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Help choosing Component video cable


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#1 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 26 2003 - 08:32 AM

Hello all, this is my first post and I'm going to start out by "beating a dead horse!"

I'm putting together a modest home theater and have everything except component and S-video cables for my projector.

I have a HDTV projector (Epson TW100) and am sending it component video from my Denon 2800 MkII DVD player and HDTV from an over the air tuner. By the time the cable is ran inside the wall, into the attic, between the joist, and down to the projector, it will be about 35-40 feet.

I've been reading every post I can find on video cable quality and am still unsure which cable to purchase. I want a top quality picture but I don't want to spend any more than is required. (I have other stuff to buy...)

I've found debating the following cable choices for component video cable:

-- BlueJeansCable.com Component Video Cables, Belden 1694A, 40 ft. @ $84.95

-- AudioQuest 12 meter YIQ-G $165 -OR- YIQ-X for $225

-- Tributaries 12 meter TriVideo @ $212

-- Proflex 40 ft. @ $100

-- Bettercables.com Silver Serpent 12 meter @ $320 (ouch!)

For S-Video I've found the following:

-- Monster M-500 50 ft. @ $125

-- Tributaries 12 meter Delta @ $70 OR DCV S @ $140

-- BlueJeanCable.com S-Video Cable, Belden 1808A, 40 foot @ $70

-- bettercables.com Silver Serpent S-Video 12 meter @ $180 (ouch, again!)


What do you think?

#2 of 28 Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 26 2003 - 09:52 AM

The Canare/Belden based cables have published specs that show they are capable of transmitting HDTV video over 100 ft. Do any of the other, more expensive cables provide this data? This is the stuff production studios and broadcast systems use.

Note: I believe Bluejeans will use a 3-conductor cable and put a SVideo connector on the ends of two of them. They have to use the mini-coax to get the connector to fit, but 30-45 feet getting a bit far for regular 30 ga SVideo cable.

The remaining wire can become a composite cable.

#3 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 26 2003 - 10:06 AM

Bob, so you recommend Bluejeancable? I know that the specs are published, however they are pretty meaningless to me.

I wanted to know if anyone has had experience with any of these cables, and which would be most suitable for my situation

Also, the S-Video needs to be separated?

#4 of 28 Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 26 2003 - 01:43 PM

The custom cable sites are your best value and have the data to back them up. Many of the others you looked at (Monster, Tributaries, Proflex) have lots of marketing terms, but little real data. This makes it impossible to compare technical data.

Bluejeans is one of several sites that make cables with Canare/Belden coax so from a performance standpoint, these will all offer similar performance. If you search you will find that both BetterCables and BlueJeans cables have satisfied customers here. They are quick to ship, and quick to respond if there are problems.

Quote:
Also, the S-Video needs to be separated?

SVideo is a 2-wire cable. It is made with 30 ga wire to fit those small plugs. The longer the run, the thicker you would prefer the cable to be. While you CAN run SVideo 25-40 feet, a better choice would be to use a more standard RG6/RG59 coax that terminate in a SVideo connector. These cables have a 18 ga center conductor and the manufacturers roll out 100 feet of the stuff and shove higher and higher frequencies down the end and brag about the performance at the other end.

The problem is: the coax is so thick for RG6/RG59 that it is very hard to terminate in a SVideo cable. BlueJeans is one site that will put SVideo connectors on the end of a component cable set, but they insist on using the mini-coax cable. For a 40 ft run, I would prefer this over straight SVideo cable.

My advice: write to the sites and see what they recommend.

#5 of 28 Shane Morales

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Posted December 26 2003 - 03:35 PM

Highly recommend BlueJeans. Not to take away from other custom sites, but these are the guys I ordered from and they were fast, friendly, and I'm very happy with all the cables I ordered from them.
:::Shane
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#6 of 28 Chu Gai

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Posted December 26 2003 - 11:12 PM

Another alternative to what's been presented would be cables from s-video.com and this would a bit less expensive than the other options. For example...

50 feet svideo (http://www.s-video.com/svideo50.html) for $40.

40 feet of component (http://www.s-video.com/trimese40.html) for $55.

A desireable property of whatever cable you use apart from things like flexibility and shielding, is that it be able to pass the signals you're asking of it without excessive attenuation. The question then becomes, what signals will you be passing? If it's regular old DVD video output, then your bandwidth is 6.75 MHz. Any of the choices will handle that without blinking an eye. If you're pushing 1080i or 720p, then you're looking at 36 MHz. In that case, for the few extra dollars, consider either an RG59 or RG6. The greater thickness of the wire provides for less attenuation of your signal.

