Composite/S-Video/Component -- The REAL difference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Fitzsimmons, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Can someone please explain the difference between component/composite/and S-Video connections? My current HT TV doesn't have S video or composite video, am I really going to benefit from an upgrade?
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  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Simply put, starting from the bottom, the yellow composite cable carries the three colors through the one cable.
    Better is the S-video, which has 3 cables inside it that each carry one color.
    Best - component - the 3 colors are in 3 separate cables. The separation of the cables results in less interference, giving you a better picture.
    On smaller TV's it will be harder to see the difference, so if you're just starting out, relax. - unless you just picked up a 65" screen.
    Glenn
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Actually, i think Svideo cables are 2 cables inside, and they carry Chroma and Luma or Color and brightness (AKA Black&White)...
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    As I understand it. Composite has all the chroma (color) and luminance (brightness) combined into one signal. This requires the TV's comb filter to seperate the chroma and luminance (which it never does perfectly) in order to display it.
    SVideo has 4 pins or the positive and negative of 2 wires that allow it to keep the chroma and luminance seperate so the comb filter in the TV isn't required. With things like VHS and Laser Disc players this doesn't matter much because the storage medium has the chroma and luminance combined already so then if you use a SVideo cable the combfilter in the VCR or Laser Disc player does the seperation. If you use a composite cable then the TV's comb filter seperates them (and it is likely of higher quality than the players, so it would be better to use the composite cable). But with DVD and Sat the chroma and luminance are stored seperately on the disc. So SVideo will keep them seperate and you won't end up with any of the side effects of a combfilter (of which there are many, do a search on comb filters on google to learn more about them). If you use composite cable though, the player or sat reciever has to combine the signals and then the TV's comb filter has to seperate them out again.
    Component takes it a step further. One of the wires only carries the luminance. Then both of the two remaing cables carry one of the three primary colors, which I believe is green, while only one of the remaining two carry red and the the other carries blue. I might have gotten those colors mixed up though. If you want just plug in only the Y cable of the component and you can watch black and white [​IMG] Flip the Pb and Pr cables and you get some funky color [​IMG]
    So from a DVD player or a DSS system the upgrade to Svideo will be quite noticeable (unless the set is really small). I couldn't tell the difference between SVideo and Component though with my 43" Sony.
    [Edited last by Dustin B on September 01, 2001 at 02:32 AM]
     
  5. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    My home theater TV is a 27". Because it's kind of old it only has composite connections. Sounds like it would be worthwhile to step up to a TV with S-video and while I am at it might as well get component too.
    What do you think a good TV would be to step up to? I'm thinking a 27" Sony Wega. I am limited to 27" because that's all the stand will fit, and I will have a very hard time getting my parents to buy a new stand thing.
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  6. John Coleman

    John Coleman Guest

    All of the facts Dustin listed are dead-on. However I figured I would add a few things.
    Namely, I find the difference between composite and s-video to not be night and day. I find s-video gives a better black level, and I find the colors are not as soft as with composite.
    Component, however, is truly an improvement over the lesser two connections. First off, a component connection is capable of twice the resolution of an s-video connection. Also, since component carries partial color information on two of its channels (red and blue), the conversion to RGB is MUCH easier (process can handle a significant amount more of picture information).
    Anyway, please feel free to e-mail me privately with any further questions regarding cables or connections. I hope this helped.
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    John Coleman
    Cobalt Cable
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