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Idiots guide to cables, please?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by wafc, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. wafc

    wafc
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    Would someone be so kind as to give me an idiots guide to cables please (bit of a noob here!).

    I am intending on buying a 26" lcd screen (possibly Samsung) and I normally connect my appliances (dvd, sky dig etc) through Scart but I am unsure if I should be connecting via a different way for a better picture? (if I have the connections that is!)

    Can someone please explain the difference of Scart, RGB Scart, Component, Composite, S Video etc and what they look like?

    I am aware of what Scart is and I think im right in saying composite is the 3 phono plugs (red, white, yellow)?

    Any assitance would be gratefully accepted! :D
     
  2. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Your right, composite is the yellow plug :) And the worst feed. So avoid that at all costs. S-video is the next best option, followed by RGB and then best of the analogue bunch is composite, which incidentaly uses Red, Green and blue phono plugs.

    S-Video looks like a round jack with 8 pins? i think.
    Composite, as you say is the yellow phono jack, the red and white are left and right audio.
    Component is made of 3 phono plugs colour coded Red, Green and Blue.
    Scart you already know :)
    RGB can be carried down a scart or phono cables. more commonly scart.

    Scarts can be fully wired to except any of the above configurations, though most commonly carry RGB signals from DVD's etc.

    After this are the digital connections of DVI and HDMI, which are arguably better than component. Arguably depending who you ask!

    Basically if you can, you a digi connection or component, if not use RGB.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    COMPONENT not composite

    4 pin (but there are 7 pin din and BNC variants) but for newbs 4 pin

    or better BNC plugs but RCAs are the more common on every day equipment

    Offially RGB is not allowed in anything other than SCART but there are a few exotic exception but they are not the rule. Consider this just SCART.

    two things here, both anaogue and digital transmissions but in both variants of component anf RGB. All are potentially good so look to these as your first choice.
     
  4. NWhiteley

    NWhiteley
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    nic .... what is the difference between BNC and RCA component leads?
     
  5. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Thats me told then :blush:

    I meant Component not Composite, always get them mixed up!
     
  6. CDphobe

    CDphobe
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    Hope Nic won't mind me trying to help out here, and also that he corrects any minor errors!

    Visually the only difference will be in the connectors used. RCA are your good old "phono" connectors, whilst BNC offer a more secure connection with a locking collar which draws the plug and socket together and then reduces the chance of accidental disconnection (pic hopefully attached). They tend to be seen more in "professional" environments for this reason, and due to three other factors. The first is that they can be a swine to attach properly to the cable in the first place. Secondly they make the ground before signal unlike most RCAs. And finally, because they can actually be produced at the correct impedence for terminating video cables (some phono plugs are close, but I believe none are spot on 75ohm).

    What does this mean to the "average" home cinema man? If you have BNC options available then these will be easier to use than RCA and are generally recommended, but beware that your choice of cables will significantly reduce and may cost that little bit more. Assuming you switch off components before you change connections then factors 2 and 3 will have little impact on most set-ups, and any decent cable supplier will have the right tools to resolve factor 1.

    Over to Nic!

    Al
     

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  7. wafc

    wafc
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    Thanks for the info guys!

    So given the fact that Component may be a good choice for me can you inform me how to set it up? ie At the minute I have a Grundig Sky Digital box and I cannot see any component sockets on the back, it only appears to have 2 scarts (1 for vcr) and red and white phono sockets for the audio and what looks like a VGA connection, does this mean that I cannot use Component with this Sky box?

    Same goes for my dvd player which is a Pioneer DV-444, it has RGB Scart, red and white phono for audio, yellow phono for video out and also an S Video socket, also under digital out it appears to have 2 sockets, one is Coaxial and the other Optical? Will I be able to use Component on that or is there a better alternative with the Digital Out connections? :confused:

    Thanks
     
  8. CDphobe

    CDphobe
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    wafc

    I'm not familiar with either item, but from your description of the socketry then you'll not be able to use component directly with either of them. The digital connectors that you have are for audio only (yep, even the "optical" out is for audio not video!)

    Al
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    If you have BNC use them, as you don't don't worry!!

    DVD 444 use the RGB SCART
    sky digital box probably also does RGB which is what you should use. SCART again but this means that you need two RGB SCART capable sockets on you tv....If you have only one then one of the above need to go to SVHS connecion. DVD has this already but the sky box might need another box (not cheap, say £50 - £100) that converts RGB to svhs. very few sky boxes also have svhs and we don't have the model number spec'ed here

    Neither device uses 'component' connection method

    The digital connection on the DVD player are audio and the sky digital box output all analogue (despite the name.....)
     
  10. Freddo14

    Freddo14
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    or an easier solution would be to take advantage of the second scart socket on your sky box, plug the dvd player into that and then when the sky box is turned off it'll pass the signal through for you.
     
  11. wafc

    wafc
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    Thanks for the replies.

    So if I plug my dvd scart into the VCR scart on the back of my Sky box, will it then pick up my dvd payer when turned on and the sky box is turned off? And will this be an RGB signal? :confused:

    Thanks.
     
  12. Freddo14

    Freddo14
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    yep, rgb signal and all.

    its probably not 100% ideal from a videophile standpoint but sometimes its worth trading off a tiny unpercievable fraction of video quality for a little convenience i think.
     
  13. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    What are you comparing full bandwidth RGB to? What signal is fractionally better?

    Gareth.
     
  14. Freddo14

    Freddo14
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    Just saying that passing the dvd players rgb output through the sky box probably isnt as ideal as running it straight to the tv, if only for the fact it'll have to travel through more cable to get there.

    still i doubt if anyone could consistantly see the difference.
     
  15. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    Thanks Freddo, I see the point you were making...

    Gareth.
     
  16. dancingmatt

    dancingmatt
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    Hi

    I've got a little adaptor with scart on one side and composite, s-video and audio L+R phonos on the other, and a switch for "input/output".

    When I'm feeding s-video into a tv I just switch it to input. But when I use it to output (i.e. send the other way) a scart socket to an s-video input it's a fuzzy and pretty poor picture.

    Why is this? I've put it down to a cheap cable, but could it also be to do with the Scart? Otherwise I can't see why you suggest a £50-£100 box to go on the back of his Sky box when he could just get an adaptor?

    DM
     
  17. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    Please can you state the equipment you are connecting and wether you have all connectors plugged in or just the 4-pin Din (s-video plug).

    Gareth.
     

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