Low priced Component cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave F, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 15, 1999
    Messages:
    2,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm finally getting a HDTV, and I need to pick up some component cables. I'm going to be strapped for cash, and since I need to get 2 sets, price is an issue. I see that Acoustic Research has a 6ft set for $45. How does this compare to the Monster Cables? Or is there another brand I should consider? Keep in mind that at this juncture, I cannot afford a $100 cable...
    Any advice would be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Dave
    ------------------
    DVD List
     
  2. Roger Kaufmann

    Roger Kaufmann Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2000
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    If cash is an issue go to Radio Shack, I think I paid about $30-$40 for my 6' component cables.
    ------------------
    R. Kaufmann
    My DVD Profiler Collection
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
  4. Steve G

    Steve G Agent

    Joined:
    May 31, 1999
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dave, I just picked up a 6' set of RCA at Circuit City for $20.00. I had planned on using them to get by. They work just as well as the Monster set I paid a whole lot more for.After swapping out cables between my Panny DVD and Panny STB HDTV tuner to Hitachi HI DEF set, I really don't see a differance.
    YMMV
    good luck Steve
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dave: Why do you need 2 sets of cables? Are you trying to run through your receiver? This is NOT a good idea for HD signals.
    There is a HD-Insider newsletter that found that few receivers with component switching accuratly passed HD/Progressive signals. The only receivers that DID pass the signals tended to be the flagship ($3000) receivers from Yamaha/Dennon/etc.
    Now you might be able to get away with AR or RCA component cables. But I think this would be a mistake.
    Here is the issue:
    Coax cable tends to be judged by the largest frequency it can pass.
    So you use different coax depending upon the frequency of signals you are going to shove through it:
    Audio Level: 0-20,000 hz
    CATV: 50khz-500khz (RF Frequencies)
    Video: 500 khz - 1 Mhz
    Progressive: 1 Mhz - 100 Mhz
    (As a general rule, you want the cable to handle 2 times the highest frequency you plan to shove down it.)
    Look at this chart from Canare about their component video cables to give you an idea of the response of a high-bandwidth cable:
    [​IMG]
    This cable is capable of handling the full-range of Audio thru Progressive signals. (And it sells for about $1.80 / foot in bulk)
    THE CONNECTOR:
    The other often-overlooked part of a cable is the RCA connector. The coax has to be 75 ohm impedence, but most RCA plugs can be 50-110 ohms. The net effect of a good coax, but a random-impedence connector is...random impedence cable.
    The Canare connectors seem to be the only ones that promise true 75 ohm impedence. (These sell for about $3.20 ea in bulk or about $20 for a component-cable set).
    When "Secrets of Home Theater" did their first comparison of Progressive Scan DVD players, they tried a few commercial cables. Since the video was being analyzed by machines, they noticed that even touching the connector of some of these cables would cause changes in the video.
    So what did they do? They made some cables using Canare coax and Canare connectors (which seemed solid) and they used the same cable for all the tests.
    (Can you tell why I'm a big fan of Canare? [​IMG])
    So for your HDTV, you really want some good-quality coax with the Canare connectors. (Or you are just going to have to re-buy later).
    Better Cables was selling this exact cable for about $69. (I just hit their web site and they only have listings for their "Silver Serpent" line at the moment). Give them a call or email them and see what they can do for you.
    If not, try www.kustomcables.com (if they are still in business) and see if Chris can build a set for you.
    You WILL be getting close to $100 for this cable, but for HD/Progressive signals, I encourage you to do it.
    Good Luck.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,886
    Likes Received:
    850
    Location:
    Michigan
    If you are really strapped for cash, Radio Shack sells a Gold Series A/V cable that is not labelled for component video, but all three cables are 75ohm. It works very well as an inexpensive component cable at around $20. I used one of these as a temporary measure until my Bettercables component cable arrived.
    I am also using an Acoustic Research component cable ($40) for the connection between the HDTV set top box and TV. It seems to work quite well for this application. I have not tried comparing the AR to the Bettercables with the same source component, though.
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
    AFI 100 Films to watch: 40 -> 5
     
  7. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 31, 1999
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    Real Name:
    Jonathan Burk
    I would recommend finding a broadcast supply store somewhere in town (or online, like Markertek) and getting Belden or Canare cables. A set of 3, true 75-ohm Canare 6' cables can be had for $30, and the cables come in different colors so you can have one red, one blue, and one green if you want. It would make no sense to have better cables than the cables that were used to produce the HDTV in the first place.
    And while we're on the subject, why aren't there aftermarket cables for computer monitors? This cheap cable on my monitor has to be degrading the picture, right?
    [Edited last by Jonathan Burk on August 31, 2001 at 03:54 PM]
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    I find the Radio Shack Gold cables work well and they're cheap.
    ------------------
    Eugene Hsieh, VisorCentral FAQ Editor
    1000 km on a tank of gas??? Check out the Prius and drive the future now!
    Check out my switched Dual Boot DVD Player Hack.
     
