Would I really benefit from better S-Video cables?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an older 27 inch Panasonic. The best connection it has is a single s-video input. I have it hooked up to a hub, so I can run both my Panasonic RV31 DVD player, and my Xbox, in s-video, by switching back and forth between the two.

    My question: would there be a visual improvement, if I replaced the cheap Radio Shack s-video cables I use now, with something "better?" Remember, I don't have HDTV, so that is not a factor.

    All opinions are welcome.
     
  2. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1998
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Adam
    Oy vay! Welcome to the minefield of the Cable Wars! [​IMG]
    Speaking from my own experience, with a TV that size you're really not going to notice any difference between cheap RS cables and esoteric cables.
    Adam
     
  3. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Adam. I thought that might be the answer. I don't know if I should be happy, since there's no need for me to spend more money on cables, or sad, since there's no way to improve my picture! Either way, thanks a lot for responding.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Calibration can make a very noticable improvement in picture quality.
     
  5. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard that said, John, but--and I fear this may be somewhat controversial--I swear I can tweak the picture on my TV better by eye alone than I can with a calibration disc like Avia's. I've tried it both ways and I prefer doing it by eye.

    I don't think this is the same as trying to balance your speakers without a meter. I just try to get the picture as life-like as I can, by my estimation. Maybe on a newer, or high definition TV, I would need a disc.
     
  6. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to add fuel to the fire, but my first s-video cable was a cheap one from walmart. Eventually I upgraded to an s-video from monster cable. I did notice a difference in so doing. I was also using a 27" RCA. I have also experienced this moving from cheap composite video cables to Acoustic research cables. I believe that video cables can make a difference. I wouldn't spend a large amount of money for them, but at $20-$30 bucks for an acoustic research s-video, I don't think you can go wrong.
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well when I started out with my old direct view TV I was using a simple generic S-Video cable and had calibrated my set with Avia. After swapping it out for a much thicker AR cable the difference was great enough that I had to recalibrate my set. IMO if the s-video cable you are using now isn't that high a quality then it would be worth at least trying a higher quality cable. If you're not sure about purchasing an expensive cable get it from someplace that offers a good return policy...either locally from places like BestBuy or any of the online vendors such as bettercables, catcables, rhinocables and the like.
     
  8. Bob Christensen

    Bob Christensen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't forget the HUB! This could also cause some problems with your picture quality. Do you see any improvement when you connect direct vs when you connect via the hub? If so, the upgraded cables may not provide much relief. Kinda like looking for your car keys under the street light.
     
  9. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh man. Why'd you guys have to go and make this more complicated for me?

    Greg, et all. I have a friendly local dealer. He carries mid to high end Tributaries cables. Maybe I'll borrow a high end s-video cable from him and see if I can tell a difference.

    It can be hard to know what is real and what is the "placebo effect," which is why Andrew's comment on recalibrating is interesting...seems like that could be a more "objective" way to measure a difference.

    Bob, the hub I'm using is called a Sima A/V component selector. I haven't compared it to a straight connection to my TV, because I'm pretty much stuck having to use it. With only one s-video input on my TV, I'd have to manually switch cables back and forth between my dvd player and my Xbox, and that would just be too much of a pain in the ass. I figure the seperate hub is a better way to go than running the video through my Denon receiver, since that is said to cause distortion....
     
  10. Bob Christensen

    Bob Christensen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Sima is supposedly a decent product, but there are some really bad hubs out there. Just checking. Personally, I do not use one, as I have no need. I run my OTA antenna feed through my Yammy and see absolutely no loss (although admittedly I am dealing with a pretty poor signal already).
     

Share This Page