how noticeable s-video vs. component

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by lee.b, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Smee again!

    Hope I'm not overstaying my welcome with my questions.

    I had the opportunity to watch a dvd the other night on a sony that had s-video but no component in. As far as I can tell, it was a 'little' improvement over just the composite that I used before picking up the s-video cord.

    My question, for when I get my new tv, is the difference between component and s-video more dramatic than between s-video and composite. And, is a $10 recoton s-video cord detrimental to the picture. Thanks for the input (no pun)..and, as I stated in another thread..I implore those who like a good dvd movie to try 'The legend of 1900'. Just trying to give something back to the folks that are so helpful here.
     
  2. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I forget the general rule but starting from composite (regular single yelloy RCA plug) for video and moving to s-video and then to component...

    composite - 5% improvement
    s-video - 25% improvement
    component - 30% improvement

    By far the biggest jump in picture quality is from composite to s-video. with s-video you'll notice a lot better edge defintion and color. With component you'll see deeper, true color over s-video.

    hope this helps. Also remember that progressive scan DVD players (almost a must if you get into this hobby) and high defintion require component video connections.

    General rule of thumb? avoid composite connections if you can, use component at all times (if you can) and s-vid if your source doesn't allow component.
     
  3. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply. Here's a related follow up that'll I'll try to keep on this thread unless I don't get the responses.

    I thought I read that conmponent out and use the same rca cables that I use for composite. It was my understanding that there was no signal degradation by using regular generic rca cables.

    Now I'm told, my nephew, that 'monster cables' is the only way to go, and that using rca is a recipe for disappointment. Am I to think that generic rca cables used in component jack, will nullify the last 5% of improvement over s-video?? Thanks in advance for help on that issue.
     
  4. Justin Hargis

    Justin Hargis Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're going to use the Yellow, Red, & White cables for the component cables, do this:

    Yellow = Green
    Red = Red
    White = Blue
     
  5. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    The point is that video is stored on dvd's in component format, thus outputting dvd video to your tv via component keeps the signal more true to how it is stored on the dvd. when you go to s-video out, the dvd player must "downconvert" the video from component form to S-video. When you output via composite output, it has to downconvert even more. Thus, outputting to your display device via component output requires little to no downconversion on the players part, thus resulting in a more true image.

    As for cables, we all hear and see different things. My personal experience is that video cable quality makes a difference, but audio does not. I have never been able to hear a difference switching between different digital fiber optic cables or from fiber to digital coaxil.

    I have seen differences when upgrading video cables. I have switched out both composite and s-video cables to monster cables, and have seen noticeable differences in video quality with both composite and s-video. Monster cables do tend to be a little expensive. I've used Acoustic Research Pro series with good results. I've also read about Rhino cables here on the forum that everyone seems to like.
     
  6. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg, thanks...just curious, are you running a long length for those cables, or smaller 3-4 feet. Thanks again.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Lee: Audio and Video cables CAN be different.
    All video cables must be made with something called 75 ohm coax. Audio cables can be made with any of the popular impedences: 50, 75, 110, 300. So when you ask:
     
  8. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Lee,

    I am using cable runs of less than 6 feet.
     
  9. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    Why not also include SDI, DVI, and RHBHV, hehe?
     
  10. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, thank you for the loooong answer. I truly appreciate you taking the time to put that all down for me.

    I 'think' I've got things a bit straight now. Just for anyone's information, I ask because I am looking to get something akin to the latest sony 27kv300 and am trying to anticipate what the dvd component cable connection wil do...when compared to my mothers 32" three year old trinitron that only has s-video. I'm using the ten dollar recoton cable for that, and the picture 'seems' to be better than with composite.

    While looking forward (or, hoping) to having a better picture with a new sony w/component cable, I just want to make sure I don't ruin the signal with too cheap cables..or spend money by over killing.

    Thanks to all for the responses.
     
  11. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd also like to add something. Disclaimer-- I work in retail, and make money selling Monster Cable.
    Now, while the video quality might be noticeably better on that small a screen (probably), the reason I try to sell people Monster is simple-- it eliminates headaches down the road.
    Let me explain-- we use several kinds of cable to make our hookups work. Some is basically coax with RCA plugs, some is just thin black wires with RCA plugs, and some is Monster. Now, being as it's a retail environment and a lot of the other salespeople are . . . let's be kind . . . often in a hurry, I often find wires kinked, pulled into weird loops, and otherwise maltreated.
    Coax cable with RCA ends dies from time to time when it takes the abuse. Thin black wires with RCA plugs will literally tear apart. But I've never seen a Monster cable die. Ever.
    So, I don't particularly care if my customer gets it because of better video quality (although, IMHO, it does look better on a big enough screen). I just don't want that customer coming back in half a year, and telling me I sold them a bum DVD player, when what they really have is a broken or kinked wire...
    I present this only for what it's worth. I've never worked with the higher-end cables described above, and so can't comment on their durability or quality. I'll probably buy a few of each kind in my next big HT remodelling, because I'd really like to compare for myself...
    However, I always recommend buying cable that's mechanically strong (_not_ the stuff that comes in the box), just because you never know when that cable will be holding up the DVD player your cat just knocked off the shelf. [​IMG]
    Me
     
