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S-Video w/ RCA

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark Shannon, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

    May 27, 2002
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    Ok, just been wondering this...if I use an S-video cable to connect, for example, a VCR to a TV/Reciever, is the (usually yellow) video RCA cable still required along with the analog audio jacks?

    as you can tell, I don't know much about cabeling (give me a break, I'm only 16)...
  2. Vet

    Vet Auditioning

    Feb 14, 2003
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    No, you don't need it.
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Lets go through the 3 main video cable types:

    Composite: This is a single cable with a RCA connector on each end. It is usually colored yellow.

    SVideo: This is really 2 cables in a single jacket and has a funny 'keyboard' type connector at each end. With a good source like a DVD, it can give you a 20% better picture over composite.

    Component: This is 3 identical length composite video cables in a bundle. All 3 wires are identical except for the different color connectors to help keep them straight. It can give you a 25% better picture over composite. And for progressive/HD video - these have all standardized on using component cables.


    All video cables are made with something called "75 ohm" coax. This impedence matching is needed so the high-frequency video signals dont reflect in the cable.

    Audio cables can use nearly any type of coax: 50, 75, 110, 300 ohms.

    There is no easy way to spot the difference except perhaps for the colored bands on the RCA plugs.

    You can use video cables in place of audio, but not always the other way around. Some bundles of Left/Right/Video cables from Radio Shack did use 75 ohm coax for all the wires so these would make nice, inexpensive component video cables. But someone took apart one of these cables a few months ago and found the video cable to now be different from the audio cables.


    These are simply video cables. The people who wrote the Sony Phillips Digital Interface Format (SPDIF) had a video cable in mind when they wrote the specification.

    Hope this helps.

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