Component Video Cables- need advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel_M, Oct 9, 2001.

  1. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for component video cables to
    run from my DVD player to my ceiling mounted
    projector- a distance of twenty five feet.
    Although the specs for most of the
    cables I've researched seem similar, the prices
    for 25 ft. of cable run from $150 to $2000.
    Other than solid silver connectors on the
    most expensive ones, there doesn't seem to
    be alot of difference.What should I be looking
    for in a high quality cable, or is this a
    buyer beware kind of thing as it is with speaker cable.
    I like the bettercables.com Silver Serpent and they
    get some good, impartial reviews, but they look
    a little flimsy. Anybody have these cables?
    Also looking at Cobalt Cable, Audioquest is
    too pricy for the amount of cable I need.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    try http://www.catcables.com
    [Edited last by Andrew Pratt on October 09, 2001 at 11:54 AM]
     
  3. Bruce Karsten

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    You could make your own using RG6 cable with F connectors on the cable and F connector to RCA converters from Radio Shack. I am running this setup 28 feet to my Sharp 9000 and the picture looks fantastic!
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have heard very good things about Canare cables. But I don't have them, don't know where to get them, or even if I spelled the name right! [​IMG] Maybe some others know for sure...
    (I'm stuck with s-video for the moment.)
    ------------------
     
  5. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    $2000 for a cable, eh? Ouch.
    Personally, I see no reason to spend even $150. As Bruce said, use RG-6. Instead of making it yourself, my recommendation would be to go down and buy three pre-made, ~25 foot cables (~$30). That way, they're already crimped properly, and they're all the exact same length. Then get 6 F -> RCA converters (~$10) and have at it. Quality should be excellent. You can get this stuff almost anywhere. Radio Shack, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
    Worst case scenerio, you don't like the quality so you return everything and spend $150+ on another cable.
    ------------------
    -Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
     
  6. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your replies to
    my original post.
    In that post, in order to keep it
    short, I didn't mention that
    I've had the projector for 3 years
    and the original component cables
    were thrown in for free when I
    bought the projector. Within months I started
    to have problems with my picture. Hum bars,
    color shifts etc. I thought the problem was
    due to the proximity of the cables to the
    a/c lines running beside them to the
    potlights in my ceiling.
    To try to make a long story short- after
    alot of diagnostic work including rewiring
    my potlights the problem turned out to be
    the component cables themselves. I later found
    out the projector salesmen soldered the RCA and
    BNC connectors himself using the cheapest connectors
    and cable he could get. They were probably
    easly damaged anyway and he probably did a
    number on the connectors when he fished them through
    the wall. In other words, I got what I paid for.
    So I'm a little wary of soldering connectors myself
    as it is a critical job and one mistake, one loose
    wire can mess up the whole system. I'd prefer
    to buy from a company the specializes in making cables.
    However, I don't want to get ripped off either.
    I'll try some of your cable company suggestions.
    Thanks again,
    Dan.
     
  7. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Daniel: It's a good idea to keep things in perspective. For example, it doesn't make sense to use a $2000 component cable to connect to a $500 dvd player. It terms of performance, I don't believe you will find any cable that outperforms RG6 coax and I don't believe 3 25' lengths of RG6 should sell for $2000.
    Their reviews seem to indicate that they provide a better picture then the BC cables and I can say they have amazing build quality.
    I've also read numerous good reviews for CatCables. In fairness, however, I've not read any unbiased reviews that suggests they are any better than BetterCables.
    ------------------
    http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/theater.htm
     
  8. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Dan..
    I have the bettercables component video. I switched to it from the Audioquest about 2 months ago. I agree, it looks flimsy compared to the Audioquest's since the AQ was roughly 3 times the size of the bettercable's. HOWEVER, the picture on my Wega is outstandning!! I'm very happy with the change and wouldn't go back. I haven't tried catcables, but the seem to have a good following as well.
    The nice thing is that either the cat or bc can be returend if you're not happy, so you have nothing to loose.
    ------------------
     
  9. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    I agree with you but I also heard the
    flip side of your argument which goes...
    You pay 15 grand for a projector and
    2 grand for a DVD player. Why pinch your
    pennies when it comes to the cable which
    is critical to the performance of the projector?
    What I'm wondering is, how true is this point
    of view? Is the $2000.00 component cable
    really all that better than the one that sells
    for $150.00??
    I just don't know that much about how these cables
    are made to make a judgement. I'm hoping someone
    here can help.
    Cheers
    Dan
     
  10. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Dan, let me put it this way. A 1 meter BetterCable sells for $100 and the 1 meter CatCable sells for $110. In my opinion, you might find less expensive cables that will perform just as well, but you can't buy a cable at any price that will outperform either of these cables in your system. In other words, no matter how much a system costs, the absolute most I'd be willing to pay for a 1 meter component video cable is $110.
     
