Can you use a RCA/Composite cable in a Digital Coax Connection?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickC, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. NickC

    NickC Second Unit

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    Can you use a RCA/Composite cable in a Digital Coaxail output?
     
  2. BruceLongee

    BruceLongee Agent

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    Yes, if it's a 75 ohm video cable.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    yes, you can even use coat hangers. try it one day.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok, let's go through the rules again:

    All video cables are made with 75 ohm coax. (These usually have a yellow band on the RCA plug.)

    The designers of the SPDIF (coaxial-digital) connection had a video cable in mind when they added it to the DVD spec.

    Audio cables can be made with any of the popular types of coax: 50, 75, 110, 300 ohms.

    Some people who used an audio cable by mistake say it works. But .. they have noticed some audio drop-outs every few minutes. This problem was solved when they switched to a video cable.

    An engineer in the early days of DVD noticed some companies were selling a "Digital" cable for $$$ to the unsuspecting public telling them that the digital signals were 'special' and needed some expensive wire. He soldered some RCA plugs onto a wire coat-hanger and showed how it worked to transfer the signals from a DVD player to a receiver. This is why Chu jokingly suggests trying a coat-hanger.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Buying video and digital audio cables is still a trial and error process.
    I am not sure what the bandwidth requirement is for digital audio connections, but ordinary composite video cables come in different bandwidths which nobody knows unless the package or a salesman or a friend or a magazine article tells them hopfully truthfully, or what test instruments reveal. Because of this nebulousness, bang for the buck is almost impossible to compute. It is very easy for stores and manufacturers to charge a lot more for what they say are digital quality cables when the same quality can be had for less.
    A minimal video cable may have 4 MHz bandwidth. An HDTV quality cable should have 37 MHz bandwidth.
    You will get a picture and sound with minimal cables Sound dropouts can occur if the bandwidth is insufficient or if interference from a nearby power or speaker cable was picked up.
    Depending on your luck the video cable you buy may or may not work well. Of course some people don't want the hassle of going back to the store if the cable they chose didn't work, so they buy the most expensive cable and hope for the best.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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