  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Lee(?),
    There still seems to be some slight confusion, if I'm reading your last post correctly.
    You SHOULD see an improvement w/ component video over composite video for DVDs. The picture should be sharper/clearer w/ wider range of colors. And unless you have a very good comb filter, composite video will exhibit dot crawl.
    Component uses 3 separate connections/cables to pass the 3 video signals YUV. Composite, OTOH, uses only 1 connection/cable to pass a combined video signal that encodes YUV--and a comb filter is needed to separate the Y part. Yes, the video cables you use for component video and composite video can be interchangeable although you'll need 3 cables for component and just 1 for composite.
    Also, it is not exactly correct to say component and s-video (Y separated from UV) will always be better than composite video. It all depends on the actual video source. If the source is composite video, eg. VHS, Laserdisc, then it depends on the comb filter (and possibly other factors). Your typical SVHS VCR or LD player might not have as good a comb filter as a good TV. If your TV's comb filter is better, then there's good likelihood that composite video connection is preferable.
    BTW, when you look at the chart provided above, you should know that regular (NTSC) DVD tops out at 6.75Mhz while progressive scan DVD tops out at 13.5Mhz, so only that part of the chart is directly relevant for DVD. HD bandwidth is higher topping out at 37Mhz although it's much lower in practice--maybe 22-25Mhz for 1080i--so don't be unduly impressed by such charts either. If the cheap AR Pro cables measure just as well upto the 50Mhz mark, then it'd already be far more than enough for any present-day video usage. Maybe if we start seeing HD-DVD 1080p output or the like, then there's the possible need to go beyond that. But then again, you probably won't be using an analog HD signal for HD-DVD anyway given the industry trend.
    _Man_
    PS: For more info about this video bandwidth stuff, check here:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/bandwid.htm
     
  13. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

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    If you are going to go the component route you might want to invest in a $20 coax crimper and $8 coax stripper, some quad-shield RG6 coax, some F-connectors to terminate and some F-to-RCA adapters.

    Home Depot is selling 500' reels of QS-RG6 for less than $40 in their most inexpensive offering. I do not think its a copper core, but maybe aliminux or tin or something else. O previously bought a 250' spool of QS-RG6 with solid copper 18AWG for about $45. I used this stuff originally for the DirecTivo connections (four runs for two STBs). I plan on using this for all electrical interconnects (not speaker wire, of course).

    You may want to give it a try.
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks, Bob, for expounding on the relevance of chart.
    I stand corrected. I forgot to consider that these kinds of measurements/charts usually only apply to some test signal that do not resemble realworld use. It's really true of just about every product we buy whether it's cables for bandwidth or TVs for resolution or amplifiers for clean power or cars for gas mileage.
    I didn't think though that one would really need the cable bandwidth to be quite that high, which is partly why I singled out the 50Mhz mark as good enough. If you only need double the signal bandwidth, then 50Mhz should be good enough for everything except 720p (and possibly 1080p some day). I'm not talking about industry use of course where signal loss/degradation can have permanent consequences.
    Also, for consumer use not at the very high end, are we really going to see the difference 99.9% of the time w/ cabling that fall short beyond 50Mhz? I suspect not given all the variables involved, but then again, I haven't done the comparisons myself.
    FWIW, I do use silver coated copper cables from Audioquest for my component cables right now--DVD to 53" Panny. I originally bought them on clearance a few years ago for composite video (home video editing) and coax digital audio use. Not sure if I'd spend big $$$ on them though. And I can see the point about Monster Cable. If I'm going to spend $100+ on video cables, it better be good cable, not just hyped up ones. [​IMG]
    Also, if people can justify spending a lot on cables, then they should also get ISF calibration. That's something to consider. But then, that probably belongs in another thread. [​IMG]
    _Man_
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Smaller sized TV won't benefit in viewing between composite and S-video and component all that much (the picture quality might look a little cleaner with component video), but once you get into a larger set (hmm... roughly 46" or larger), component video from DVD will look better/smoother than either S-video or composite video.
     
  17. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob-- thanks! And thanks for that cool link! I may soon be a convert to making my own cables, if markertek.com starts working. [​IMG]
    I'm truly amazed by this forum. I can't remember the last time I found such a cool group of people who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and considerate...
    Me
     
  18. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Tim, you are welcome.
    Try checking out the "Tweeking, Connections and Accessories" fourm for the bulk of posts from cable builders and wire discussions. Since you are 'in the biz', you may recognize many wire myths brought up and debated.
    And thanks for the kind words on the fourm. The 'Considerate' part is somewhat enforced by our administrators who look for brush-fires and stomp them out. As long as the posts stay on-topic and dont disolve into personal attacks, debait/disagreement is allowed.
    Enjoy your stay. [​IMG]
     

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