Is it just me or do cables really make a difference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard_S, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I'm a newbie and don't exactly have a critical eye. But I bought and connected the Ultralink Stereophile S-video cable from my DVD player to my TV replacing my composite connection from DVD to receiver to TV and it seems that the whole picture is brighter and clearer. Grainer too perhaps. But it does seem to me that everything is more clear. I can see the chapter names more clearly in the chapter search screen. Is it just me or did it really make a big difference. The combination of switching from composite to S-Video and connecting from DVD straight to TV?
     
  2. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Howard,

    composite is one (minor) step above standard cable (F-type) connector.

    The difference between composite and S-Video is enormous, I'd say more so than that between S-Video and component-interlaced, and component-interlaced to component-progressive. Or, for that matter, RGB.

    Mostly, it has to do with the TV not having to separate out the color and luminosity components from a single signal. While the mfrs did what they could to keep the signals separate (they differentiated them by a shift in frequency, IIRC), the problem has always been that there is a small crossover point, as well as the capacity of the filters in the TV to handle it. Better filter = better results.

    S-Video keeps them separate, but still combines the color signals into a single stream. Component splits them out into three streams, but they're still interlaced, meaning even lines in one frame, then odd lines next frame, then even lines in third, and so on.

    Progressive sends the first two frames together, which on fast motion essentially eliminates "jaggies" and such.

    This is one of the reasons HDTV is so lifelike. By the time you get to 720 lines (1.5x DVD) progressive, you have a very clear, clean, detailed picture. Throw that at a really good line doubler, and you can (with a good projector) project a picture on a wall that is indistinguishable from the real thing - except for depth.

    Still, the leap from composite to S-Video is probably the biggest one. It really eliminates a lot of headaches, and on many TVs (even very good TVs), the difference between it and component-interlaced is not easily distinguished.

    Hope this helps!

    Mike
     
  3. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

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    Howard,

    I agree with Mike. The difference with S-video cable is really apparent. I have mine hooked directly to my tv from the dvd player and the results are fantastic.
     
  4. Larry Hoffman

    Larry Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Howard,

    You mentioned that the picture was grainier than before. Check the sharpness setting on your tv. If you haven't set it up using Video Essentials or Avia, it might be too high. Turn it right down, if you haven't already done so, and the graininess will probably disappear.

    Too high sharpness and contrast are dialed in to most tv's from the factory. Turning them down will make a huge difference in the quality of the picture.

    Larry.
     
  5. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I've already turned down the sharpness some I guess I'll turn down more. I haven't gotten Avia or Video Essentials yet. Can I get them everywhere or is there only one place to get them?
     
  6. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Howard, congrats on making the leap from cheesy composite to nicer S-video. You're on your way to component [​IMG]
    Your subject is a bit misleading by the way, because it sounds like you're asking if different brands of the SAME type of cable make a difference. The answer is yes, but MUCH less than a complete signal change from composite to s-video.
    You can even RENT Video Essentials by the way, at somewhere like Blockbuster, to save you a few $. It's really a useful tool. I rented it, calibrated, and wrote down the settings, just in case.
     
  7. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    I think they do. I use Kimber Kable and Illuminations .
     

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