CAT Cables, S-video Quad Cat

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn Shultzaberger, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    I received my Cat Cables "Quad Cat" S-video cables yesterday. I am very pleased with the build quality. A lot more robust than my little "spaghetti" cables I had hooked up.

    The cable has made one heck of a difference in color quality. My test was the Pod Race scene in Episode 1. Sepulba's racer before the race starts used to be orange. Just a nice plain orange. But now...Good Grief! The colors are vibrant and alive. Instead of popping in a new DVD I had to sit and watch the rest of the movie because of the colors. One down side to all this is the fact that I now see the jaggies a bit more. I have a Panny RP91 and with the TV the jags are definitely noticeable.

    But...I am very happy with the cables. Currently the TV is now my weakest link. It's a '96 model and it's showing it's age.

    Doug, I love the cables. If and when I ever get a new TV I'll be looking for some components!
     
  2. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    What s-video cables did you have to compare them with?

    Had a feeling the catcables design would look good. But am concerned with the jaggies though! With a good s-video cable (thats 75 ohm) you really shouldnt get any added jaggies. I had similar experience with a design like the quad cats and the only way to get rid of them was by using the monitors switchable 3.5 mhz filter. Did not have this problem with other s-video cables and some cable guru's think its because the cable design is not true 75 ohm therefore its a hit or miss performance issue. The colors sure look stunning with this type of cable design though.

    Maybe Doug can shed some light on this?
     
  3. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Wow Mark, don't be such an alarmist. [​IMG] I've tried "true" 75ohm S-vid cables (by Monster, AR Pro, Kimber, etc) and none of them produced the quality that I've experienced with my Quadcats attached to my CLD-99. The Kimber were very close, pretty much identical, but much more expensive ($170!).
    Shawn, I'm just about positive the "jaggies" are there because of the superior detail being revealed by the Quadcats (this is also evidenced by the great color saturation you're noticing). I've seen this type of behavior exhibited with S-video connections in the past and more than likely the culprit is your TV and the Panny running in interlaced mode. Althought he RP91 is a superior progressive player, it's only an "average" interlaced player, IMO.
     
  4. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Jerry,
    You are missing the point. I too have tried many of the brands you have mentioned and numerous custom and DIY cables. This type of cable design (4 seperate coax cables with none of the coax shields used) does not work well with all systems. The cable experts will tell you that it is not a 75 ohm design which is the ideal. Unless catcables uses an additonal overall shield then the cable isnt even shielded! Do they? Yes it works and provides a sharp, saturated color but it also cause artifacts such as jaggies etc.. it has nothing to do with the cable being superior or the DVD player not performing well in Interlaced mode.
    I also use a similar design and for the monitor I have it connected to its great. Its a cable I will not replace, its that good. However with others monitors it performs poorly.
    This is not a flame against the CatCables but a caution for the quad cat design. Potential buyers/users of this cable should be aware of its potential shortcomings. If it works in your system then its probably one of the Better cables out there. Next to mine that is[​IMG]
    But others should be aware that you may encounter problems with it.
    Has anyone done a comparison against the bettercables silver serpent s-video cable? It should provide the same saturated colors with the side effects?
     
  5. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Shawn, glad your happy. [​IMG]
    Mark, all I can say is if a cable is providing a cleaner image, jaggies that were less detailed before the cable change, can become more detailed with the change. Net result is, you think the jags have increased, when in reality, the detail has increased, your simply seeing a cleaner image of what SHOULD have been there before! Your seeing things just as they are supposed to be. Players create jaggies, displays display jaggies, but cables don't create jaggies. Part of this answer can be found in why XBox has a more jaggyless image than other gaming systems on the same display. Answer? XBox has anti-aliasing, and the other systems don't- You can find that there's an inherent reason some DVD players create less jags than others, for a similar reason in the technology.
    Lex
     
  6. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Doug,

    Like my cable:

    Your s-video cables are not 75ohm so you can expect some performance problems with some components.

