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What is the difference between Composite and Y/C Video Cables?
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There is apparently some confusion among videographers, some videographers think that the video cable will determine the resolution of the video signal.

Both S-VHS and Hi8 video are recorded in a slightly different fashion than their lower resolution counterpart (VHS and 8mm). The luminance portion of the video signal is allocated a substantially wider bandwidth on the frequency spectrum.

Since it is the luminance portion of the signal that dictates resolution, more video picture detail can be recorded. S-VHS and Hi8 video tapes have nearly twice as much luminance information than VHS and 8mm..

An S-VHS and Hi-8 video signal is approx. 400 lines resolution, while a VHS or 8mm video signal is approx. 220 lines of resolution. Even when an SVHS or Hi8 video is sent through standard composite video cables rather than Y/C cables, you will still have a 400 line resolution signal.

With a Y/C (S-Video) video cable, the luminance (brightness) and chrominance (color) portions of the video signal are sent through their own separate cables where cross-talk (interference) between the two is diminished. This is one of the reasons you?ll get an even better picture when you use Y/C (S-video) video cable and connectors.

While S-VHS and Hi8 display their rated horizontal resolution when played back through composite video cables, the best signal transfer occurs when the Y/C cables are used. You can even improve the quality of VHS-to-VHS by running video through the Y/C connectors.

Speaking of Connections

One of the weakest links in any video production system, is the quality of video cables used to connect the video equipment. There are some videographers that will spend mega-bucks on video equipment, only to use $2 cables that can create or pickup noise and interference. To make sure you?re getting a high quality video signal out of your equipment you should use the best possible cables for connecting your equipment.

If composite video cables are used for any connections, make sure that they are broadcast quality (75 ohm) cables to reduce any amount of resistance and signal loss into the chain.

Keep your connecting cables as short as possible. Long video cables are prone to signal loss and RF interference. Also, it is best to use double shielded cables, as they greatly reduce EMI and RF interference. If you are using Y/C video cables that are two cables molded together, be careful as they are not double shielded.

If you make loop-through connections, make sure the selectable termination switch is in the proper position. If a signal is looping through to another component, leave the 75 ohm termination switch ?open,? or off. If the signal ends at the last of a series of components, turn the termination switch on.

If you are using sync or reference signals that are being looped-through a number of various pieces of video equipment, keep the maximum number of components to six. If you are setting up a multiple VTR duplication system, DO NOT ?daisy chain? or loop the video signal through your duplication decks. This would cause the video signal to drop in quality as it loops through each deck. It is best to use a video distribution amp to ensure that the same high-quality video and audio feed is being sent into the distribution amp is being sent to all of the connected VTRs.

Last update: 10:07 AM Wednesday, August 9, 2006


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