Blue Jeans offers one of the best prices for custom cables around and if your desire is to simply overspec everything then you'd be hard pressed to do better. To their credit, they've steered clear of littering their website with bullshit that doesn't mean anything unlike AudioQuest which is a model for pseudo-science babble. You see, once you take the labels off commodity cable prices tend to go up...way up.

#7 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 27 2003 - 01:43 AM

Chu,
It seems that BlueJean cable is the way to go, however I am curious why nobody has tried Tributaries and AudioQuest. They both make their own cable, using different materials than RG6 or RG59, and I'd expect someone to report that the cables were better, worse, or the same.

I've looked at AudioQuest's site and although they don't publish specs, they seem to be saying "Don't read the specs, look/listen to the product." While they are a good place to start, specs aren't everything. According to specs, a Chrysler is just as good and reliable as a Toyota -- not the case in most peoples experience.

#8 of 28 Chu Gai

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Posted December 27 2003 - 02:39 AM

To say they make their own cable is like saying a person who slaps siding on a house is an architect. They do nothing more than get cable made according to certain requirements and there are many companies out there, legitimate manufacturers that draw their own wire, that will take an existing cable they have, provide different colorings for the exterior, a slightly different composition for the exterior sheath, and so on. This is then sold without any identifiable markings making the tracing of the cable's actual origins a bit more difficult.

Now I've not bought from BlueJeans but it seems to me that the proprieters of the company are very accomodating and use well engineered parts let alone ship rapidly. Now if they would get around to making those images load faster I'd even like their website better!

If they don't publish specs it's not because they don't have them, they don't want you to know and would rather you react based upon emotional responses. FWIW, reliability records for Chryslers and Toyotas are available from a variety of sources. This is a cable we're talking about and it needs to meet certain requirements. Those requirements are provided by specifications. A 500 foot length of 28 gauge copper is going to fail miserably at passing 36 MHz. It behooves the consumer to be informed of what his/her requirements are and then purchase a product that meets those requirements. After that, it's a matter of personal preferences as to what qualities or features you desire.

#9 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 27 2003 - 05:43 AM

Quote:
After that, it's a matter of personal preferences as to what qualities or features you desire.


Exactly my problem. I don't know enough about cable to know what features and qualities I desire. I assume that a lot of cable companies rely on people like me to sell their "extra-better-special-plus-good cables" to.

Has anyone done a comparison of any of these cables? I know a magazine have done tests and said that bettercables did very well -- compared to what? BlueJean is well regarded around here, but saying that a company has good customer service and fast turn around, while greatly appreciated, tells me nothing about the image I'll see on my screen. I haven't seen any comparison of AudioQuest or Tributaries, other than the comment that they are over priced -- I assume this means there wasn't a performance improvement to warrant the extra cost?

Thanks again for taking the time to discuss this with me... The fog is s-l-o-w-l-y lifting.

#10 of 28 Chu Gai

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Posted December 27 2003 - 10:07 AM

Well for starters you haven't specified what resolution you'll be pushing down the cables. Apart from that, I see the following...

REQUIREMENTS
40-50 feet

RCA terminations (I'm guessing here as I don't know if your projector takes BNC connectors)

Suitable for in-wall use (implies it meets some NEC and local building codes that might be applicable as well as having a certain degree of toughness to the exterior to resist abrasion as it goes through holes in studs or against rough wood.

Flexibility: I'm tossing this one in because it implies that the cable will be easy to bend, facilitating connections in tight spaces. If they're really tight you may need to ask for right angle RCA's or BNC's.

Why don't you read this link
http://bwcecom.belde...rs/rhtheatp.htm
which is pretty informative. It might make your search easier or it might further befuddle you Posted Image

#11 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 27 2003 - 12:36 PM

Quote:
Well for starters you haven't specified what resolution you'll be pushing down the cables. Apart from that, I see the following...


I'm sending 480p and HDTV from an over the air tuner.

Quote:
I have a HDTV projector (Epson TW100) and am sending it component video from my Denon 2800 MkII DVD player and HDTV from an over the air tuner. By the time the cable is ran inside the wall, into the attic, between the joist, and down to the projector, it will be about 35-40 feet.


#12 of 28 Brian OK

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Posted December 28 2003 - 01:18 AM

David,

Here is a comparison for you. ZU Cable Megular (2M for $180.) vs Belden 1694A.

I own and run both of these video cables off of two different DVD players I can use in my setup. And I can swap them out easily for a same player comparison which I have done.

