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Non-HD cable / DVD: Component Video or S-Video?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:14 pm
by mikekohut
Okay, while I just got an HD tv, I won't be getting HD channels for awhile. I have cable and don't use a set top box. As such, will I actually get better cable picture with S-video cable over component until I make the switch to an HD source? Seems like I read that somewhere...???

I think I am going to get component cable for my DVD player to receive connection, maybe that alone justifies the upgrade to component from the receiver to TV? Or... should I actually switch the cables depending on the source I am using (component for DVD and then S-video for cable)?

I ask because I haven't spent money on component cable yet, and maybe I shouldn't???

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:29 pm
by garcianc
Careful not to trigger a debate on what the absolute best cable is, I would recommend (for the typical consumer) the following order of priority: HDMI, DVI, Component, S-Video, then whatever else you can get (RGB, Analog Coax, Composite, etc.).
I am nobody and have no credentials, just a fellow forum member trying to help.

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:15 pm
by mikekohut
Thanks, for the post. And so... exactly, you nailed it - those are the known quality preferences, in rank order. However, I think there may also exist variables which re-shuffle the order. Maybe someone can shed light on my scenario.

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:23 pm
by Chuck_K
garcia nailed it:

1) hdmi - best quality digital video and audio. able to carry both digital video and audio. supports hd.

2) dvi - best quality digital video media. same as hdmi for video, but does not carry the digital audio. supports hd.

3) component - best quality analog video media. similar to r/g/b/v/h but more current. supports hd.

4) s-video - medium quality analog, but only slightly wider video bandwidth video signal. does not support hd.

5) composite - lowest quality analog, narrowest video bandwidth, legacy support. does not support hd.

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:24 pm
by mikekohut
Ok, I'll say it again, "nailed it." But, what still isn't clear is if component video cable is better than S-video when receiving a non-HD signal. I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't???

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:46 pm
by Chuck_K
component is allways better because the color information is allready demodulated. in s-vhs the color is sent as a modulated carrier and must be further demodulated.

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:25 pm
by mikekohut
Okay, then maybe it was that HDMI or DVI (digital cable) outputs actually worse signal than even S-video if the signal is non-digital (like non-HD cable)? This would appear to make sense....

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:20 pm
by tfm75

Man I'm so out of the loop as far as Video hook-up goes. Not how to do it, just what is the best path.

In 94 bought a 60" rear projection Tv and the picture was so good on that its been hard to jump to the Flat Screens. Its been about 5 yrs now that its been gone but I have not found a reasonable priced newer Tv that that makes me go WOW. This time I want to go with another 60"-80" . A Tv this big really makes the whole home theater so real.

I guess I need to get off my a$$ after Xmas and get myself a new TV.

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:29 pm
by Chuck_K
tfm75 i have to admit bigger is better for screen size.... my optoma h79 dlp projector is doing 100" and it's awesome!!

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:21 am
by Mr. M-500t
If your DVD player has component out which I'm sure it does then go with that strait to your HD TV and then go with the audio out strait to your receiver from your DVD player and configure both of them on the Video one,two,three or four outputs. You'll get the HD picture but no 5.1 sound, Just Stereo.
I hope this helps you a little bit.

After thought,
PS. If your receiver and DVD player have Optical or Co-axle capabilities then go with that and you will get 5.1 sound. I run my HK-AVR7000 6 Channel direct which works great for everything including Super Audio.
I can't wait to get my Outlaw 990

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:33 pm
by mikekohut
Now you have me confused - not your fault! :)

I have component cables coming via mail for my DVD player and TV - I fig'd I would run one set from DVD to receiver and then the other from receiver to TV. As for sound, I am thinking all TV sound will be directed from a pair of RCAs coming from the variable audio out on the TV.

As for sound, all 5.1 outputs from the DVD would then be run via RCAs to the Receiver and that would be that...???


Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:41 pm
by Mr. M-500t
What kind of receiver do you have Mike? How old is it ?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:41 am
by tfm75
Some DVD players will have RCA outs for surround L/R LR/RR C & sub.
there will be also a Digital coaxial output.

Some not all Receivers or Preamps will have the inputs to accept each channel from the DVD player. It will also have a Digital coaxial input as well.

Advantage of the first with RCA's.

You could place an equalizer per channel between DVD to receiver/preamp for compleat control of the sound.

You don't need a Dolby Digital receiver/preamp if your DVD player has all the outputs as above. Your DVD is doing the digital to analog with all the RCA outputs.

You could take three Carver C1 preamps, to have a Dolby Digital rig.

1 for the R/L fronts
1 for the R/L rears
1 for the C & sub
3 amps to power system
It will be more work adjusting three volume controls but it would work.

All this depends on how good the Digital to analog converter is in the DVD player.

The above is a rainy day have nothing better to do project. Also if your low on money what the hell give it a try.

you could also garage sale shop for used receivers any brand as long as your DVD player has all the decoded surround channels.


Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:29 pm
by garcianc
If your receiver is sophisticated enough to let you pass-thru component video signals, then it probably has optical or coaxial digital audio inputs. I would use those.... however, if your DVD player has discrete analog outputs for all your channels (like my Oppo HD971) and your receiver can take these through something like a "bypass" mode (different receivers have different names), you might want to connect your DVD using those. Most DVD players that offer discrete analog outputs also have volume control. The advantages are as tfm75 explained and, if this means that your DVD player is SACD or DVD-A capable, then that is the only way to truly enjoy those formats. Keep in mind that you will be bypassing your receiver's DACs in this configuration.

From your post, I am not sure where your TV sound will be originating from. If it is coming from a digital source (i.e a digital cable box), then I would use that connection and not the TV's RCA outputs, especially if a coax or optical output is available. If you don't have a set top box and you are using your TV's tuner to handle your cable signal, then I guess your TV's output is your only choice, which means probably mono, stereo, or downmixed stereo at best. On the plus side, if that's what you have, it means that your TV probably has a built-in HDTV tuner. I don't know where you live, but where I live I get about 14-16 HDTV channels over the air. All you need is a fairly inexpensive antenna. I paid $100 for mine but you can get one for as low as around $20.