Help - New HTS Ques -Optical v Coax - S-Vid v Comp, etc.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by GregAK, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. GregAK

    GregAK Agent

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    The members of this forum seem very knowledgeable so I hope a few of you have the time to give me your 2 cents worth. I can't believe how out of touch with home audio/video technology I've become in the past 10 years. I recently ordered HT components for the relatively small living room of my 1 bedroom apartment, including:

    -Philips 27" Flat Screen TV 27RF50S
    -Philips FR996 receiver (100W x 5) w/ plenty of optical and digital inputs - it decodes just about every type of signal and auto-detects as well
    -AR HC6 speaker system

    I will be using my Magnavox MDV 450 DVD/CD/CDR/MP3 player with these. The above was all that was within my budget and I still spent more than I wanted to.

    Questions: I did read all the FAQ's but I am still unclear as to whether it is better to use optical audio or digital coax (until this week I would have expected to still be using L and R RCA's). Does anyone know if one is specifically better for the components I have or if one is widely agreed upon to be better? I have to decide which cable to get.

    The FAQ's say that with under a 30 something inch TV, S-Video is better than component. Do most people agree with this or should I go with component video despite having a 27" TV??

    I'll probably buy AR cables (Monster seem too expensive and I doubt I'd notice the difference). From what I've read here, it also sounds like all I'll really need is some 12 Gauge speaker wire from Home Depot, maybe put some gold-plated pins on the ends.

    Any insight, advice, comments regarding my questions or my choice of products would be greatly appreciated. I just hope to get this system set up right and get myself up to speed again in this area. Thanks all.

    Greg
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    With optical vs coax, it is kind of a toss up; more of a personal preference than a night and day difference. A good quality cable of either will work just fine, and you will typically find decent cables of either type will cost relatively the same. My preference is coax because it more sturdy, a more positive connection, and there is no possibility of "jitter" in the signal.

    I have never read the comment about s-vid for TVs under 30", but I don't agree with this statement. Component provides a higher separation of color, yeilding a more vivid picture. The amount of detail in the image, between two comparable, quality cables (s-vid vs component), will not be significantly different These two types of connections are essentially doing the same thing - separating portions of the signal onto individual wires, it's just that component takes it one step further by physically isolating those wires from each other.

    AR interconnects should be fine.
     
  3. GregAK

    GregAK Agent

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    Thanks. After I posted my question, I found an extensive thread under a different topic debating digital coax vs. optical. There seems to be many on both sides, though I think coax has the slight majority. I think I will go with that. I actually decided yesterday and ordered an AR component video cable, despite that comment in the FAQ's. I'll probably buy the digital coax cable locally just to be absolutely sure I buy the right one (75 Ohm, well insulated, etc.). Thanks again.
     

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