cable types

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by barry*z, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. barry*z

    barry*z Auditioning

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    I am looking to connect my TV, DVD and amp (all Sony) and have multiple options for connectivity, ie "S" Type, RCA component and optical. Any advice or reference articles would be most appreciated. My goal is best picture/sound quality, and mostly to just understand why you would use one type of connector over another, all things being equal.

    thanks!
     
  2. MichaelBJ

    MichaelBJ Auditioning

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    Barry,
    Check out Robert Harley's "Home Theater for Everyone" either from a library or off the Amazon website. It is a good primer on home theater. Good luck, MichaelB
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Barry. Welcome to HTF!
    VIDEO
    There are 3 types of video connections:
    Composite - This is a single RCA cable, usually colored yellow.
    SVideo - This looks like a single cable with a funny "keyboard" type connector. It's really 2 wires in a single bundle.
    Component - This is 3 RCA cables, (3 Composite Cables really), but put into a bundle.
    Home Theater Magazine did a comparison of all 3 types of connections to a reference 50" TV. Here is what they found:
    Composite - Baseline
    SVideo - 20% better than Composite
    Component - 25% better than Composite
    They noted that the difference was LESS for smaller sized displays, and MORE for larger.
    Another Point: if you want to run video through your receiver, you need to pick one kind and make all your devices feed this kind of video. The receiver will NOT convert one type to the other.
    AUDIO
    Most people like to use the coaxial-digital connection between their VCR and receiver. This is simply a video cable (yes, a VIDEO cable). The people who wrote the spec for this connection wanted you to be able to find this cable easially. A $15 video cable works great.
    Note: Audio cables are sometimes made with the 75 ohm coax that video cables use, but sometimes not. Make sure you get a video cable and not use any-old cable you have lying around.
    WHAT CABLES TO BUY
    We have often recommended the AR brand or even Radio Shack cables for modest systems. When your system becomes "sensitive", then your video cable should be upgraded.
    By "sensitive" I mean that your system has any of the following:
    - Long (> 10 foot) runs
    - Display size greater than about 40 inches
    - Pushing Progressive or HD video
    - Sending video to a HD/HD Ready TV that does up-conversion
    When you reach the sensitive stage, you COULD buy the nice Monster HD rated cable for $230. But if you can wait, the custom web sites are the best way to go.
    These sites use the production-studio grade coax and connectors and the prices are very good. (Remember the 10% rule: budget 10% of your electronics cost for cables. Anything more and you might be over-paying. Anything less and you may be getting a bargin).
    The key parts are to make sure the cable uses Canare connectors and either Canare or Belden coax.
    Some of the web sites to check out are:
    www.bettercables.com
    www.catcables.com
    www.wickedcables.com
    www.bluejeanscable.com
    ebay (Search for "Canare")
    www.heartlandcables.com
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. barry*z

    barry*z Auditioning

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    Thanks.

    What about the Digital audio cable? Do you recommend it over the video coax?
     
  5. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Bob,

    "The key parts are to make sure the cable uses Canare connectors and either Canare or Belden coax."

    You state this and then provide CatCables and Bettercables as vendors? Neither of them use Canare connectors or Belden/Canare cables!
    Nothing wrong with either of their video cables infact BC cables have a great reputation but neither of them meet your stated "key parts" criteria.

    Try adding RhinoCables.com, CSCables.com and Cobaltcbales.com and Signalcable.com to you list because they do sell the above.

    Also AvCable.com sells affordable cables that should be every bit as good as Belden and if you go by the specs better than Canare's current offerings. I also believe you can purchase cables directly from Gepco
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Good point Mark.

    BetterCables and CatCables sell coax thats .. a bit different. It uses a silver-coated center conductor so they are the exception to the Canare/Belden rule.
     

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