composite video)
  • S-video
  • component video
  • RGBS
  • RGBHV

But this is if we ignore practical implementation. Although, of course, a component or RGB in any situation is better than S-Video or, especially, a composite. But between the component and RGBS (Scart), the difference in image quality is often subtle. Often, component connection is even more optimal, because, as already mentioned, RGBS is usually implemented through Scart, the quality of the conductors of which can be inferior to individual coaxials used in the component cable. In addition, Scart is not very long, and this is often required when, say, mounting the projector on the ceiling or installing a cabinet with equipment away from the plasma panel or TV. And finally, many plasma panels and projectors by Scart are simply not equipped.

And RGBS via Scart will be an excellent solution if you connect, say, a DVD player to a nearby TV with a large screen or a plasma panel (many modern plasma panels perfectly understand not only RGBHV, but also RGBS - this will require a special Scart cable - 4 BNC or Scart - 4 RCA).

So both options (component video and RGBS) provide very high image quality, just each option is convenient for certain cases (depends on the installation conditions of the equipment and the switching capabilities of the equipment). But if you are concerned about connecting a high-end projector to a high-class DVD player, and plan to use a scaler to improve picture quality, then you should already look in the direction of RGBHV, or even use the digital connection (SDI or DVI) of the source to the processing and display device .

Are there any RGB converters in component video or vice versa?

Yes there is. However, the price of such devices is very high, so it’s easier to immediately select a source (DVD player, satellite receiver, etc.) and a display device (TV, plasma panel, projector) to connect them directly without any converters.

Are there any S-Video converters in composite video or vice versa?

In the case of converting a composite signal to S-Video, you only solve the compatibility problem of switched devices - the image quality from such a conversion will not improve. Often, these converters are built into S-VHS video recorders, or in high-end AV receivers. There are also individual devices.

In the case of the transformation S-V>

What is the difference between S-VHS cable and S-Video?

S-VHS is not a cable, but a video cassette format. The cable has one name - S-Video, although, unfortunately, sellers in many stores call it for some reason S-VHS, which indicates only their incompetence.

Does the presence of a Scart connector on the TV or source indicate the presence of RGB in this Scart?

Not. The fact is that through Scart, composite video, RGBS, and S-Video can be transmitted. Plus, sound and service commands. Therefore, it is not at all necessary that RGB is present in the Scart output of the device or the Scart input of the TV. It’s easy to find out: look in the instructions for the device. Or conduct a visual inspection of the rear panel of the device: often over the Scart connector they write “Scart (RGB)”. However, they do not always write, but in the instructions this information is required.
More information about the Scart connector can be obtained from a separate article. However, I can reassure: almost all modern large-diagonal TVs, if equipped with Scart connectors, then one or two of them will definitely be with RGB. As for DVD-players, almost all modern models with Scart'om allow you to output through it and RGB. But better specify, just in case ...

I have only one Scart with RGB on my TV - who should I give it to: a DVD player or a DVB satellite receiver (say, NTV +)?

If the picture from the satellite receiver does not go in HDTV (high definition television) format, then it is better to connect a DVD player via RGB, and the satellite receiver using S-Video. Karaoke and VHS-video recorder - on the composite, of course.

Is video signal switching through an AV receiver harmful to picture quality?

The switches of most modern AV-receivers from well-known manufacturers do not introduce visible interference into the video signal. Moreover, in most cases, the highest quality video source (for the vast majority of people this is a DVD player) is usually connected directly to the TV (plasma panel, projector). Often only composite video and S-Video are switched through the AV receiver.

Which S-Video cable is worth buying?

If you need a cable to connect an S-VHS VCR or a relatively inexpensive satellite receiver (say, NTV +) to a TV with a screen diagonal of up to 29 ″, then you can safely limit yourself to an inexpensive cable for $ 10-15 (for a finished cable 0.7-1, 5 meters). If you have a high-quality TV with a large screen, to which you want to connect, say, a DVD player (taking into account that neither RGB nor component connection are available in your case), then you should pay attention to better cables for $ 25- 40. Also, the quality of the cable is of considerable importance if you need an S-Video cable longer than 4-5 meters.

What kind of Scart cable to connect a DVD player for RGB to buy?

To connect to a 21 ″ -25 ″ TV, any inexpensive cable for $ 15-20 (Hama, Monitor Cable, Bandrige, etc.) is enough. If you have a decent TV with a diagonal of 29 ″ -36 ″, then it is better to buy a cable with a class not lower than Profigold PGV-78x. Such a cable will pull $ 35-50. For large plasma TVs, you should look at the serious cables from Supra, QED (in the picture in the description of RGB in the middle of the article), top models from Monitor cable and so on. Such a cable will cost $ 50-100.

Which component cable to take?

