Is there a big difference between a component and s-video hookup?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Manu, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. Manu

    Manu Auditioning

    Oct 13, 2001
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    The question is if it is worth spending extra money on a component hook?
    Also what are the advantages concerning the picture. Would it make a difference watching SVCDs and VCDs?
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Manu. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    Home Theater magazine came up with the following numbers for a 50" Reference RPTV:
    Composite (Single Video Cable): baseline
    SVideo (Funny "keyboard" connector): 20% better than Composite
    Component (3 video cables): 25% better than Composite
    The article noted that the improvements are LESS for smaller screens, MORE for larger displays.
    Although you can run SVideo for 20 feet or more, many people believe you should use Component for these long runs.
    Hope this helps.
  3. John Coleman

    John Coleman Guest

    Just to add a few things...
    What Bob said is absolutely true about longer runs. I have designed s-video products that will provide outstanding performance at lengths even beyond 50 ft., but my standard rule of thumb for generic s-video cables is to not run them longer than 20 ft.
    However, your question of quality, in my opinion, really has to do with the issue of source quality vs. cable bandwidth. For example, analog component video is capable of twice the resolution of s-video. However, if the source does not require very much bandwidth, the differences between the two will be small. The question is, does the source have the ability to take advantage of the increased performance capabilities of a component video cable? If so, what will you lose by using a lesser type of cable?
    In the end, though, it will really be up to you to decide for yourself, which is best. Some people prefer the softer picture that comes from a lower-bandwidth video connection (i.e. composite), while others will only want component. Component video connections, in my opinion, provide a significantly improved black-level as well as color separation, while composite video provides a "warmer" picture. So, the choice for me is over accuracy vs. warmth. For my DVD player, only a component video connection will do. However, on one of my DSS receivers I use composite (I have the option of using s-video), but on my DSS receiver that is connected to my TiVo I use s-video. On the stand-alone DSS receiver, composite just looks better to me, but on the TiVo-ed one, the s-video connection results in higher quality recordings.
    Anyway, I look at connections on a case-by-case basis. Absolute on-paper performance, for me, does not mean as much as what my eyes and ears tell me. I have made a lot of bad equipment purchases by going with equipment that looks good on paper, only to be disappointed later. All of these decisions deal with the senses, and I have come to find that there is no magical formula of technical stats that equal good sound and/or video. I go with what looks and/or sounds the best to me, and have always been more than satisfied. I hope this helped!
    John Coleman
    Cobalt Cable
    [email protected]
  4. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

    Oct 3, 2001
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    > worth spending extra money on a component hook?
    Depends on how picky you are, and also what TV you're displaying the video on. On my Pioneer Elite RPTV (great TV), I can *see* the difference between component and S-video quite easily. Composite looks like crap.
    > Would it make a difference watching SVCDs and VCDs?
    I doubt you'd notice much diff between component and S-video, but I'm pretty sure you'd notice the difference between component and cheesy composite.

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