S Video Cables...Is ignorance bliss?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Joel()Les, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Joel()Les

    Joel()Les Agent

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    A little knowledge is dangerous. I never thought much of my S-video cable from my DVD to 32" Toshiba TV until visiting here [​IMG] and then seeing some $300 cable set-up at an A/V dealer [​IMG]. The TV does not have component video input so S-Video is good as it will get. The picture seems good using the cheap S-Video cable that I have now, but am I missing out by not splurging for a better cable in the $25 - $50 price range?

    Has anyone done a back to back test in their home (or store) and seen an actual improvement with S-Video? PLease identify the cable brand too.
     
  2. Topher

    Topher Stunt Coordinator

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    I have used 2-3 S-video cables in my setup, and never noticed any difference what-so-ever. None. 1 cable cost $6, the others were more like $20. No difference at all on my setup.
     
  3. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want the best performance possible from S-video, you may get that with a silver coated copper coax based cable. Or solid silver, however, solid silver gets into a lot more money than your talking and perhaps to much.

    But in the end, it's still an interlaced signal, and to get a "lot" better performance, your going to need to upgrade displays to component video and 480P from a progressive scan DVD player.

    Lex
     
  4. Joel()Les

    Joel()Les Agent

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    Doug: Have you seen improvement from using a silver coated cable?

    I have a progressive scan DVD player, but this year's budget committment is on the audio side. I hope to move up to a better TV next year. [​IMG] I was just wondering if it was worth the $50 investment.
     
  5. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Both I and my customers have seen increased definition and better color saturation with the silver coated copper S-vids vs standard S-vid cables, even some brand names. YMMV.

    It's possible you could come close to the performance with a quality copper S-vid though. I will leave that as a possiblity. The problem is, most of these el-cheapo S-vids don't use the quality coax required.

    Doug
     
  6. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    I'm not selling cables so I'll give an opinion.
    Try the Teflon insulated belden 7700a from Bluejeans. Others may sell it as well. A very decent cable that is a noticeable step up from Monster 3 and even the Belden 1808 (in my evaluations)
    If you want something that many consider the very best s-video cable you should look at the Nordost. Way over your budget but you are getting a top performing cable. Another that is also considered top of the line is the WireWorld cables. Both of these cables are 75 ohm and not some DIY creation.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'd be interested in seeing some before and after pictures taken with a digital camera Doug.
     
  8. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Thats a waste of time. Unless is an 8 megapixel camera, you cant tell a diff with a picture. If there is going to be a difference, it is going to be small enough that a digital camera would ruin any proof of it.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well somehow the Photography magazines manage to illustrate resolution capabilities of film and lenses. I'd think it's not insurmountable.
     
  10. Joel()Les

    Joel()Les Agent

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    That's the heart of the matter. [​IMG] Can it be seen and if yes, is it really noticable.

    Looks like I have 1 no and 2 yes votes.
     
  11. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel, with all due respect, that's why I have a 30 day return policy so a customer can see for themselves and make up their own mind if they see a difference in my products.

    Jesse is right, it would be very difficult to capture differences via a digital camera.

    Chu, at the vary least, we are talking about professional photographers, in studio light controlled situations with cameras that cost thousands of dollars to capture those type shots. Many times these shots say, "simulation" as well, in which case they could have been artistically modified to reflect what you should see, not what a camera was able to capture.

    Lex
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I can rent a top of the line Nikon with lens for 3 days for about $45. A Hasselblad is still under $100. Film + processing + the above would put you in the vicinity of $100. So long as your conditions are the same, other than the cables, I think you could capture any differences so long as they're apparent. This way YMMV wouldn't have to.
     
  13. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Well you know what Chu, you should rent it then and try it. Post your results for us to see.

    Doug
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Can you recommend a couple of displays and DVD players that'd give those silver cables their best shot? Something current would be nice. My son's got a couple of friends pushing HT equipment and I think they'll let me drag a player over.
     
  15. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu, I made a statement that I believe silver adds to the performance of ALL video cables, not just mine, to try and assist Joel. You or anyone else, are entitled to disagree with that.

    So, the real purpose of this thread has been achieved from my perspective.

    Lex
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Oh well. If you're looking for a comparatively inexpensive svideo cable there's plenty around. For example, 6 feet will set you back with $13 at svideo.com and so long as you're not hung up about things like techflex, you should do fine.
     
  17. TosH

    TosH Agent

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    I noticed an increase in sharpness when switching from the bundled S-video cable that came with my Radeon 9600 graphics card to a Parts Express branded S-vid cable.
    ww.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&User_ID=17866956&St=9574&St2=-52689421&St3=75370848&DS_ID=3&Product_ID=4356&DID=7

    Not a bad return on a sub $10 piece of cabling. The bundled cable I tested against is just the standard bottom of the barrel stuff they sell at places like Best Buy. I wouldn't bother spending more than a few bucks on a S-video cable. No matter what, the final resolution is 480i so it's not like there's much room for improvement.
     

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