S-Video looks better than COMPONENT ! !

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich H, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Hi folks,

    I'm looking for some informed opionions (hell, I'll take any opinions, really).

    I know that it is generally agreed that COMPONENT video should look better than S-VIDEO. However, I understand that a few AV magazines have actually declared S-VIDEO signals to often be superior to COMPONENT signals.

    My experience: I have a Panasonic 4UY plasma and a Panasonic RP-91 DVD player. I'm using Nordost Optix video cables. The Nordost S-VIDEO connection had improved my picture clarity and color richness to quite a degree - I was amazed at how it increased the realism and 3-D quality of the S-VIDEO image. This lead me to try the Nordost COMPONENT cables, as I reasoned that it should look at least as good, with added smoothness benefiting from the progressive scan signal of my DVD player.

    Wrong. The COMPONENT signal looks great, but no matter how I tweak the settings, it just doesn't reach the level of focus, clarity, depth and colour richness of the S-VIDEO input. Some interlacing artifacts notwithstanding, the S-VIDEO is clearly better (best picture I've ever seen
    on a 42" plasma).

    Can anyone chime in here? The only advantage I can think of that the S-VIDEO connection has is that there are no adaptors used for the connection, whereas the COMPONENT cables need an RCA to BNC adaptors to attach to the plasma.

    Any comments? (I'm going nuts here, as I want my component signal to look best).

    Rich H.
     
  2. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    The only thing I can think of here is the comb filter. Some comb filters do wonders with S-video signals. Perhaps the comb filter of the TV is good enough to make the S-video look really good compared to component.
     
  3. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I thought the comb filter on the display was bypassed with a s-video signal since the C/Y are already separated?
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    I've seen a comb filter do amazing things.

    But there simply is not the color bandwidth available with either s-video or composite that you get with component.

    Also, on DVD and HD, the signal is natively stored as component video. So even if you go s-video or composite, it started out as component anyway.

    If s-video or composite looks notably better (I'm talking noise, color depth, and resolution), then something isn't designed well in either your player or your set...or the cable or adaptor. Or is defective or out of spec.
     
  5. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    S-Video chroma bandwidth is about 140 lines. Component chroma bandwidth is abour 270 lines. If S-Video looks better, something is wrong with your gear.

    Todd
     
  6. Jon W (NoVA)

    Jon W (NoVA) Stunt Coordinator

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    Well component should never have less resolution, sharpness, detail, etc ... but when talking 480i it's main advantage is simply that of displaying colors more accurately.

    The chroma bandwidth limitation mentioned earlier causes some colors to be rendered wrong with S-Video.

    I bet your problem is that you need an active device to convert from Component to RGB and not just some BNC connectors. I seem to recall there was an extra $100 cost with the RCA HD satellite receiver for a box to convert it's RGB outputs to Component. You need something which does the reverse...
     
  7. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Rich,

    You might want to pick up a copy of the latest
    Widescreen Review and read the article by Joe Kane where he talks about the situation when component is not superior to S-Video. We can be deceived by thinking that the component inputs on our display devices are always "the input to use".

    Very interesting what he has to say.
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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  9. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    There's always the issue of faulty cables. I used a set on my bedroom unit--a Toshiba SD-2800 connected to a Toshiba CZ27V51. The first set of component cables produced a terrible image, as if one of the primary colors wasn't getting through. I switched to an S-video cable I had lying around, and the picture was much better.

    Then I swapped out component cables from the vendor. The cables were defective. The new set of component cables produced a picture that was at least an order of magnitude better than the S-video cable--colors were richer, with more depth and accuracy. It is such a good picture now that I sometimes prefer to watch the bedroom system than the main system!

    Component-video is best. In the case described here, I would suggest swapping out cables. If component-video doesn't look better on your setup, then something's wrong somewhere in the video chain.
     
  11. StaceyS

    StaceyS Stunt Coordinator

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    Many consumer displays convert the component to YC and then back to component. This was done because a lot of decoder chips did not have component inputs. So in order to give you pic controls, they simply converted YC to component.

    The Faroudja DVP3000 and 5000 do the same thing.
     
  12. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Thanks people.

    Still baffling. There seems to be agreement that component is a better signal than Svideo. But it ain't happening yet in my display, so I'm baffled. More testing to come...

    Rich H.
     
  13. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    If component doesn't look better than S-Video then something is wrong. If a TV's design causes its component input to look worse than it's S-Video then that design is flawed.
     
  14. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Joe Kane's article (see my post above) is in the Sept. Widescreen Review.

    StaceyS post above touches on part of what Joe comments on.

    Per Joe, two situations can make S-Video appear superior to component: A) Progressive DVD players do not hold to a fixed standard for component voltage levels - they can be all over the map between players. You need the appropriate test signals, skills, and measuring gear combined with a display with the adjustability and memory to adjust component input for this. B) As Stacey says, many consumer displays immediately component to S-Video and then back to component, and Joe says that this contributes to a picture quality loss - which certainly makes sense.

    I assume situaion B) would be the issue with using the component output from either a interlaced player .... or a progressive player set to interlaced mode.

    You really have to read Joe's comments from WR if you want to know all the detail.
     
  15. StaceyS

    StaceyS Stunt Coordinator

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    For YC looking better than YPbPr, Joe is only talking about 480i. 480p YPbPr is full bandwidth. Some TVs still roll off chroma, but most do it correctly.

    YC has the same problem as YPbPr in regards to levels. I have yet to see a DVD player where the YC output has correct levels.
     
  16. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    How can one find out if a TV converts YPbPr to YC to do it's processing? Is YPbPr really necessary on a smaller sub 32" NTSC TV anyways?

    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  17. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Here's part of the article in Widescreen Review:
    Component Video as an Afterthought
    So does this mean I have to buy an S-Video cable now and make comparisons? I have an interlaced player now (Panasonic DVD-RV31) but will be upgrading soon to a progressive player (Panasonic DVD-RP82). My TV is a Sony KV-36XBR450...
     
  18. Arthur W

    Arthur W Auditioning

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    Im as new to this home theatre thing as the next guy, but there has not been much mention of the RCA-BNC adapters being the cause of Rich's poor component video signal. Could'nt those adapters be causing the problem, especially if they are not 75 ohm adapters. Just a thought. Any thoughts on this?
     

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