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One thing I've never understood about S-video.. (1 Viewer)


Mar 27, 2002
Hey guys, it's been awhile since I've posted here, but that's only because I've been enjoying TRUE Home Theater, thanks to everyone who's helped me out! You guys have been a great help, and I'll stand by the fact that this is the best Home Theater Forum out there - period.

Anyways, I have a question regarding the video aspect of Home Theater. I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I figured that I would ask here. I've never really understood what's better video quality wise - hooking up a DVD player with an s-video cable, or with a high-quality monster cable that hooks through the yellow plug in the back of my television. Which method is better, quality wise? Is there a method other than s-video or high-quality video cables that would be better to use? I guess I'm just looking for the best looking picture period, although it's already near perfect the way that it is, IMO. I've been going the high-quality monster cable route, so should I switch to s-video or something else, or is it fine the way that I have it? Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!



Stunt Coordinator
Nov 11, 2001

Given the choice of either an S-video cable or a composite video (yellow cable), go with the S-video. It provides a much bigger increase in video quality over the composite. If you want to step up the quality a bit more, and your system supports it, try a pair of component video cables. They provide a slight quality increase over the s-video.

I don't know all the specifics, as I'm pretty new to this myself. However, if you do a search you will find more than you ever wanted to know about the various cables and how the affect your system.


Marc Rochkind

Second Unit
Aug 26, 2000
All else being equal, for a DVD player S-video is better than composite (the yellow phono plug), because S-video uses four wires for video, separating video luminance (brightness) from chrominance (color). Composite uses just two wires, with luminance and chrominance combined. The TV's comb filter then has to separate them.

Component video is even better than S-video because it further separates chrominance into blue and red components.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Marc's got it. :)
Home Theater Magazine did a comparison of the 3 different types of video connection to a 50" Reference TV. Their conclusion was:
Composite (single RCA cable) - Baseline
SVideo (Funny "keyboard" connector) - 20% improvement over Composite
Component (3 Composite cables) - 25% improvement over Composite.
They also noted that a SMALLER display size showed less difference, and larger display sizes showed more.
So if somone says he saw little difference between Composite and SVideo, ask how big he .. er .. his display is. :)
And while Monster is good quality, there are custom sites that will build you cables made with the stuff they use in production studios for about the same price as mid-level Monster. We have an entire fourm dedicated to "Tweaking, Connections..". This thread is a typical "Is this a good cable" question & answer session.
Hope this helps.

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