FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

Thread: FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

  1. EvilBoB's Avatar

    EvilBoB said:

    Info FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

    As more and more people are getting into Hidef I thought I would write a guide to help.

    There are a variety of video connections available on the market. These are listed here with some info on what to expect as well as some info on other technicalities.

    RF (Ariel/coax)
    The poorest of connections available. I would be surprised if anyone reading this still uses RF Ariel connections to their displays unless they are watching Freeview - however freeview boxes will most likely be connected to the display via RGB SCART (See below)

    SCART
    This has been the staple diet of most home video sources for many years and is a vast improvement over an ariel connection.

    RGB SCART
    If your TV has a SCART chances are it will take an RGB signal through it. Using an RGB video source (You may have to enable this in your satellite box, dvd player, games console etc.) will give a MUCH crisper image compared to standard SCART. You will notice bleeding of the image clean up substantially and the image itself becoming more crisp.

    S-Video
    Almost identical in quality to RGB SCART but with a smaller connector. S-Video only carries a video signal - all audio must be taken care of with some other connection type (eg phono or fibre optic)

    Component
    Component signals can be delivered through three or five "phono-styled" connectors or even over a SCART type connector as on some recent LCDs. The signal is still an analog one but because of the much higher bandwidth available can handle higher resolutions and therefore deliver much crisper images. Component can be used to send progressive and High Definition (HD) images to a display. Component is capable of outputting all HD resolutions up to 1080p however due to the bandwidth limitations a good quality cable is recommended for the higher HD resolutions.

    VGA
    Old news for PC owners, with the advent of LCD and plasma displays a lot of these will have a VGA connection. VGA is an analog connection and gives a quality similar to component. VGA is capable of outputting all HD resolutions up to 1080p and beyond into the PC resolution spectrum.

    HDMI/DVI
    The first true digital connections for video equipment
    . The difference between HDMI and DVI is pretty straight forward. DVI is a video only connection leaving audio to other methods such as phono, fibre or coax. HDMI on the other hand carries an audio signal alongside the video and with the latest implementations of HDMI (1.3) it can carry high definition audio (TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus etc) as seen in HDDVD and Blueray movies.
    As well as giving the cleanest, crispest video signal of all DVI and HDMI can have HDCP (High Definition Copyright Protection) enabled. This is in an effort to stop piracy of HD materials but is not (currently) mandatory. HDMI and DVI are capable of outputting all HD resolutions up to 1080p
    . If you are buying a display with a HDMI connector try and make sure you have HDCP and that the port is HDMI 1.3 - you should be able to find this out from the manufacturers web site. This should future proof you for the forseable future.

    There are many arguments over the best connection for your display/video source but most people will not notice the difference unless they are using high end equipment. If you are using high end equipment then you will most likely also have the best interconnects you can use anyway.

    Resolutions
    SD = 480i
    EDTV = 480p
    HDTV = 720p/1080i/1080p
    4K = 4096x2160
    UHD = 3840x2160


    DVD Players that upscale
    All regular DVDs are recorded at 480p although there are DVD players on the market that upscale. What this means is that the DVD player will "try" and use an algorithm to create a HD image. This should not be confused with a true HD image however and can sometimes make movies look plain wrong. Most of Denon's range for example implement the Faroudja upscaling chipset. Some DVDs will look better than on a normal player but bear in mind that the DVD player is essentially "guessing" what should be in the missing resolution.

    HDDVD and Bluray
    The newest kids on the block to bring High Definition into our homes. Both recorded on disks that look a lot like normal DVDs these are anything but. Most HDDVD and Bluray (Sometimes called BDROM) are recorded in 1080p. It is then up to the player and the display as to what resolution is output.

    I know some of this is covered in the sticky at the top but figured its worth listing in a bit more detail about the connections.
    --
    If anyone has any questions/points to make please reply and I will try and keep the first post as updated as possible. Hopefully this will be able to answer most peoples questions eventually.
    Last edited by EvilBoB; 30th March 2015 at 11:12 AM.
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  2. Raptor's Avatar

    Raptor said:

    Default Re: FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

    Still useful info
     
  3. Over Carl's Avatar

    Over Carl said:

    Default Re: FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

    Wasn't S Video superior to SCART as the chroma and luma signals were split? (iirc, you can join the chroma + luma to get a composite feed like used in SCART)

    Not that S Video is often seen today.......
     
  4. EvilBoB's Avatar

    EvilBoB said:

    Default Re: FAQ : Video connections and a bit about resolutions

    Quote Originally Posted by Over carl View Post
    Wasn't S Video superior to SCART as the chroma and luma signals were split? (iirc, you can join the chroma + luma to get a composite feed like used in SCART)

    Not that S Video is often seen today.......
    Yes. You are correct it was but the actual difference is so negligible that you would probably need a high end screen and specialist hardware to see any improvements. Like you say though not many things handled S-Video anyway - usually camcorders and the like.

    I really need to update the OP to include all the new stuff like 4K, 8K etc.
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