  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    I am running a 20ft component cable from Ultralink and also a 20ft Ultralink silver triple shielded s-video cable. All I can say is, if I had to run 25ft or more and that custom component cable cost me more than cdn$200, I would run 3 rg-6 cables with F-RCA adaptors on the ends as mentioned in one of the above posts.
    ------------------
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~orange1[​IMG]
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    My Favourite Movie
     
  12. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    I second Bruce's recommendation.
    I have the exact same cable setup as he does. It looks fantastic. IMO 110 dollars for a meter of cable is just plain crazy. I spent less than 30 dollars on my three 25' cables and I would be willing to bet some serious money that the "Catcables" or "better cables" don't look any better than my homemade cables. Just make sure the cable and connectors you use are all 75OHM.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  13. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    Maybe the expensive cables are
    for suckers, just like some kinds
    of so-called high end speaker cable.
    I failed soldering 101 in high school
    and have been warned off the Radio Shack
    RCA/BNC adaptors when I posted here a few
    weeks ago. So I'll probably go with Better Cables,
    Cat's or Cobalt.
    If you want to see the REAL pricy cables
    check out this site
    http://www.audioadvisor.com/store/pr...0Video%20Cable
    I pasted this link in, hope it works.....
    Dan
     
  14. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Daniel,
    The search function isn't working right now so I can't look to see who gave you that advice a couple weeks ago but whomever it was is ignorant IMO.
    Kevin C.
     
  15. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Bruce/et. al:
    I often recommend ordinary CATV RG6 coax for long subwoofer cables. It works fine for audio frequencies.
    But with respect, I must disagree with the idea that you can take generic CATV coax and use it for long component video cables.
    Different coax is designed for different frequencies.
    CATV coax transmitts RF frequencies so RG59 is fine
    DSS systems get into microwave frequencies so RG6 is fine
    But Video and HD/Progressive Video signals need a cable that can pass frequencies up to 1 GHz.
    (The rule is: take the highest frequency you might possibly send down the cable. Double this. Then find a cable that can pass this frequency down 100 feet of coax with less than 15 db reduction.)
    Take a look at this frequency-response chart for a good Canare Video cable:
    [​IMG]
    Look at the area between 50 Mhz and 700 Mhz. Notice how the signal slants down? (And this is a Good HD video cable).
    Your generic CATV coax will do the same thing, but at a lower (RF) frequency range. Can you imagine what the slope of the line is when you shove Video or Progressive Video signals down the generic coax? It will be below the Yellow line (L-3CFB coax).
    Will you see video with generic CATV coax? Yes, but the higher frequencies are getting reduced a LOT more than the lower ones. Sure, you can compensate with the color adjustments on the TV/Projector. But now you are over-driving one of the guns to compensate for the cable, it will wear out sooner and you now have red-bloom issues, etc.
    The "best" cable costs about $1.80 / foot for the 3-conductor L-7CFB. (Plus Cut-charge, shipping, etc). So we are not talking exotic prices here. It's well worth the $120 for one of these cables, or go to Chris White's web site and he has picture of how to do it yourself.
    And you should note that I am not a fan of expensive/exotic cables. But I do believe you should buy good Belden/Canare cables for video when:
    - Your display increases much above 50"
    - You have a long run (> about 15 feet)
    - You start shoving HD/Progressive video down the wire
    Good Luck.
     
  16. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob,
    Your post is the kind of tech info
    that I was looking for. It is much
    appreciated. Still, no one has mentioned
    connector quality which seems to be one
    of Audioquest's (the expensive cable)
    big selling points. Solid silver? Must
    be a pretty big deal for them to charge
    so much more than the others.
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  18. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Daniel_M: You are correct. The RCA connector is a often-overlooked part of a good video cable.
    Right now, the "king-of-the-hill" RCA connector for video cables is the Canare unit. It promises to be true 75 ohm.
    When "Secrets of Home Theater" did their in-depth review of Progressive Scan DVD players, they used some sensitive test equipment to look at the video signal. They tried several cables, but found that some of them would affect the signal depending upon how the cable ran, or if someone touched the connector.
    They built a custom cable with the Canare connectors and it seemed more stable than the others so they used this one cable for all the different tests.
    There is a guy on eBay that sells cables with Canare connectors and coax. Here is a link to one of his auctions where he says everything better than I could. (No, I'm not pushing you to use this guy. But I like the information he puts on his auctions)
    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1282773522
    Good Luck.
     
  19. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    Bob - I just wanted to point out that the cables being sold by the individual on ebay use individual runs of L-4CFB. L-4CFB is RG59 coax which, as you pointed out in your previous post, is not a particularly good cable compared to L-5CFB or L-7CFB. I would also suggest that Canare V3-CFB is also better than 3 runs of L-5CFB.
    ------------------
    http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/theater.htm
     
  20. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    The RCA connectors on my original cable
    were soldered and not to well.
    The projector end is a F connector
    which then screws into the female end
    of a BNC connector. The core of the cable
    had to be tinned to make it stronger and
    make it fit snugly into the BNC. In one
    cable the F connector fell off and in another
    the core was either not long enough or broke
    off inside the BNC connector. In the third cable
    the RCA connector solder job was so poor
    the connection was intermittent.
    Yes I could do it myself, but like I said,
    soldering is an art and my talents lie elsewhere.
    F connentor crimping is no joy either. These connections
    have to be strong as the whole works need to
    be fished 12 feet down a heating duct and then
    13 feet across the ceiling. I don't mind
    paying (no too much Audioquest!) for the job
    to be done right.
    I am however learning a lot about cable technology,
    both here and elsewhere on this amazing research
    tool called the internet.
    I am very impressed with Canare cables and spoke to their
    Canadian distributer today who will get back
    to me with a price tomorrow. If they are comparable
    in price to Bettercables, Cats and Cobalt I will probably
    go with them.
    You can check out their site at..... http://www.Canare.com/cablemainframe.html
     

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