HDTV Cables

Almost every high-definition television (HDTV) is made to accept a number of different inputs, both standard and high definition. The standard inputs can range from composite video (the red, white and yellow cords) to S-video to a basic RF cable/antenna input. The high-definition cables inputs are usually HDMI and component cables (similar to composite cables, except colors red, green and blue replace the yellow). More rarely, some HDTV’s will also have a DVI-D input. The last three in of these inputs are all capable of receiving high definition signals up to 1080p (which means 1920 by 1080 pixels, in progressive scan).

Here are descriptions of different HDTV cables:
HDMI – this is the type of input and cable that has been most closely associated with high definition, mostly because its name makes that association vary easy. HDMI cables are also the most low-maintenance cables available – HDMI is the only type of HDTV cable that carries both video and audio in one cable ending. Every other HD cable has at least two different connections that need to be made to establish a proper visual and audio connection. HDMI cables allow for one easy connection, and that’s one of the factors that is making this type of cord more popular than the others for HD devices.

However, the prominence of HDMI cables has led to a few misconceptions about it – namely that HDMI cables provide a consistently better visual quality than the other types of HD cables/inputs. This is not universally true. In some situations, with certain devices, HDMI cables can give the best visual display. However, in other situations, like when the cable is longer than 20 feet, other cables can actually do better than the HDMI. And different devices can have a better or worse quality for different types of cables. There is no universal “best” type of cable for visual display.

Component video cables – These are a little more complex than HDMI cables, requiring five ends on each side to connect to both HDTV and the device. The biggest difference between component and HDMI and DVI signals is that component video cables give an analog signal. This won’t usually make a difference, but it can with some devices and distances. For the most part, there’s no real advantage to component video, but if that’s what the device comes equipped for, there’s no disadvantage to using it either.

Component cables come with the standard red and white ends for audio, and then a group separate green, red and blue ends for HDTV display.

DVI Cables – These are the rarest of the three connections, mostly because so few devices use it. Many HDTV’s can use DVI connections, and the most common devices to use it are upscale DVD players and desktop computers. The signal a DVI connection gives out is exactly the same as and HDMI cable, except that it doesn’t carry audio. In order to run audio from a DVI device, you’ll need to attach separate audio cords.

If your HDTV doesn’t have a DVI input, it can still run DVI devices. Because DVI and HDMI use the same digital signal, you can buy a DVI to HDMI adapter that will run perfectly.

When you’re looking to buy an HDTV cable, the most important thing to do is make sure both your HDTV and device use that cable. There’s a negligible difference in quality for different cables, so it doesn’t matter so much which kind you have. It’s also important to make sure you get a high-quality HDTV cable if you really care about your display – especially if your cable is longer than about 6 feet. Any more than that and the signal can degrade in the cheaper kinds of HDTV cables.

This HDTV Cables Review is Written/Updated on Jul 24th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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