S-Video is dead on AV receivers--do you care?

Fewer AV receivers are including S-Video inputs, and even fewer devices are including S-Video ports. Does anyone still care about S-Video?

The future for AV receivers: no S-Video inputs.
The future for AV receivers: no S-Video inputs. Sarah Tew/CNET Networks

S-Video inputs are disappearing from AV receivers. Sony was one of the first companies to drop S-Video on the STR-DG810 in 2007, and in 2008, both the Sony STR-DG920 and Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K went without S-Video jacks. Yamaha's new 2009 AV receivers were announced last week, and it was no surprise that the company followed suit and dropped S-Video connections on its entire RX-V65 line. It will be interesting to see if any manufacturer includes S-Video on their new 2009 AV receiver lines.

In 2007, we knocked the STR-DG810 pretty hard for lacking S-Video. In 2009, however, the case for keeping S-Video seems pretty weak. Almost every new video gadget these days comes with HDMI, and the most popular standard definition device--the Nintendo Wii --also works with component video, which will look better anyway. While early Blu-ray players included the connection as a standard-def backup, newer players like the Samsung BD-P1500 and Insignia NS-2BRDVD drop S-Video completely, offering only a composite video connection.

Still, there are a few cases where an S-Video input would be useful. There are still legacy video components where S-Video is the highest quality connection--standard-definition cable boxes are a good example. S-Video is also still useful for anyone with an older camcorder that uses the connection. Instead of dropping S-Video completely, we'd rather receivers keep a single S-Video jack on the front panel input. That way you can still hook up a legacy device in a pinch, but manufacturers can recoup some of the cost by dropping S-Video on the rear panel--and hopefully that savings gets passed onto the consumer.

What do you think? Are S-Video inputs still useful? Should they be dropped to free up rear panel space and save money? Let us know in the comments.


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