Help me decide - RCA or S-Video?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by glen donald, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. glen donald

    glen donald Extra

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    I want to run the video signal from my DVD player > Amp > T.V.

    Currently I am using RCA as my video signal, but thinking of S-Video. Which is better? Should I bother?


    Cheers,
     
  2. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    S-Video is better, but why bother? use COmponent [​IMG] its better than both of them.

    but most people will also suggest that you run straight from source to tv if possible, switching is convenient but i avoid it unless i ahve to use it.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Home Theater magazine compared all 3 video connections from a DVD player to a "Reference" 50" TV. They concluded:

    Composite: baseline
    SVideo: 20% improvement over Composite
    Component: 25% improvement over Composite

    They also noted that the differences were GREATER for larger displays, and less for smaller televisions.

    Try this: Hook both composite (single RCA cable) and SVideo into separate inputs on your TV. Freeze a colorfull frame of video and then toggle the TV back and forth between the Composite and SVideo feed. The difference should be visible.
     
  4. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    The difference between RCA and S-Video quality is huge. OOPS, Bob beat me to it! [​IMG]
     
  5. glen donald

    glen donald Extra

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    Oh wow - I didn't know S-Video was better!

    Hey I will try the tips guys.

    One thing I don't understand is, why is it better to bypass my video signal from the amp and hook it straight to the TV?

    I am thinking, is it a case of the less 'chains' the better?
     
  6. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Glen,

    I think its better to go from the DVD player to the TV to minimize any interference the amp may introduce.

    Kevin
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    The longer the signal path, the more chance for interference and degradation.

    Besides cable length, loss occurs at every connection point as well. Plus, some AV receivers do some processing...

    How much degradation depends on many factors: cable length, cable quality, connector / jack quality, switcher quality...

    Assuming good cables, solid connections, and a quality A/V receiver, you should be able to go through your receiver's switch with very little in the way of noticeable loss. So, if convenience in switching is a factor for you, go ahead and go through your AV receiver. If you want to eek out that little bit of extra quality which may not even be visible on your particular set, then go for the shortest route possible. In my setup, the DVD player connects direct to the TV via component connections... everything else is SVideo through my receiver. This gives me the direct-connect quality where it really counts... other sources tend to be of poorer quality, anyway.

    -Scott

    -Scott
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Scott nailed it! [​IMG] I second everything he said.

    You should only go through the receiver if you have 2 or more SVideo devices. Otherwise ... there is nothing to 'switch'. (think about it)

    Note: for the old family VCR that gets used a few times per year, you can get a "Composite to SVideo Adaptor" plug from Radio Shack for about $20. The quality is .. so so, but unless you watch a lot of tapes, it's a good compromise. This lets you send SVideo from almost all sources to the receiver like Scott suggested.
     
  9. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    DITTO[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. BobAZ

    BobAZ Stunt Coordinator

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  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Go with S-video. No contest. [​IMG]
     

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