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Are component and composite cables constructed differently?

by kokomas / January 19, 2006 12:18 AM PST

I was reading the boxes for a component video cable and a similar looking composite video and audio cable and could not tell a difference apart from the higher price for component cables and the differently colored connectors. If you use composite cords in the component jacks, would picture suffer? Is there some tuning for video that makes component cables better suited? Curious because I have the distinct feeling that this is a ruse!

Thanks, Pete

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I have the distinct feeling that this is a ruse! YEP!!!
by jcrobso / January 19, 2006 1:29 AM PST

A composit video cable is 75 ohm coax. Component video cable is 3-75ohm coax cables. You could use 3 composit cables, no problem!!! Yes the ones that have the 3 video cables and 3 audio cabels make it easer to hook up looks nicer.
But keep in mine if a $25 cable is good a $100 cable WILL NOT BE 4 times better. Good price for 6' component + audio is $30~40. Homes depot has some nice RCA brand cables that will do the job and not make you credit card melt. John

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Some component cables are better
by Dan Filice / January 19, 2006 2:37 AM PST

A standard RCA-type cable will work (times 3) for component hookups, but the .49 cent regular video cable is constructed often with minimal quality. Some of the more expensive video cables use multi-layers of material inside to help shield the video signals from outside interference. Some, like the Monster Cables I bought for my HDTV years ago, claim that they have some sort of inert gas layered inside the cable housing. Who knows if this is true or not, but then again many automobile tire installer (like Costco) promote the use of Nitrogen to fill their tires. Is this a farce too? Anyways, in the professional video business, great effort and cost are spent on special video cables for the purpose of creating the least resistence. Have you ever compared the coax video cable you can buy at your local hardware or video store? Seems good, until you compare it to the coax that the cable company uses for their installation. It's twice the diameter and it has a solid metal sheath surrounding the inside cable line. What about the actual metal on the plug? My Monster (and other brands) use gold, whereas the .49 cent brand uses a lesser metal. Is gold necessary? No, not to simply get a video signal, but if you were to connect an ohm meter to the connectors I would venture to say that gold makes for a better contact and less long-term corrision. All of this is important only if you are one who likes to compare details and one who seeks out the best solution for every problem. Not everybody does or cares.

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thanks so far, a bit of clarification...
by kokomas / January 19, 2006 3:54 AM PST

I am totally on board that better metal and better shielding should theoretically help. But holding those constant, my curiosity surrounds the component and composite (times 3) cables i see side by side, same packaging, same gold plated connectors. At radio shack for instance the Gold series component cable (part 15-1563) costs $30 while the exact same looking composite cable (part 15-1508) costs $20. based on the first response in this thread and the vague but similar looking techspecs on the radio shack website i see no reason to believe they are different. If you are able to pretend a white connector is blue and a yellow one green, just pay ten dollars less for the composite cable set.

component cable 15-1563 $29.95

composite cable 15-1508 $19.95

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Slight difference`
by Dan Filice / January 19, 2006 4:32 AM PST

The key phrase is RG6 cable rating on the component cables, which, by industry standards, has less resistance and better bandwidth specs...But the composite cables will work just fine. I've used them often for component hookups, ignoring the colors of the cables. Using plain-wrap cables for component will give you a better picture than S-Video and a HUGE difference over coax. I've used regular composite cables to hookup a DVD player to TV in my bedroom, but for my main HT setup, I spent the big-bucks on high-end component cables. The reasoning was that I spent a lot of money on my TV, my DVD player and my HT receiver for my main setup, so why go cheap on the cables. There may not be a difference over cheap-o cables, but mentally my mind tells me the picture and audio are the best I can get because the cables are the best. But, my HT has a phenomenal picutre and sound (per friend's reviews), so I have no qualms about spending the money on cables.

