Don’t get your cables in a tangle
Despite a surge in wireless technology for various areas of audio-visual, some aspects are always going to need cables and connections to one another, whilst others will stay during the changeover. Sometimes an array of cables can be overwhelming and connections can be missed. We’ve compiled a list of the most common cables and connections that will hopefully help make sense of the tangles!
Component Video Also Known As: RGB, BNC, RGB-HV
Usual Application: High-end DVD players to display device.
Summary: BNC is the name of the socket/cable type typically used to carry component signals. RGB-HV cable-computer video signals can be sent and received via this cable. The R is for Red, G is for Green, and B is for Blue. The H stands for Horizontal Sync and V stands for Vertical Sync. The sync portion of the signal provides information for the correct display of the signal. Digital TV receivers often have 15 pin VGA outputs, which can connect to component video.
Usual Application: High end DVD players to high end display devices.
Summary: HDMI is a relatively standard connection to connect home cinema components, being a digital equivalent of the popular ‘SCART’ format. Like SCART, HDMI can carry both video and audio, and so minimises on untidy wires.
There are two types of HDMI connections. The standard Type A HDMI connector has 19 pins, and the other; Type B has 29 pins, allowing it to carry an expanded video channel for use with high-resolution displays. Type-B is designed to support resolutions higher than 1080i.
S-Video Also Known As: S-VHS, Y/C, Mini DIN
Usual Application: Television to VCR/DVD player to Display device.
Summary: S-Video cables differ from composite cables in that they split the video signal into two different components: Luminance and Chrominance. The S-Video cable will offer marked improvement over a composite cable.
Composite Video Also Known As: Phono Audio/Video, RCA, Cinch, Phone (RCA) Jack
Usual Application: Most common cables used to link standard VCR and stereo Equipment.
Summary: This is the lowest quality cable for a video source, it is also the most common. They are usually colour coded with Yellow for video, and Red for right audio, and White for left audio.
Usual Application: Digital satellite and cable boxes. Links stereo, televisions and video recorders.
Summary: Scart can be converted via an adaptor to composite and S-Video.
VGA Also Known As: Mini D-Sub, 15 pin PC cable, Monitor Cable
Usual Application: Standard Monitor cable. A VGA cable is used for computer to a display device.
Summary: It is typically male-to-male with three rows, 15 pins. Its only home theatre application may be as a connection to a HDTV decoder, such as a current RCA model. Can convert VGA to component.
DVI Also Known As: DVI-D, DVI-I, Digital RGV
Usual Application: Digital to Digital connection between video/data source and display device.
Summary: DVI-Digital Video Interface. Developed for a plug and play standard. The digital connection automatically optimises your data source to work with the display device. DVI-D is a digital only connector. DVI-I can support both digital and analogue inputs.
Usual Application: Standard Network Port
Summary: The RS232 standard describes a communication method capable of communicating in different environments.
PS/2 Also Known As: Mouse Connector
Usual Application: Connects mouse to mother board or serial port.
Summary: A round 6-pin DIN connector. This port creates an interface between the computer and the projector, allowing the remote control to have access to both projector and computer functions.
PC Audio Also Known As: Audio Cable, 3.5mm Jack, Earphone Connector, Sub Mini
Usual Application: Standard connector for audio signals.
Summary: Most often used with either phono plugs or mono phone plugs. This is the standard connector for headphones and microphones.