    They are also not shielded so you can expect some noise problems in some set-ups. You are using unconnected, fully floating shields with no signal being passed through them.

    IMO the jaggies are not a desireable trait to have in a cable! With my monitor I can tame this trait.The goal after all is to have a smooth film like, highly detailed image with (accurate) saturated colors. The cable while providing the colors is also providing excessive edge enhancement. Which is why you get the jaggies. Its also why most cable makers avoid using this cable design. Like I said if it works well with your system then its a great cable but it does not work well with most.

    For those of you who want ultimate sharpness using this cable design you will likely have to live with excessive jaggies. To get the color saturation with very close to this sharpness level (without the jaggies) then a true 75ohm ( fully shielded) silver/copper based cable such as the bettercables design may be a better choice for most users.

    For my system I will continue to use this type of design ( similar to quad cat)as it works for me.
     
  7. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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  8. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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  9. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Jerry W,

    How can you say its not a trait of the cable if the cable is the only item you changed and it produced the result? The cable is directly bringing on this result. This cable design will bring on this problem. Its not a trait of a high quality cable but the design used. Remember I use this design. I'm not using the same components as you and I encountered this problem. You will likely encounter jaggies in most systems. If this is the result you can live with then by all means use it. You will get an altra sharp image with great color. But be warned you will likely also get jaggies and possibly other problems due to the lack of shielding.

    I can get very,very close to the sharpness and the same color saturation without the jaggies by switching to a true 75 ohm design, better shielded design that uses dual RG59 teflon insulated, solid core coax cables. The same system, different cable,no jaggies.

    This is not a critism of Catcables but of this design used. Consumers should be aware that all. If I didnt already have a similar design I'd likely try a Quad cat in my system. If it woked I'd keep it, if not I'm sure Doug offers a decent return policy.
     
  10. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Jerry, Doug,

    Perhaps I'm not getting my point across and the wording is entirely wrong.

    Let me try this:

    This type of cable design will likely bring out the jaggies or other problems with your system. If there is any weakness in your system then this type of cable is not the best choice.

    I have tried this cable design on 5 systems so far and each and everyone encounters this problem. The one it works best with is my Proton monitor from the mid 90's

    Just to be fair: I believe Catcables makes very good cables and if this cable works on your system then use and enjoy it.
     
  11. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    In this case I don't believe it's the cable(s). The jaggies presented themselves when I upgraded from my Panasonic A100 to Panasonic RP91. The QuadCats just improved the color and sharpness. Plus, my living room dictates that I sit 6' away from the TV, a bit to close for my tastes. A 6' you can see more than you want. [​IMG]
     
  12. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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  13. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    This explanation from another forum:

    If a cable is not a 75 ohm design and uses no shielding (like the quad cat design)the edge rates are much faster, accounting for the brightness and sharpness. "However this is occuring at the expense of other signal integrity problems that are intruduced, such as overshoot and ringback. There is probably enough reflection to cause the jagged edges."

    This cable design will introduce problems in a lot of systems. The panasonic DVD players jaggies aside. I do not have a panasonic player and did not have the jaggies until I used this cable design.
     
  14. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark, all 4 coaxes of the cable of mine you speak of are sheilded and are high resolution 75 ohm coax. I would thank you to stop implying otherwise. Nothing you say can change that fact. just because you don't use the shield of a 75 ohm cable for anything other than what it was designed for and that's providing protection from EMI, RFI noise, doesn't mean it isn't 75 ohm. End of my comments here.
     
  15. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Doug,

    Never fails!

    If you are going to lurk on this and other forums you should be prepared to deal with questions and comments. Both good and bad

    Please indicate where I state or even hint that your design does not use 4 quality coax cables? If I did I will apologize.

    I state that yours does in fact use 4 coaxes and they may be 75 ohm coax cables of the highest quality.

    By not using the coax cables shield as part of the signal path it is no longer a 75 ohm cable! Once again If I'm wrong I will apologize in full.

