There are many different types of video cables, and it is important to know which type you need before you buy. It is a good idea to first consult your owners manual to determine which kind of cable is right for your device. If a manual is unavailable just read below and we will make buying the right cable easy. PI Manufacturing has included images of both the cable and the port to better help you determine which video connection your device has.
- RCA Composite Video
This type of video is standard on many devices. Most newer televisions have at least one RCA composite video input. Many VCRs, camcorders, DVRs, satellite receivers, and DVD players have composite video output as an option. Composite video uses a single RCA plug for video connection. Composite is a good quality connection that will not disappoint, however we recommend using a S-Video or Component Video connection if your device supports it.
S-Video is a high quality video transmission method. S-Video uses multiple pins to send video transmission, which separates the color information from the brightness information. This separations prevents such things as color bleeding and increases the overall clarity and sharpness. This type of video is very common on many devices. Most newer televisions have at least one S-Video input. Many satellite receivers, DVD players, and DVRs have S-Video output as an option. S-Video gives a much higher picture quality then that of RCA composite. PI has a variety of high-quality S-Video cables to choose from.
- RCA Component Video
RCA Component is an extremely high quality video transmission method. Although the name is very similar to RCA Composite, RCA Component is a very different form of video transmission. Component video consists of three RCA plugs, where each transmits a different signal. The first plug (Y or green) is the luminance signal, which indicates brightness or black & white information. The other two plugs (blue and red) are the signals which indicate how much blue and red there is relative to luminance. Due to this separation of signals, component video is a superior form of video transmission. Component video can be found on high quality devices, such as DVD players. Many newer televisions have a RCA Component Video input. RCA Component gives a higher picture quality then that of RCA composite and S-Video. PI has a variety of high-quality RCA Component cables to choose from.
- BNC Component Video
BNC Component is an extremely high quality video transmission method. The only difference between BNC Component and RCA Component is the connection plug. BNC connection is much more secure then that of RCA. BNC locks the cable to the device, allowing for a more secure connection. A BNC connection won't become loose, which can decrease picture quality. BNC is only available on high end projectors and HDTVs. If you have this type of connection as an option, PI Manufacturing recommends taking full advantage of it.
- VGA - Video Graphics Array
VGA is a high quality analog video transmission method. VGA is standard on most PCs, monitors, and video projectors. Because VGA has so many different video pins, it is capable of delivering much more pixels then that of composite or even component video. VGA is a very high quality mode of video transmission, however PI Manufacturing recommends taking advantage of DVI (below) when available.
- DVI - Digital Visual Interface
DVI allows for an extremely high speed uncompressed connection between a digital television, personal computer, and other DVI-based electronic devices. A benefit of DVI is the uncompressed transfer of high definition video. DVI comes in three types, DVI-D, DVI-A, DVI-I. DVI-D is the most common of the three and transmits only high quality digital signals. DVI-A sends an analog only signal, this is very rare and is primarily used with VGA monitors. DVI-D sends both analog and digital signals simultaneously. PI Manufacturing recommends taking advantage of this high quality digital visual interface.
- HDMI - HIGH-DEFINITION MULTIMEDIA INTERFACE
HDMI allows for an uncompressed data transfer between digital TV and compatible devices. Unlike DVI, HDMI sends both a video and audio signal. A large benefit of HDMI is that it adjusts video automatically to the most effective format. Another benefit to HDMI is that it is also compatible with DVI, which means HDMI can be connected to PCs. If this type of video/audio is available, PI Manufacturing highly recommends taking full advantage of this high quality digital method of data transfer.
2. How long of a cable do I need?PI Manufacturing offers a wide range of cable lengths (6ft,12ft, 25ft, 50ft, 75ft, 100ft). You should measure the distance between your devices before purchasing a cable. It is also important to allow extra length, so that you can connect your devices easily and neatly. A cable that is too short can be difficult and awkward to connect, however a cable that is too long may become hard to manage. PI Manufacturing recommends using a piece of string to simulate your connection, then measuring the string length used. Remember to always round to the longer cable length.
3. What type of audio cable do I need?
PI Manufacturing offers both digital and analog audio cables. Digital cables provide the best sound quality, however many devices may not be equipped for a digital connection. Although the quality is not as high as digital, analog RCA audio cables provide great sound quality. The benefit of RCA audio is that it is standard on almost all audio components. PI Manufacturing recommends using a digital audio signal when ever possible. PI Manufacturing has included images of both the cable and the port to better help you determine which audio connection your device has.
- Toslink Digital Optical Cable
Toslink digital optical cables provide an extremely high sound quality. The digital signal travels as light through a reflective core. Optical fibers can either be made of glass or plastic. The end result of these high quality cables is a clean digital data stream that, unlike its electrical (RCA) counterpart, offers no noise interference. PI Manufacturing recommends utilizing this technology if your devices are compatible.
- RCA Audio Cables
This type of audio connection is standard on most devices. Many audio and audio/video components, such as CD players, turntables, cassette players, VCRs, camcorders, DVRs, satellite receivers, and DVD players offer an RCA audio connection. RCA is a good quality connection that will not disappoint, however we recommend using a digital connection when available.
3. Should I get an audio/video combo cable?
If your device is an audio/video device, such as a VCR or DVD player, we recommend getting and audio/video cable. Having both audio and video on a single cable provides for a neat and low-cost connection. If your device has only an audio signal, such as a CD or turntable, an audio only cable should be used. PI manufacturing offers many different audio/video cables. Regardless of your audio/video connection, PI Manufacturing has the cable you need.