Please help a cable dummy

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Si133, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Si133


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    Hi everyone. I really need your help to stop me wasting a load of money

    After some excellent advice over in the Plasma forum, I have purchased a Panasonic TH42PE30, and wall mounted it.

    The picture is good, but not a patch on the one I have seen in John Lewis (using a Ixios RGB lead).

    Now that I have spent 3K on a TV, I know I have to get the right leads (but I have little money left), but I'm finding the advice a bit too technical. I only ever used freebie scarts before. Can you help?

    I am using an analogue single for my normal TV viewing, and I have a gold plated coax cable running from my aerial to the TV (I can't get freeview in my area). I will be upgrading to the Sky version of freeview when it comes out later this year.

    I am running a DVD player and my computer to the TV. I am currently using gold plated JVC scarts (cheapies from Currys).

    My questions are:

    1. What is the best type of lead for me to run between the DVD player and the TV for the ultimate DVD viewing?

    2. When I add sky, how should I alter that set up?

    3. Will I get a good computer picture if I switch to a scart connection, rather than use the monitor connector on the front?

    4. Any other advice?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Parklife

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    Jun 9, 2004
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    Best connection for DVD to TV is using component ouputs to ouput a progressive sacn picture. If your DVD player does not have these then next best is RGB Scart.

    For SKY use RGB scart.

    Not sure about computer!

    Any sort of upgraded cables from the freebies will be an improvement. Personally I have always liked the quality I get from QED cables where the sacrts start from about £25.
  3. owain_thomas

    Active Member

    Sep 29, 2002
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    Manchester, England
    Hi Si133,

    To make sure you get the best quality picture from your plasma you need to use the best type of connection for each source. In descending order of quality the different types of video connection go like this:

    DVI/HDMI - all digital signal, best possible quality, only from a PC or expensive, new DVD players

    VGA - standard monitor connection from a PC

    Component video/YPrPb/ - this is usually done with 3 phono plugs, coloured red green and blue (although they aren't RGB signals), can do progressive scan pictures as well as interlaced (the standard for TV signals), newer/better DVD players have this type of connection

    RGB - carried by SCART type connectors, best available from a sky box and some older/cheaper DVD players. The difference between these last three types is not necessarily massive, from here on down the quality drops off quite quickly.

    Svideo - little DIN plug (small thing with pins in it), available on some sky boxes and most DVD players. Can be carried over a fully wired SCART cable as well.

    Composite - single yellow phono plug, not to be confused with component (3 phono plugs), worst possible connection, very low quality. Can also be carried over SCART cables.

    Now, the thing to be careful of is that SCART cables are exactly that, cables. They are not a type of video signal, they can actually carry three of the above types of signal. In order to get the best out of a SCART connection the cable needs to be fully wired (have all the pins connected, not just some), and importantly the source and the display device need to be setup to send/receive an RGB signal.

    This last bit is really important as a SCART cable will often carry a composite signal as well as anything else (say RGB), so just because you're getting a picture, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best picture you could get. If everything is setup right then when you look at the setup screens of your DVD player (for example) everything should have nice crisp edges, if you are seeing a composite signal there will be nasty dots crawling around the edges of text/boxes.

    So to answer your questions:

    1) This all depends on which type of connections you DVD player has, have a look at the back of it and see. If the best it has is a SCART then try your gold plated SCARTS first and make sure both DVD player is outputting RGB and that the plasma is accepting it (it will be in the setup menus of each piece of kit). If this is not good enough then something like this will probably improve it, bear in mind though that this product doesn't carry any sound so if you are using speakers that are part of the plasm it won't work.

    2) Best picture you'll ever get from a standard sky box is RGB, the problem with this may come if you only have one RGB capable input on your plasma. If this is the case then you have a couple of options, either buy a decent quality RGB SCART switching box or accept that one of your connections will have to be slightly below par and use SVideo for either the sky box (if you get one with an svid connection like a sky+ or grundig digibox) or the DVD player. If your DVD player happens to have a better than SCART quality connection (such as component video), then this won't be a problem, use that for the DVD and RGB SCART for the sky box.

    3) For your PC you should definitely NOT use a SCART connection, this would at best be Svid, and probably just a nasty composite picture. Use the VGA connection, or even better (not sure whether your plasma has this or not) DVI.


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