    This cable design has been around a long time with the DIY crowd. It has been discussed in depth and the conclusion is: it is not 75 ohm and it is not shielded. While it may be the sharpest cable on the block it has its faults. It will also exagerate faults with the source (jaggies etc..) This is probably why no one else sells this cable design (not to my knowledge anyway).You dont think you invented it do you?

    Just for the record I will give you a break (get off your back)and promise to never comment on your cables again. Here or elsewhere. Unless its to recomend one of your better designs.
     
  16. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, you asked, so here are direct quotes from you:

    "Unless catcables uses an additonal overall shield then the cable isnt even shielded!

    They are also not shielded so you can expect some noise problems in some set-ups."
     
  17. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Mark, I just don't buy that explanation from another forum. It doesn't comply with the facts about MPEG/MPEG2 decoding and the pitfalls of improper implementation of AA. Jaggies come from the decoding process itself, not after the process is complete (such as with an external cable). Since you saw jaggies after you installed that cable, it's probably due to the fact that they've always been there. You just hadn't noticed them until you went to a better quality cable.

    And yes, every strand of the Quadcat cable is shielded, so yes, it is a shielded cable.

    And I wouldn't go blasting Doug out of turn either, defending his product(s) from unsubstantiated claims isn't "lurking". You've had a chip on your shoulder about CAT for quite some time. I don't know why, but it's been pretty obvious. Sure, you'll say some nice things mixed in with the jabs, but it seems like that's only to keep yourself from looking like you're trying to undermine the company. You've been the only person I've seen that seems to go out of his way to find fault with CAT. Hey, maybe I'm incorrect in my view, but others here on HTF have noticed it as well. No, I don't work for CAT. I'm just a very satisfied customer that's very puzzled and concerned about your comments in this thread and in the past.
     
  18. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    For the record. I have nothing against catcables. I would be just as critical of others for the same reasons. Doug just happens to brave the forums and by doing so opens himself to both praise and critism.

    Comments/explanations etc.. removed by me.
     
  19. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Doug,

    Regarding shielding. This is an area that is worthy of a debate and you have every right to question my statement.

    Some very knowledgable people will say that this cable design is not shielded. By using 4 mini coax cables without the shields being connected in any way only provides limited shielding at most and none at worst depending on which authority you listen to.

    To improve the shielding therefore the RFI/EMI protection of this cable design you could try putting an additional shield over all four coax( telescoping design) cables and connecting it at the source end only. Or even better connecting the 4 coax shields at the source end only(to the S-video connectors ground terminal). That would probably be the best solution although difficult to do.

    Still not sure you would attain the 75 ohm rating but it would be shielded and possibly closer to the ideal impedance.

    You would probably end up with a better cable with this fix.
     
  20. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr Rich, you want me to fall victim to arguing, me thinks. It seems you want to provoke me for personal satisfaction or possibly to get me thrown off the forum I think. Well, it's not going to happen. I Private message you, try to reason with you, but nothing seems to get through.

    If you want to call me the Cable King, I am honored, but I never professed to be that. So, your statement is in error that I am self professed Cable King.

    My website link will be back on my personal web page, so don't give me to much credit there. Ron is well aware of this, so there's not much you can do there now.

    I didn't ask for design ideas, if you don't like my design, well, why do you use one that is similarly designed?

    My coaxes are shielded, you just don't agree with that, so let it go at that. Many people are satified with the shielding on cables like this, as is.

    Lastly, you just showed you have a "thing" against me, to make a deal out of me being a forum owner and having my own web site. Inside the bounds of this forum, what possible relevence does that have to anything related to this topic?

    As to my "lurking" on this forum, your dead wrong. I have been a member of this forum, a participating member longer than you, and longer than my company has been in business. I participate in other threads in other parts of this forum, so I am a member, like it or not. Not a lurker- I am a member in many forums, and participate, and am generally well regarded in that vein. So, that's pretty well it Mark. Good day. I am now done in this thread, period, say what you want, there will be no furthere response by me.

    Lex
     

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