What's the deal with cable?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by mikeMarz, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. mikeMarz

    mikeMarz Extra

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    I am new to the forum and am just starting to build my HT. I have an HK AVR 5, and want to upgrade to the 335. Also I have 2 Infinity Entra Three towers, 2 Infinity Entra Ones, I am planning to order 1 or 2 Entra Center Twos (when I get my taxes), Possibly another pair of Entra Threes, from infinity direct on ebay, and I am looking for a decently priced entra sub two, considering the drop in price found online when looking at the other equipment, this shouldn't be too much to ask. I want to get the Sony NC-875V DVD player, when I upgrade the reciever. My TV has is 19' DVD VCR combo, from one of the cheaper brand names, I can't remember which. I'm planning on keeping my AVR 5 and TV for a second room, along with a second entra center two and the refurbed pair of entra threes, and using the dual zone features on the 335.

    What kind of cable should I use for the component inputs and output? For the speaker setup? Any thoughts on going wireless? When I find a sub, what kind of cable should I use for that? How do the refurbished Entra Three's on ebay sound? Any other relevant input would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!!!
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Mike. Welcome to HTF!

    First: are you sure your 19" TV has component inputs? Most TV's this size do not.

    For this size television, the AR Pro2 brand from places like Sears and Best Buy do a very good job for about $30.

    When you upgrade to a larger display or go HD, the best bang for your money are the custom cable sites like www.bluejeanscables.com. This will bump the price to something like $50 for a HD rated component cable set - but it's well worth it.

    When looking at wires keep in mind that it is easy to over-spend. Follow the 10% rule: budget 10% of the electronics you are hooking up for the wires. Do not spend more than this!

    Speaker Wire: Buy a spool of 12 ga wire and use it everywhere. A respected brand is "Sound King" from places like www.partsexpress.com.

    Subwoofer Cable: Any decent RCA cable can be used for a subwoofer cable. For a while I took a 25' hunk of CATV coax, added some "F-to-RCA-Male" adaptors and made my own long cable for less than $15. This really helped when playing with different positions in the room for the sub. Right now, I am using a 8 ft video cable - Radio Shack brand. One trick: Make sure the RCA plugs have a snug-fit. Subwoofers seem to like this. This might be why Monster has a reputation for having "turbine-grip-of-death" RCA plugs.

    Wireless: dont.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. mikeMarz

    mikeMarz Extra

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    Thanks!

    My current tv doesn't have doesn't have component inputs, but neither does the AVR 5. That's why when I upgrade to the AVR 335, I was planning on upgrading my tv as well. I was looking for a widescreen model, possibly the JVC AV30W475, a 30 inch on sale for about $450. I bought an open box widescreen tv last years for the same price, but wasn't happy (the tv didn't come with the right remote, and I didn't know how to change the ratio).

    The 10% rule, is that 10% of what I paid, or 10% of the MSRP? It seems like almost all AV equipment can be found online for (sometimes) hundreds of dollars cheaper than from a brick and mortar.

    For the 5.1 ch audio cable, DVD player to receiver, would the blue jeans cable be better, or say the PR136 from acoustics research?

    Do you recommend banana plugs for speaker cable terminations , even if the speakers aren't made specifically for banana plugs, or just the bare wire?
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i always use them when i can. it simplified hookup and prevents stray wires from shorting out your system.

    for cables, just go with bob's recommendations on the ar. i'd start with those, then once your system is up and running, then start playing around with more esoteric cables. see if you notice an improvement or not. if so, then the choice is obvious.

    the 10% rule thing is based on what you paid...regardless of msrp. shouldn't matter either way. [​IMG]
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    It's a guideline to keep you from spending $300 on a television, then over-spending $219 for a Monster silver-coated component video cable. (the idea is to keep the wires in perspective to the equipment).
     
  6. mikeMarz

    mikeMarz Extra

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    Not a video cable, but audio cables. It's not just one cable, it's 6 cables, one each for front left right audio, surround left and right, subwoofer and center. It's for sacd or dvd-audio. I don't know if I need it for 5.1 ch surround with my dvds, but the dvd player I want has these outputs, and the reciever I want has six-ch direct inputs. The the AR Pro II series cable PR-136 is 100 at best buy, only 36 at avsmarts.com, so I think I'll go with that.

    Since the dvd player, receiver and TV I am planning to get all have component video outputs and inputs, I've been looking at the AR Pro II series, and the PR-190 through 193 are all component video cables, all with different prices. What's the difference with the cables?
     
  7. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Using your 'rule' Bob, if I am purchasing a Panasonic DVD player for around $130, and I need to run 25' of component cable to my projector, should I get RG6 or RG59 cable? If I get the RG6, the cable will cost almost as much as the dvd player.
     
  8. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    The 10% rule obviously cannot apply in all cases. If you need a 25' component (or DVI, HDMI, whatever) chances are you are NOt going to be able to find it for next to nothing at radioshack.

    I also think that 12G sound king is a great product and should be used on both $250 and $50,000 loudspeakers (10% rule doesn't make much sense for speakers... theres a performance cap early on).
     
  9. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    For a progressive scan dvd player, is it better to purchase RG6 or RG59 component cables? There is a difference in price between both types.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    In general, RG6 has better specs than RG59:

    [​IMG]

    The Green line represents a RG6 coax, the blue some RG59. See how the Green has less attenuation (reduction)? This means better performance with higher frequency signals.

    For short runs (6-10 ft) you really are not going to have much difference. But for short runs, the RG59 will be more flexable and easier to work with.

    Progressive Scan:

    Most component cables are designed for standard video signals which top out at 4 Mhz. Progressive Video goes as high as 13 Mhz.

    Rule: You want a cable that has less than 3 db attenuation at 4 times your max frequency. (3 db is a fancy way of saying "50% signal reduction").

    Progressive Video: 13 Mhz x 4 = 52 Mhz

    Look at the chart and draw a mental line at where 3 db would be. Then look at the 50 Mhz line. Both the green and blue lines would qualify for Progressive video.

    Kevin: Go to www.bluejeanscables.com. All of their component cables are HD video rated (including the Canare coax which is where the graph comes from.) I like Canare, but a lot of people love the Belden product 7710A , which has similar performance, but is more flexable.
     
  11. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Bob, that helped a lot.
     

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