Component v S-Video - is it that noticeable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew Howe, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Andrew Howe

    Andrew Howe Auditioning

    Nov 10, 1999
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    In Australia it is currently extremely difficult to get a widescreen TV with component input, since most of the sets are sourced from Europe (and therefore use SCART connectors). I've been holding off on buying a widescreen until component-input sets become widely available, but it's taking a long time, and I'm sick of watching my DVD's on a 4:3 screen.

    However, the non-component sets usually have S-Video, so my option is to accept S-Video as a reasonable alternative to component. So here's the question - is the improvement in picture quality between S-Video and component suitably dramatic to make it worth waiting another 10 months for a component-input TV, or are we talking a minor improvement that is nice to have but doesn't matter much if you don't?

    Thanks folks

  2. David Abrams

    David Abrams Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 20, 2001
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    DVDs are formatted in the component domain and therefore by playing them back in the component domain you are getting the full picture resolution that is on the DVD (provided the player and display device can handle it). Component also allows you to use progressive scanning which will allow you to view an entire frame of video instead of odd and even fields making the picture more filmlike and hopefully without any motion artifacts. But as to your question....When component DVDs are shown out of on S-Video output the DVD player has to limit the chroma (color) part of the signal which reduces some of the resolution making less color resolution in the picture (I hope that just made sense).

    In essence though it is up to you. It is possible to purchase an HDTV with a line doubler in it over here so hopefully you can get an excellent one over there. Will the picture be significantly different, no, but will it be better most likely. Tough decision.

    Good Luck,

    David Abrams

    ISF Calibrationist
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Home Theater Magazine did a comparison and came up with the following conclusions for a 50" Reference TV:

    Composite Connection - baseline

    SVideo - 20% "better" than Composite

    Component - 25% "better" than Composite

    So it is a law of diminishing returns. They also noted that the improvements are greater if the display size is larger, and the differences are smaller if ... the display is smaller.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Nov 1, 1998
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    If the TV accepts RGB it has all of the benefits of component video although you need a Y/Pb/Pr to RGB transcoder (circuitry) to convert the video signal from most DVD players.
    RGB, like component, may be interlaced or progressive. Check the TV instructions to see what scan rates are supported.
    Video hints:

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