Basic Question About Cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by HarleyMYK, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. HarleyMYK

    HarleyMYK Agent

    Mar 8, 2002
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    What are the physical differences between Component Video Cables and standard A/V cables? I understand the difference in how they are used and what they do, but what makes them physically different. On the outside, they seem quite similar. Can the standard red, yellow, white A/V cables (or any other audio cables) be used for component video connectors?
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Feb 12, 1998
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    Any well-shielded 75-ohm cable can be used for component video connections. The "standard" cables I think you have in mind aren't typically 75-ohm. The ones typicall shipped with equipment have a single connection for composite video and two audio connections for analog left and right. The video cable in the bunch (usually color-coded yellow) may be 75-ohm, but the audio cables almost certainly aren't. And none of them are that well shielded.
    It's not that they wouldn't work in a component connection. But if you're using component connections, you're presumably trying to squeeze out every last bit of video quality, and mismatched cables won't do that.
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    To add a bit more:
    Coax all looks alike.
    But it can be 50, 75, 110, or even 300 ohm coax.
    The rules are:
    Audio cables: can be made with any of the coax. These signals are not sensitive to the impedence.
    Video Cables, CATV Coax, Coaxial-Digital cables must all be made with 75 ohm coax.
    Since 75 ohm coax works well for audio, cable sets like the Radio Shack L/R/Video bundles are all made with 75 ohm coax. You CAN use these for component video cables for a modest system, but only if you cannot afford more than $40.
    Many people like the AR Brand component video cables. These are budget cables, but are well constructed and available from lots of places like Best Buy.
    But if you have a nice system (HD TV or display bigger than about 40"), the smart money uses the same cables that the professional studios use.
    There are several web sites that will use Canare or Belden coax and the wonderful Canare RCA plugs and make you a custom cable set for a lot cheaper than the higher-end retail cables.
    You should check out:
    eBay (search for "Canare")
    These places will run you between $50-$130 depending upon length.
    So what is the "ultimate" cable to get? Some of our members have projector systems with 100" screens. Very sensitive to the cables. They have become big fans of . This site uses instrumentation-grade coax with silver-coated center conductor. This high end cable will run you about $180. The Monster zx300 video cable from Good Guys .com sell for about $230.
    So the custom sites are the way to go. Head over to the "Tweeks, connections & Accessories" fourm for lots of information about cables and these custom sites.

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