Hi, my name is Adam Szuster from ASENT home theatre systems and in this video I'm going to talk to you about video cables.
Now video cables can be split into two groups: analogue and digital. I'm going to start with analogue, from the lowest band width to the highest quality. Now let's start with the composite cable, one single yellow plug (the other two are actually audio). What this does is take the three channels, R,G,B, compresses them into one signal and sends it down one low quality, low band width cable. Lowest quality, avoid whenever possible.
The next one up from there is S video, that's one of these things, its round, its old, you're very rarely going to come across one. Some of the older cathode ray style tv's used to use these. The only advantage this has over composite is the fact that each channel is sent down its own wire and comes out in its own pin. Still very low band width: DVD quality at best.
Now moving on from there we have the component cable. This sends each of the component channels, as the name suggests, down its own wire: that is Red, Green and Blue. This will give you a full 1080 signal which is excellent quality. These are still used a lot in home theatre system set ups because it avoids digital handshake and protocol issues and it means you can send a high quality image a significant distance which is a challenge with HDMI.
Then there is the VGA cable. Now some of you may recognise this as a monitor cable. You are 100% correct, that is exactly what it is. It will send you a 1080 signal, but it won't do 3D and it certainly doesn't do audio.
Now moving onto digital cables - DVI. Now you may notice it actually looks kind of looks similar to VGA and in many respects it has replaced the VGA cable. It is a little bit bigger, will give you 1080 signal (and higher quality if you require it) and will do 3D quality but it will not do audio.
The last cable were going to look at is HDMI. I'm sure you've seen one of these. This is the standard for home theatre systems these days: it will do video and audio, making it a one stop shop. It will do 1080 signal and higher, it will even do ultra high definition (also known as 4K) in the newer cables. It does audio return too, so it will take you audio signal from your tv and send it back to your receiver so that you can listen to your tv through your surround sound system. It will even carry an ethernet signal, that is a data signal, but there are very few devices on the market that actually do that, something that you'll almost never come across.
Now the main issue that people have with HDMI is distance. Up to about 5 metres these work brilliantly, and in most home theatre system set ups that is quite ok. But if you've got a more complicated set up with multiple zones over greater distances, the distance of a signal over HDMI can be a problem. There are ways around it but it is something to be aware of.
So there you have it: the 6 main cables you will come across with home theatre systems. Starting with analogue:
Composite: that's the little yellow one right there -- avoid where possible;
S video: if you find one of these go buy a lottery ticket because they are exceptionally rare;
Component: still used quite a lot, each channel is sent down its own cable, R, G and B.
Then we go to the digital signals:
VGA: a monitor cable actually, but most TV screens have these as a legacy format
DVI: which will do 3D as well as 1080 signal
HDMI: a cable which will send audio and video making it a convenient one-stop-shop.
So there you go, if you have any questions please ask them in the comments below or alternatively get in touch with us at asent.com.au