Wiring Guide: Page 3

Types of video cables:

  • Standard coax:  The old twist-on coax cable carries audio and video, but you will most likely never use it for that purpose.  It passes the lowest quality audio and video possible so don’t use it unless you absolutely have to.  If you have a mortal enemy, use it to connect his high-def cable box to his TV.
  • Composite video cables:  This RCA cable is the yellow one you see grouped together with a red and white one.  Even though we’ve been using it for decades, I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.  We still see it used for video game systems (like the Wii) and for many commercial uses.  The quality of cable won’t affect the system.  Spend $15 on one and you’ll be fine.
  • S-video:  I don’t even know why I am wasting e-space for this one.  This cable is dead.  You’ll have a hard time finding any new device that even has connections for it.
  • Component video:  This is how we have been getting HD for the last decade or so.  It’s a group of three RCA cables (red, green and blue) and never fails.  Although we don’t use it much anymore, it will still be around for a long time.  It’s great for video distribution and for businesses.  It’s not capable of 1080p (that’s mostly true but will be left for another day) but still shows a great picture.  Quality isn’t overly important here either.  Spend $30 to $45 for a 6′ set and you will be fine.
  • RGB, VGA and DVI:  These are video cable that you will use to connect your TV to your PC.  Newer PCs have HDMI outputs but if it doesn’t have one, it will have one of these.  Installing these cables in the wall are a PAIN since the connectors are so large and fragile. Avoid it if you can.  If not, good luck.  I have always used moderate grade cables, and I have never had one go bad.  I’d recommend using a good quality cable just in case.  I don’t want any nasty phone calls.
  • HDMI:  Like I said earlier, this is the cable we will be using for a long time.  Not only does it carry 1080p, but it carries 3D.  Besides that, there isn’t anything else to say about HDMI that I haven’t already mentioned.

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