Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Few days ago, I talked about HTDVs, but today I'm talking about cables.  To get the most out of your new HDTV, you need to use new cables.

The most old cable that is still supported by TVs is the coaxial cable.  The one that has a little nut and a really thin copper cable inside.  Coaxial cable has the worst quality and it is only good to use it on old TVs.  The second worst is called RCA and it's the most common right now.  A RCA cable has three plugs, yellow, red and white, and the most this cable can get is around 480i (read my previous post if you don't understand what 480i is), but the image quality is somewhat blurry.  Above the RCA cable is a little variant called S-Video, which replaces the yellow cable from the normal RCA set.  S-Video also gets around 480i, but the image is a lot sharper and clearer when compared to normal RCA.

But still, those cables are not enough for HDTVs.  The next cable is VGA, and it is the standart for connecting computer monitors and proyectors, and while VGA is very good and precise for computers, it's not so good for movies.  With VGA you could get whatever resolution you would want, but the sys specs (system specifications) rise a lot.  Around VGA's quiality is the component cable.  This cable has the same form-factor of RCA, but it replaces the yellow cable with a blue, a green and a red ones, and it still needs the red and white for audio.  Component cable works in progressive scan and it works perfectly on 720p, althought it could also work on 1080p, but not as good.

All the cables that I've mentioned have something in common, they are all analog.  But what does this mean? It means that those cables will always have some quality loss, depending on the plugs, the sockets, the material of the cable, and even other cables around them.  So for HDTVs was created a new digital cable, called HDMI (High-Definition Media Interface).  This cable is just like any other cable, but the devices it connects use the cable to "talk" to each other in packages of information; therefore, there is almost no quality loss for really high resolutions like 1080p or even higher.

So that's it.  When you try to connect your TV think of what you'll use it to, and then buy the appropiate cables.  Wouldn't want to waste your new $1'500 HDTV's quality.


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