  10. Phil

    Phil Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob,
    You mentioned that only the "flagship ($3000)" receivers from Yamaha and Denon handled true HD component switching.
    I recently bought a Yamaha RX-V1000 (not quite their flagship line) and was told that this receiver handled enough bandwidth to truly switch HD through its component input/outputs. I bought this receiver in anticipation of when I go HD, so I don't know if it really does or doesn't. I spoke to a Yamaha tech. rep on the phone that the salesperson called for me....and now I am a little suspicious if I've been had.....can you shed any light on my predicament?
    Also do you know of any affordable component switcher (preferably that handle HD) as I can foresee me exhausting my Yamaha's component in's soon.
    Thanks for the links and info on the Canare cables.
    Phil
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, I need to toss in a question too. Connecting a set of component cables to a receiver is an active or a passive switch?
    I ask this because some of us, (including me) are using cheap A/V switchboxes (which are passive) and I see no loss of signal.
    Thanks in advance
    Glenn
     
  12. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 15, 1999
    Messages:
    2,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ok, I'm sold on the Canare cables. I think I'll pick up one set, then possibly a second set at a later date (one set for a Toshiba 5109 DVD player, and one set for a XBOX in Nov.).
    However...I'm having a heckuva a time finding Canare cables. Bettercables no longer has the Canare set, the kustomkables site doesn't load, and everything at Markertek.com has BNC connectors. Are there any other sites that you guys would recommend? This information has been very helpful - I never knew there was so much to learn about component cables!
    Thanks,
    Dave
    ------------------
    DVD List
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry about the delay getting back to you.
    Phil: I dont think the RX-1000 was out when I read this newsletter last year. But I dont have a copy so I cannot check. My estimate is that Yamaha does an honest job so they have probably tested the 1000 unit to make sure it has the bandwidth necessary.
    Glen: I think most of the receivers are passive switchers. I'm afraid I dont know of switch-box's that switch HD signals.
    You should both note that using receivers & switch box's APPEAR fine. It takes equipment to tell that there is some limit in the upper bandwidth. And that there is typically a 2 X factor (the cable/receiver/box's should correctly pass TWICE the highest possible frequency) to consider it "PASSING".
    What I mean is this: your receiver & switch box's are probably fine.
    Dave F: Canare is just one name. Belden is another very good brand, you just have to make sure you select the proper cables.
    Even if BetterCables does not carry the Canare sets, I'm sure their other cables work fine for HD signals.
    Guys: These cables are not "exotic", nor expensive. They are just designed/constructed for high-bandwidth signals.
    And after several frustrating attempts to contact Canare, I can see why some of these companies have dropped the use/sale of their cables. Canare wants to supply major production houses and network studios. Anything smaller and they want you to work with their distributors.
    If in doubt, contact CatCables or BetterCables and ask them for a link to the coax manufacturer to look at the frequency-response curves just to satisfy yourself that it handles into the 500 Mhz range. Or if you really want Canare, just follow the link above to the EBay site for that guy who sells them on eBay. That link is for a 13 foot cable for ~$90. Not a bad price.
     
  14. Phil

    Phil Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob,
    Thanks for getting back to me about my Yamaha RX-V1000... I hope you are correct and that my bandwidth is ok. I really appreciate your excellent advice on cables...
    Phil
     
  15. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    0
    try avcable.com
     
  16. Harold Sonnier

    Harold Sonnier Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found several online merchants that sold good quality audio and video cable for decent prices. All of these merchants use quality cables and connectors from either Canare, Belden or Gepco. Try www.avcable.com for inexpensive cables made with quality canare connectors. Other places you can try are www.boldercables.com , www.kustomkables.com , and www.wickedcables.com . You should be able to find everything you need at one of these stores. As an added bonus, some of these merchants will make cables at whatever length you specify. I am very happy with digital cable and component cables I bought from Avcables.
    Good luck
     
  17. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page