Describe artifacts from bad component cables

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Chris T. Kennedy, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Chris T. Kennedy

    Chris T. Kennedy Stunt Coordinator

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    So what sort of visual issues are you going to have using component cables that suck compared to those that are high end? (When running an HD signal, btw)

    Have any of you dealt with the need to make a "cable upgrade?"

    Please share your knowledge.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    You can see loss of focus (but unless you had proper cables and repeating some scene you were familar with, you may not notice).

    You might see ghost outlines caused by reflections in the cable - usually caused by the wrong impedence RCA plug.

    You are more likely to see these artifacts if the cable is carrying a 720 or 1080 signal because of the higher frequencies involved. Less likely with a progressive video feed at 480p.

    And -- you are more likely to see these artifacts if you have a larger display.

    The smart money is to contact one of the custom cable sites and have them make you some cables using broadcast quality coax and connectors. These cable cost about $50 each, but rival $200 retail cables in performance. Unlike retail cables, the technical specs are available.

    Here is a dirty-little secret: "Component Cables" only have to be compatible with the 1940 component video standard. Progressive/720/1080 HD video run at higher frequencies. Please dont buy just any cables unless the packaging specifically says "HD Video" or terms like "90 Mhz Bandwidth" or you are trusting the manufacturer to 'be nice' and selling you HD rated cables, but at a cheaper price.

    Note: Some companies throw lots of words at you about the exotic gas used in the foam, and the number of cuts in the RCA plug so you dont notice the lack of more important technical data like frequency response. Dont fall for this marketing snow-job.

    Go to www.bluejeanscables.com and check out the selection and prices. Then search here to find many satisfied customers.
     
  3. Chris T. Kennedy

    Chris T. Kennedy Stunt Coordinator

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    Done.

    I have heard a lot of people mentioning Blue Jeans around here, and your write-up (which I appreciate!) pushed me to the edge.

    I have a set of component cables which pretty much has artifacts similar to what you described above. The wiring flops around as if it was a lamp cord.

    I got a new Hitachi 57" television today, and things *weren't* quite as pretty as I thought they would be when using that cord. (Broadcast HDTV looked great, though!)
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Which Hitachi did you get? I had my sights on both a Ultravision RPTV or one of those LCD units.

    While soft-rubber cables 'feel' nice, these are not usually the best for video quailty.

    Note that BlueJeans offers at least 3 different types of coax. Read the descriptions to get an idea of how stiff the cable is. I made a similar set of cables with the Canare coax for a fellow HTF member, and it almost lifted the DVD player off the shelf because it was so stiff.
     
  5. Chris T. Kennedy

    Chris T. Kennedy Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Bob. Laaaate response from me, but I wanted to mention that I picked up the Hitachi 57S715 (CRT RPTV).

    I am currently using the HDMI cable for DVD & using the bluejeanscable component for Xbox.
     
  6. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris

    Radio Shack as a line of high quality cables at very reasonable prices. I use them on my Hitachi and NO artifacts at all. Save your money.
     
  7. Blkout

    Blkout Agent

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    And I'd bet my house that Blue Jeans cables would put them to shame. [​IMG]
     
  8. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the thread-fart BLKOUT ,Very informative and well documented.[​IMG]
     
  9. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    Ill wager the blue jeans cables against anything. I have owned Monster, Radio Shack, Parts express, and several others and the blue jean cables are clearly the best value. Notice I said value, medium-low prices for top quality cables. As an added bonus with Blue jeans you pay for the length you need. Their service is impecable, I have purchased at least half a dozen cables from them (component, analog multichannel, subwoofer, rca).
     
  10. Blkout

    Blkout Agent

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    Same here, I've never been more impressed with a set of cables.
     
  11. Blkout

    Blkout Agent

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    I would say Blue Jeans cables are VERY well documented.
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok guys.. HTF is about respect so lets keep that in mind.

    I too have often recommended Radio Shack or AR Pro2 cables for:

    - Standard Video Sources
    - Display sizes up to about 40"

    But for larger sized displays or HD video, I prefer a $50 cable that has the specs for the frequencies involved. The $29-$39 Radio Shack/AR cables dont include any technical information about their bandwidth. (yes, I have contacted both Radio Shack and Recton with no response).

    Please note: it is VERY hard to see issues cause by the cables watching live video. The static test-patterns like the fine-focus patterns are more definitive for these types of tests. But even I dont have anything that produces a test pattern at 720p or 1080i (unless you count freeze-framing a HD recording of "Desperate Housewives".)

    Uhmmmmm...Teri Hatcher in High Def...

    (Boy she sure looses her clothes a lot on that show!)
     

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