To connect the projector to a DVD player, it is better to use a high-quality component cable, which will cost $ 100-150 (for a 2-3 meter sample). To connect a DVD-player to a projection or conventional TV of any diagonal, it is enough to buy a component cable for $ 30-50 (2-3 meter sample). Although the most optimal solution is still independent cable manufacturing, or custom-made production of such a cable in any large professional equipment store. Such component cable (2-3 meters long) will cost along with connectors in the amount of $ 30-60. I have already described the benefits of buying professional cables, but I repeat: when buying a cable from a well-known brand, you pay not only for the product, but also for advertising in glossy magazines, beautiful packaging and, of course, the big name of the manufacturer. In the case of component cables, the problem of overpaying money is especially urgent, because often even a very cheap component cable made of 3 identical pieces of a good antenna cable and 6 connectors (the total cost of the cable will be no more than $ 10) will not show much worse than the branded cable for $ 50. Unless, of course, we are talking about low-cost LCD projectors, entry-level plasma panels, projection or kinescope TVs. On high-quality plasma panels or high-end projectors with a large screen, such a “focus” with a cable will not work.

How to make a quality component cable yourself?

You need to buy a high-quality coaxial video cable ($ 2-4 per meter) and 6 connectors of the required type (RCA or BNC) in the professional equipment store. However, the situation is such that almost all modern RCA or BNC connectors for professional equipment are not designed for soldering, but are connected to the cable by crimping with a special tool. Most professional hardware stores provide crimping services for connectors - usually it costs about $ 1 for each connector. And since the manufacture of a component cable consists of cutting a cable into 3 equal pieces and installing connectors, then consider that for the work on manufacturing a component cable you will be charged only $ 6, well, or a little more - it depends on the company. Crimp connectors themselves cost $ 3-5 per piece (these are high-class metal connectors with a wave impedance of 75 ohms). Well, consider this: even if you need a 3-meter component cable, then together with the work and connectors it will cost about $ 50-60. And such a cable, believe me, it’s easy to “argue” with the quality of the picture with a purchased branded component cable for a couple of hundred dollars. I am not kidding. By the way, in serious home theater installations on the basis of good projectors, a high-quality professional video cable is usually used, and not a “folded-up" Hi-End video cable in a mahogany box. Из наиболее известных компаний, производящих профессиональные видеокабели, можно назвать, например, японскую компанию Canare, Ни в коем случае не хочу обидеть других уважаемых производителей качественных профессиональных кабелей тем, что описание самостоятельного изготовления кабелей привожу на примере продукции Canare. Просто так получилось, что я не редко использовал Canare в и инсталляциях, и дома — упрекнуть эти кабели мне не в чем. Итак, для изготовления компонентного соединителя можно использовать кабели класса Canare V5-C или даже V-CFB. Кстати, подобные кабели позволяют без видимых потерь в качестве картинки использовать длины даже в несколько десятков метров.

Можно ли изготовить S-Video кабель самому?

Схема та же: покупка качественного профессионального кабеля (напомню, вам потребуется два коаксиала) и пары разъёмов S-Video. You can find the cable wiring in the middle of the article. But get ready: soldering S-Video connectors is rather inconvenient. It is better to take the cable relatively thin, otherwise soldering it to the pins of the connector will be very difficult.

Frankly speaking, the self-production of S-Video has more minuses than pluses, given the relatively low quality of the S-Video video signal, the complexity of soldering and the low price of many S-Video cables, the quality of which is quite sufficient for switching a satellite receiver or S-VHS video recorder.

Can I make Scart myself?

If you have a lot of patience, then yes. Why patience? Take a look, you have to solder 21 contacts on each side. Is it only necessary? No no need. What does Scart need in a home theater? That's right, video transmission, and often only RGBS and composite (the sound still goes through the home theater audio system) - and this is already much less trouble. Here you need to buy a pair of good Scart connectors ($ 3-10 pieces) and a cable, class Canare V5-1.5C (pictured), which costs a few dollars per meter, but contains 5 full-fledged thin coaxials with a wave impedance of 75 Ohms. Such a cable will provide a high-quality signal, and it is convenient to solder.

As a result, such a self-made Scart for $ 30 in picture quality in S-Video or RGBS mode can easily compete with the purchased Scart for $ 70-100.

What is the maximum length of a component, RGB (if implemented as 3-5 separate coaxial cables) or a composite cable?

Since in all cases separate coaxial cables are used, we can talk about all three types of connections at once. So, if you use high-quality coaxial cables (including professional), then without visible image degradation, you can use lengths of 20-30 meters, and if desired, more. On low-quality cables, the image can become noticeably worse already with a cable length of more than 5 meters.

What is the maximum length of an S-video cable?

Often, relatively inexpensive ready-made S-Video cables use not the best coaxials that behave well at short lengths, but if you want to stretch the cable more than 3-5 meters, it is better to buy a high-quality (that is, quite expensive) S- Video cable, or make it yourself from a professional video cable (it will be cheaper and better) - in this case, a distance of a dozen or two meters will no longer be a problem.

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