Physical difference between two Radio Shack cables??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas Jenkins, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. Thomas Jenkins

    Thomas Jenkins Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 1999
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not attempting to revive the spunky debate between high end/low end/ and no end cables, I'm just trying to figure out if Radio Shack is blatently ripping people off.
    I was there today buying a composite cable for my VCR and I saw they had "Component" cables... 12ft for $50.
    Right above them were their Composite AV cables... 12ft for $20.
    Both sets have three cables. Both have gold plated RCA plugs. Packages seemed to weigh about the same, but obviously I didn't cut them open to inspect the actual wires inside.
    The only discernable difference I could find was the AV had white/red/yellow ID washers on the connectors and the component ones had blue/green/red ID washers.
    Are blue and green washers that much more expensive or am I missing something important?
     
  2. Nicholas A. Gallegos

    Nicholas A. Gallegos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Component video cables are an entirely different beast than composite AV cables.
    Component video is a high-performance video connection used commonly by DVD and HDTV sources. It takes the concept of S-Video one step further by splitting the video signal into three different bands, "Y" (green signal; luminance) and two "C" (blue and red signals; color differences). This provides optimum picture quality (most noticeable on larger TV sets) and is a must for anything sending a progressive-scan signal.
    That's why component video cables are more expensive.
    ------------------
     
  3. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think Thomas is not asking what is the difference between what is PASSED through the composite output vs component output of a player; but what is the difference in the CABLE that signal is passed through.
    In other words, does the labeling of a cable's package make a difference in it's ability to pass a video signal.
     
  4. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 1999
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    SLC, Utah
    Real Name:
    Scott
    As long as the composite A/V cables are using 75ohm cabling for all 3 conductors, they'll work fine for use as a component cable. In fact, I'm using one of the Shack's composite A/V cables as my component cable -- and it works well.
    Give it a try. You can always return it if it doesn't work.
     
  5. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just do not ask the salesman if they are the same.I had one guy at radio shack tell me That regardless of price,all cables are the same,all cables are 75(think thats right) ohm.
    He was also the same guy that told me composite inputs and component inputs on a tv were the same.Guess that makes s-vid and rf the same too
    ------------------
     
  6. Dan A

    Dan A Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just got my first DVD player (RP91), and had an extra set of RS composite cables lying around. I bought the component cables, but after trying the composites, I left the components in the package. The picture is stunning. Maybe I'll test them later, but I can't imagine the extra $40 will make a difference.
     
  7. Thomas Jenkins

    Thomas Jenkins Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 1999
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Composite inputs and Component inputs obviously pass a different signal, and Component is obviously better for video.
    As far as dimensional design, component and composite connectors are identical, both on the equipment side and the cable side. Different brands will use different materials for the connectors, wires, and shielding.
    My question; does Rad Shaq use different sheilding, wiring, winding, or whatever for the composite cables as for the component cables taht are sold with the same connector?
    Or, is Rad Shaq banking on the notion that since the signal passed for Component is "high performance" people will blow $50 to get the exact same thing they would for $20?
    Part of me would like to buy both and cut them open, but $70 for a science experiment seems a little silly.
    just curious
    thom
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Uhhhh.. let me tell you what I know about video cables.
    The most efficient way to route a video signal from an output to an input is to use a cable that matches the impedence of both devices. (Coax cable can be 50 ohm, 75 ohm, 110 ohm and 300 ohm to name the more common types).
    For years, the standard has been to use 75 ohm coaxial cable for ALL video connections.
    Guess what: your CATV coax is also made from 75 ohm coax (both RG59 and RG6).
    Guess what: your Coaxial Digital cable was specified to be a 75 ohm coaxial cable. (The designers of the DVD system tried to specify a common-as-dirt cable so they had a Video cable in mind when they wrote the SPDIF spec).
    Audio cables can be made with ANY of the above cables.
    My understanding is that Radio Shack, to save manufacturing costs, makes all of their gold/Mega cables with 75 ohm coaxial cables.
    So everything video is made with 75 ohm coax. Does this mean that all video cables are the same? No.
    There are some small physical differences you can see if you cut a cable:
    - Foil vs braid shield
    - Aluminum vs copper braid shield
    - Size of the center conductor (18 ga is in RG6, I think 22 ga is in RG59).
    - Stranded or solid center conductor
    But the more interesting difference is what you CANNOT see. Things like the dielectric constant of the foam core, or how the cable responds to different frequencies over many feet like in this example from Canare for their LCBF coax:
    [​IMG]
    Or their LV77S cable:
    [​IMG]
    So Thomas: even if you cut into the two different RS cables, they may respond different, but they may look the same. Or they could look different (dual shielding, aluminum vs copper), but they could perform the same. It's very hard to tell by looking at the cable.
    (We have not even touched on the RCA plug on each end. This can make a difference as well).
    Nicholas: I dont think Component vs Composite video cables are "an entirely different beast". Both of the above cables are used for Composite and Component uses. Were you talking about the signals and not the cables being different?
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thomas -
    my tv doesn't have component inputs, otherwise i'd try this myself...
    if you end up comparing the two, would you mind posting your results? i (for one) would be curious.
    ps - i'm pretty sure radio shack will take back the cable you don't use
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
    [Edited last by Ted Lee on July 16, 2001 at 02:01 PM]
     
  10. Thomas Jenkins

    Thomas Jenkins Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 1999
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bob,
    Thank you, that is exactly what I needed. That's close to what my Electrical Engineer friend told me today. Friday he bought no-name six foot RCA cables from a surplus store for $5.00 to go with his 65H80 he recevied Saturday. He thinks I'm crazy for going to Rad Shaq. To each his own.
    And Ted, I might do an AB comparison, but I don't think I'm the right person for it.
    I got the 56H80 two weeks ago.
    Plugged it in, turned the brightness, contrast down, almost turned the sharpness down to zero. Put in a DVD. Said wow. Next day got Video Essentials, played with it, put in another DVD, said wow.
    This is with an RCA5500P. Four years old, and pre-component outs. I have a Toshiba SD4700 on order since you're supposed to get progressive, and it has DVD-Audio, but I'm having trouble seeing what it would improve. I still think the picture I've seen on a well tuned Pioneer Elite was Better, but I don't particularly feel like obsessing every movie to match it.
    Maybe I'm just not that picky, but I really like this TV, And all the weird problems people talk about (like the ghost line)...I think I like being blind to them.
    thom
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page