Component Video Cable Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Joe Pick, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anyone recommend a component video cable brand that's easy to find in stores? I need 3: DVD>receiver, Cable DVR box>receiver, Receiver>HDTV (Sony KD34XBR970). All I seem to see out there is Monster and AR.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    RCA, Phillips, GE?

    Walmart has this RCA one, don't know it if will be on sale live though.
     
  3. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I'm unsure of what to buy in a price vs. performance manner. I'm tempted to buy Monster component cables. They're expensive, but are they worth it? I've seen the Acoustic Research and Pure AV brands at the big box stores.

    FYI, I'm getting a new Sony 34XBR970 to go along with a Sony DVD player, Comcast cable DVR (Motorola 3412), Onkyo TX-SR703 and PSB image Series speakers. I'll use the component cables to connect my DVD>receiver, Cable DVR box>receiver, Receiver>HDTV.

    I want good quality, but don't want to overspend if I don't have to.
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    No Monster is not worth it. They make no detectable difference whatsoever. Put your HT money into components where you can get something for your money, like speakers/displays, or to get additional components (good universal remote, upgrade to HD-DVD etc.) or software (Netflix rentals, buying more DVDs). Money in fancy cables is just wastage, line the pockets of the Monster et al execs while giving you nothing in return but placebo effect.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Joe.

    If you can wait 2 days - buy a custom cable from www.bluejeanscables.com. These cables are made with the coax/plugs that the broadcast studios use. These tend to be about the same price as the low->mid priced Monster cables, but unlike Monster - these cables have the technical performance that rival the high-end cables. (Professional studios do NOT spend $220 for a component cable despite what the ads tell you).

    Another point: "Component video" is a 1940's standard. While these cables will appear to work for progressive or HD video - they may not be designed for the higher-frequency signals. Look for numbers on the back of the packag saying the cables have a bandwidth around 90 Mhz or better, or "HD Compatible". The custom cables tend to all be HD compatible.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Good point. The aforementioned component cables that I use have "HDTV compatible" ritght on the cable themselves. They work terriffic.
     
  7. Gerard Martin

    Gerard Martin Second Unit

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    Have to second that Blue Jeans recommendation, great cables, great price, fast service. Good people.
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Unnecessary point. Don't need any "HDTV compatible" label as they are all HD-compatible. They not only "appear to work", they *do* work. One isn't running anywhere close to the limit of these things - the RG-59 in a typical cheap < $20 component cable is the same stuff being used to carry dozens of your cable TV channels chewing up 6Mhz of bandwidth per channel. One worries about using high bandwidth cable when carrying signals in the Ghz range, like satellite dish -> receiver, or HD-SDI serial digital video, not analog baseband HD at an order of magnitude lower frequency.
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I'm afraid I must disagree that "all component cables" are HD-compatible. Like roads and sprinkler pipe, these things are all built with a different pressure, speed or frequency.

    The trick with coax is to calculate the maximum frequency you plan to use. Then you multiply that number by 3 or 4 (to avoid effects when things suddenly jump in frequency). Then you find coax that has 50% loss about this number. (This is called the 'bandwidth').

    For video - here are the numbers:

    480i = 4 Mhz max = cable with 12 Mhz as the -3db point
    480p = 13 Mhz max = cable with 50 Mhz as the -3db point
    720p/1080i = 35 Mhz max = cable with 100 Mhz as the -3db point

    While you might believe that any cable with 3 RCA plugs is "component" and "HD Compatible" - ask yourself this: when was the last time you bought a lower end pipe/tire/rope and just assumed it had the same capacity as the slightly more expensive pipe/tire/rope? The answer is you dont. Just because the proper cables and the cheap cables all have 6 RCA plugs does NOT mean they are all the same capacity.

    The problem is: retail cables dont include attenuation charts or frequency specs. So Stephen may have found some $20 cables that are really HD video compatible. But I wouldnt trust the cables unless they said something about HD video.

    I spent about $3,300 for my HD TV. Then I added 2 ~$60 cables for my HD and progressive sources. I bought them because they were built for HD video and these were a LOT cheaper than many of the name-brand cables.

    I still DO have a few Radio Shack cables - for my standard def devices. [​IMG]
     
  10. JjSeVdT

    JjSeVdT Auditioning

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    I use Monster because I used my step-bro's employee discount at a large blue and yellow retailer. With the discount they generally run about 60% Off. If you want the best quality, why don't you use HDMI from a DVD Player and your TV has digital audio out so you can send that digital signal to the receiver.
     
  11. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    When you are only using things to a tiny % of their maximum, the max capacity is irrelevant. If the road can handle traffic at 150 mph, you don't worry about the difference between going at 2 mph & 10 mph. If you have choice between a loading cable rated to carry 2000 pounds and another rated to carry 3000 pounds, you don't have to switch from one to the other when lifting a 20 pound item vs. a 120 pound item. And if you know you are so far away from the limits you don't have to bother looking for specs.

    If this were truly an issue, Belden would be clearly marking some cables as "HD-capable", and others as "not-HD capable", and manuals of HD STBs & HD DVD players would all have lots of warnings about using component video cable of the proper rating. But it's not an issue, so they don't.

    I repeat - worry about cable if running signals close to Ghz (1000 Mhz+) arena, e.g. HD-SDI, not HD analog baseband (0-40 Mhz). For 12 feet of component video cable, HD or not, any of these decent $8-20 sets from Wal-mart/Target/various online vendors will work perfectly fine. Save your money & buy another DVD or two instead.
     

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