The review is over ;-)............ save your money and buy the 1694A.

I got mine from bluejeans as well. Not to appear a smart ass here but the Belden is a very good cable for video. No need to beat the beast any more.

If your intent on spending more for a component cable then you would be much better served purchasing a Z-Sleeve passive ERS cylinder for $99. and then sliding it over your Belden 1694A. That will give you the visible results of a "better cable".

BOK
BOK

#13 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 28 2003 - 03:35 AM

Quote:
That will give you the visible results of a "better cable".

Brian, I don't want the "LOOK" of an expensive cable, I want a great picture on my screen.

I'd much rather pay $100 for my cable, however, if I can get a better picture, I am willing to "bite the bullet" and buy a $200+ cable the first time. I appreciate that you've actually done a comparison of the two cables, rather than scrutinizing the specs.

Also, I think ZU Cable agreed with your assessment, they lowered the price of their 2m cable to $109 Posted Image

#14 of 28 Mark Rich

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Posted December 28 2003 - 05:41 AM

If you want some very good cables then the RhinoCables.net Premium series or Boldercables.com should be considered. Think there was a very good review/comparison done on AVS on the Rhino premiums against some very good brands.
I'm not a big fan of silver cables but have you considered any of them?
Problem with a lot of these cable makers is they sell dressed up broadcast cables (Belden, Canare etc) market them as boutique brands and sell them at outrageous prices.
"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#15 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 28 2003 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
If you want some very good cables then the RhinoCables.net Premium series or Boldercables.com should be considered.


OUCH! The Rhino cables are $200 for 4 meters and the Bolder cables are $400 for 3 meters -- I need 12 meters! (I think the Bolder is $850 for 12 meters?)

They both use Belden cable like bluejean cable. Are they that much better!?

#16 of 28 Brian OK

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Posted December 28 2003 - 02:04 PM

David,

My intent was to give you a hand in choosing a quality component cable. I don't give a hoot if you want to spend $500. or $39.95 for your video cable.
I have been down a long road trying 10 different component cables and I always come back to the Belden 1694A as a best buy/performer.
You do not even know what the Z-Cable ers sleeve is and you toss the ZU Megular price markdown as some sort of comeback.

Don't be too anal over this... and take some advise from the HTF veterans who have offered their experienced opinions here.
I will move on..... good luck

BOK
BOK

#17 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 28 2003 - 03:35 PM

Brian,
I appreciate your help. I was very interested in the first part of your post and a little confused about your last part...

Quote:
If your intent on spending more for a component cable then you would be much better served purchasing a Z-Sleeve passive ERS cylinder for $99. and then sliding it over your Belden 1694A. That will give you the visible results of a "better cable".


I thought you were suggesting that I wanted to spend more money to get high-end looking cables. I also thought the Z-Sleeve was a cosmetic cover to make my cables "look high end." My mistake...

Anyway, I guess I am getting a little bit anal about this. I've over spent on my system, and don't want to waste any cash, either by buying cheap cables that don't perform, or by buying expensive cables that aren't nescessary. All I want is a great picture.

#18 of 28 Vincent_S

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Posted December 28 2003 - 03:41 PM

This may not be of much help to you since I never had a set that long but, I have tried four different component cables. Monster2(2 meters), MonsterTHX(4 meters), Bettercables (Canare)older design before the Silver Serpent line(3 meters), and Audioquest Cinemaquest YIQ2(3 meters which I am currently using). I noticed no difference between the four. The only reason I have tried so many is because I was moving equipment around and needed different lenghts at different times. This was all done on a 61" screen. IMHO I would go with the Bluejeans. Just my .02

#19 of 28 David_AD

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Posted December 29 2003 - 03:03 AM

I think I'll go with BlueJeans and take advantage of their 30 day guarantee, although it sounds like I'll be quite satisfied.

#20 of 28 Brian OK

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Posted December 29 2003 - 03:09 AM

David,

Sorry if I sounded testy. I agree, a great picture is what we are after without breaking the bank.
Whatever cable you settle on you may want to try the z sleeve from www.zcable.com

This device uses ers paper wrapped around a copper/tin cylinder and is slipped over a cable. Best used around digital devices and components plagued by HF noise, either airborne or emitted through digital connections.
It is not cheap at $99. each, but it is worth an audition (30 days money back if not satisfied).
I placed one over by bluejeans 1694A component cable and was startled at the visible improvement in picture quality.

I use the sleeve elsewhere in my system and can say these devices are not pixie dust. YMMV.

Good Luck,

BOK
BOK


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