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RG6 curiously listed in composite specs, but not component
by kokomas / January 19, 2006 5:54 AM PST
In reply to: Slight difference`

Thanks for the info, I did not know what RG6 was, but strangely on the radioshack website, the composite cables are listed as RG-6 while the component specs make no mention of classification...but i take all your points i have no way of knowing if all three lines in the composite cable are rg-6 or 75ohm, just assume they all are based on radio shack page...I've learned a lot here but still think in this specific case its a ruse! I might have to do some empirical research.



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by jcrobso / January 19, 2006 5:19 AM PST

The composit cable only has only one 75ohm coax cable the other two are audio cables may not be 75ohm. Spend the extra $10. John

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49cent cable????
by jcrobso / January 19, 2006 5:12 AM PST

I don't think I recomended 49cent cables ANYWHERE!!!!!!
Not sure how you came to that conclusion!!!!
"in the professional video business," they use Belden or Canare cables.
"automobile tire installer (like Costco) promote the use of Nitrogen to fill their tires." Hmm,, I just bought some tires at Costco, Nitrogen was never brought up.
FYI: air is 60% or so Nitrogen.
Lets see the is RG59 75ohm coax, good for runs under 100'
RG6 is better for long runs and where to has to cary DC voltage as well, for satilite recivers. RG6 comes in many flaviors. Single, double and quad shield. The quad shield is what the cable companies use since most of the run is OUTDOORS. Now as for the metal sheath cable this is the special trunk cable that is used on the distribution line OUTDOORS on the telephone pole. They never run this into a house.
As for Mont$er cable it has as much FUD as quality.
The reason that everyone sells it is the there is SOOOO
much money to be made. At Fry's the salesmen were told to push MC,,,why??? Because the store made 49 points on the sale. $100 MC product netted the store $49 proffit.
FYI: the $40 RCA cables at home depot have gold connectors, as do the house brand at Radio Schack.
At the link below they have done many tests on all sorts of cable. Many of the BIG$$$$$$$$ cables did not test as good as the good mid priced cables. John

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49 cents
by Dan Filice / January 19, 2006 6:01 AM PST
In reply to: 49cent cable????


I wasn't making fun of any cable, only comparing what a regular cable would cost (and over-exaggerating a bit just for the fun of it) vs. the $100 Monster cable. Did you read in my post that I mentioned that I've used the regular cable for component and it "works fine"? All of the Costco stores where I live (Los Angeles area) have big signs inside and out that state "Nitrogen filled tires" to help eliminate rotting, promote better wear...etc. I didn't make it up. I you doubt me, I would be happy to email you a picture of the sign at my Costco store. As far as the extra-heavy trunk cable from the cable company and the fact that "they don't run this into the house", no, they don't, but from my splitter the cable company does use their own coax that is much larger in size than the stuff we buy at the local stores. And, the cable guy mentioned that the smaller coax is more inferior to carrying a signal, especially when dealing with the strength needed for their HD signals. One of my HD sets was getting a signal that was barely adequate (because of my store-bought coax), so he replaced it with his cable and the signal went to 100% strength. Go figure. Now, can one translate the same logic into standard video vs. premium video cables? I can't say for sure and probably not for short cable lengths. But then some people buy Cornell tires at Pep Boys rather than Bridgestone tires. Is there a difference? For easy driving, probably no. When pusing the limits or when emergency maneuvers are needed....hmmmm.

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Are getting into apples and oranges???
by jcrobso / January 19, 2006 6:17 AM PST
In reply to: 49 cents

Ok, I see,,no problem.
Yes, I would like to see a picture of the sign!! Next time I'm at my Costco I will look to see if they have one.
Since my son-in-law no longer works for the cable company
I will share one of his stories. On a service about poor picture quality he found that the customer was using a MC component cable. When he replaced it with the stock company cable the problem went away. Not sure on how to explane to the customer that the Big$$$ MC was the problem he called his boss, was told just to make up something and fine tuning the cable box stuff the MC cable under the TV and leave. It seems the get paid by MC not to say bads things about MC products when they find a bad one. I though MC was guaranteed for life, guess that they don't want to admit failure. John

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