More Noob questions-Formats and Interconnects

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark_Be, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Mark_Be

    Mark_Be Extra

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    Wow...what a great resource this forum presents! Thanks for previous help and now... a couple more questions that hopefully I can get help with.

    1. I just bought a Panasonic 53" widescreen TV. My question is...will I still get the black bars on top and bottom of the screen when I view "widescreen" DVDs and any cable TV broadcasts that happen to be in widescreen format if I'm not using the zoom mode on my TV? I noticed that I get various widths of black bars with all the DVDs I have watched so far and last night, I noticed that two different cable TV stations had the black bars on top and bottom. I'm assuming the bars are normal but I guess they are not as wide as they would be if I had bought a standard format TV. Is this a correct assumption?

    2. I originally connected my DVD player to the back of the TV with a composite (yellow) cable so I wanted to upgrade to component cable. When I went to purchase the new component video cable I was shocked at the price of the Monster cable for the 8 foot (I think that was the length) cable so the salesman directed me to the 5 or 6 foot (can't remember exact length) Monster cable that was not actually intended to be "component" video cable. I thought it was the Monster cable intended for composite A/V because it was yellow, red and blue. My questions are... a)is it okay to use this cable for the "component" hookups from the DVD player to the TV (red/red, blue/blue, yellow/green) and b)what exactly are these cables really meant for. I did not notice any difference in the video quality by switching from the cheapo single yellow cable to the three Monster cables hooked into the component jacks on the player and TV. Also, what exactly are the Monster cables that are yellow, red and blue really meant for? I thought the red and blue were supposed to be the audio cables for a normal "composite" set up but when I looked at the jacks on the back of the TV, all of the audio jacks are red and WHITE (not red and blue).

    Thanks very much in advance,
    Mark
     
  2. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Monster products are usually labeled as to purpose. It should tell you on the packaging if it's an audio cable, composite video, S-Video, or whatever.

    The standard color codings used to match RCA jacks and plugs for A/V gear are yellow for composite video, and red (right channel) and either white or black (left channel) for analog audio.

    For component video cables, the usual colors are red, green, and blue.

    There's no reason you can't use a budget video cable, such as Recoton, Magnavox, or Radio Shack, for your component connection. You can either get a Recoton component cable set with all three cables or, if you can't find one like that at the length you need, there's no reason you can't just use three composite-video cables.

    Component cables are identical in construction to composite cables. The difference is that there are three of them because the component signal is carried as three discrete signals.

    Of course, if you use three yellow video cables for your component connection, you have to make sure that each cable runs between the DVD player's and TV's Y, Pb, and Pr jacks, respectively.

    As for the Monster cable you mentioned, it won't cause any problem to use different-colored cables as long as they are intended to carry video signals. Again, just make sure each of the individual cables connects to an identically-lableled jack at each end.
     
  3. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Concerning question 1, you seem to have a pretty good handle on this widescreen thing. When it comes to your new TV, certain movies will still have black bars, while other widescreen films do not. Why is this so? Because films are shot with varying aspect ratios.
    The term aspect ratio (AR) refers to the proportions of the image filmed for a movie or television program. You'll often see it described as a number like this: 1.85:1. In this instance, the 1.85 refers to the width of the screen and the 1 describes the height. For every 1 unit of measurement vertically, there is a corresponding 1.85 units of measurement for the width.
    The traditional television screen has an AR of 1.33:1 (or 4:3). Widescreen TVs have an AR of 1.78:1 (or 16:9), making it wider than a standard TV.
    The most popular aspect ratios for movies are 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. The latter is wider than the former. Films with an AR of 1.85:1 will not present any black bars on your widescreen TV because it is close enough to the AR of such a set that overscan will eliminate any black bars you may see. An AR of 2.35:1 is a good deal wider than your Panasonic TV. Hence, you will still see black bars on your set, although, as you noted, they will be a good deal smaller than they would be on a traditional TV.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    This is covered in the FAQ and PRIMER.
    "If I buy a 16:9 TV, will I get rid of black bars forever."
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
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  6. Mark_Be

    Mark_Be Extra

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    Thanks for the replies guys...sorry I missed the answer to the TV question in the FAQs.

    Concerning my interconnect question...
    I have now come to the conclusion (even though the packaging is long gone) that what I have is the THX line of Monster cable and, specifically, I have a single strand (for lack of a better term) cable with a yellow connector on both ends and a double strand cable with red and BLUE connectors on both ends. Based on information I have gleaned from this forum etc I have concluded that what I have is a "composite" video cable (yellow) and an analog audio cable (red & blue) that came in the package. I confirmed that Monster's audio cables come with a red and blue jack in lieu of a red and white/black jack as found on other makes of cables (I guess). So...the final, and most important question is...

    Will I do any harm to my TV or DVD player by using what turns out to be audio cable for my red and blue connections on my component video? I realize I may not get as good of QUALITY as I could with dedicated video cables but...will I harm the equipment with the wrong cables?
    Thanks again!
    Mark
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    No harm will be done although I would recommend using 3 video cables (75 ohm impedance) rather than audio cables @ 50 ohm impedance. If you were to blow up the image or use something "taxing" like HDef, you may notice anomolies in the image due to the incorrect impedance of the cabling used.
     
  8. Mark_Be

    Mark_Be Extra

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    Thanks very much for the reply Neil...I'll be looking to buy some dedicated video cables in the very near future.
    Mark
     

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