component cable - increased length bad?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Darren Lang, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Darren Lang

    Darren Lang Extra

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    I'm pretty new to the world of HD televisions so please be gentle with me. I have a pioneer elite pro 710hd television and I have my DVD player hooked up to it with a 10 foot component cable ( v2 Tributaries maximum performance ofc video cable - model DCVC ). I'm moving my equipment rack further away from my TV and I need to get a longer component cable. The new length I need is now 20 feet. I intend to trade in my cable and buy the exact same brand and model of cable. I have heard that longer runs of cable will give you poorer performance. Will I need to worry about getting a poorer picture with a 20 foot cable instead of a 10 foot one? The cable is a fairly expensive one. The 10 foot one was $220 ( Canadian ) and the 20 foot one is $310 ( Canadian ).

    Any information is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Dont worry about it.

    When the cable manufacturers make a video coax cable, they roll out 100 feet, shove higher and higher frequencies in one end and brag about the results at the other.

    While you may be sold on your current brand, the best bang-for-the-buck cables are the custom cable web sites. They buy spools of HD rated coax and build custom cables like the production studios use. (Trust me - the broadcast industry does NOT pay $220 for a 10 ft cable).

    Since you have a HDTV, make sure the cables you buy have some wording like "HDTV rated" or "100 Mhz bandwidth". Ordinary component cables only have to handle a maximum frequency of 4 Mhz.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    To begin with, consider reading the following link.

    As Bob pointed out, going from 10 feet to 20 is not an issue. While it is true that whenever one increases the length of any cable, be it speaker wires, video cables, the romex in your house, spark plug wires, etc., there will be some signal loss, it comes down to the question of 'how much loss' before there's a problem. Regardless of the fact that you have an HDTV which admittedly does have a high bandwidth, your limiting source is your DVD player. The link above touches upon that and it should be fairly clear that if your cable (assume 20 feet) has a bandwidth of 100 mHz or 500 mHz or 1 gHz or 3 gHz it's irrelevant from the point of visual performance. All the choices are vast overkills and none of the choices will tax your DVD player. So it really comes down to the question of not 'which is the best cable' but rather it comes down to 'what specifications do I need to do the job'.

    It is my opinion that you should strongly reconsider your decision to go with Tributary. For starters they provide no useful information to base a decision, even a theoretical one, for the end-user. They are most certainly not a manufacturer of cable unless one applies the broadest and sloppiest of definitions to the term. Further the prices are spectacularly outrageous. Consider for example that the following cable from National Tech vastly exceeds the requirements and at a US price of about $21 for 25 feet. I would suspect that cosmetic differences aside, performance would be visually indistinguishable.

    While even broadcast quality cables are overkill for your intended application, they at least have the merit of providing specifications and even in the modest of flavors, provide a large degree of overkill. It would seem prudent to simply suggest that you purchase a cable with the following criteria: RG59, multi-stranded copper center conductor, double shielded. This will give you a cable that is fairly flexible and not so big or heavy that it becomes awkward to work with. This could easily be used for lengths of 100 feet. Unless you have a compelling reason then there's no need to go quad-shielded.
     
  4. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Darren, I have 40-foot component cables with no problem. They were made by using RG6 cable with adapters on the ends to convert from f-connectors to RCA. An audio/video store made them up for me but you could do it using Radio Shack stuff. Just don't get RG59 - not as good. Oh, and either buy some coloured tape or find some other way to label each end!
     

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