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  • Video Resolution​s composite to HDMI
The Vision Experience

The Vision Experience

Video Resolutions: Composite through HDMI

So what are the different types of video cables? How are they typical used? Why isn't my picture getting 1080i/p resolution with that little yellow RCA cable?

This section will help explain the differences between low resolution connectors such as composite video through high definition video connection cables such as HDMI. VXP is here to educate our customers on why you need the right cables to get the highest resolution for your portable outdoor movie theater.

Composite Video Cable

Composite -  A composite video cable is an analog signal that is typically referred to as the "Yellow RCA" cable. It has been used most commonly at home since the time of BETA VCR's to connect an outside device to a television set. It is still a standard connection that you can find on DVD players, camcorders, and video games systems. This cable compresses and carries all the necessary data to transport information to make a video image.  It's low price one connection convenience still makes the composite video cable a standard connection on today's high tech gadgets. This analog signal carries only the picture.  Although convenient, the composite video cable has limitations on its resolution output. You can not get a high definition signal with a composite video cable.

So what is happening in the composite cable to make the video signal happen? It is a composite of two sources called Y, and C. The Y represents the brightness or luminance in the picture. The C represents the color or chrominance of the picture. Together the brightness (Y) and color (C) are compressed and sent on a single line by electronic pulses from the outside device to a television, projector, or monitor to create the video image that can be seen.

VXP uses composite video cables for in number of connections in the Gen 5 AV Workstations. These connections include outputs to monitors in all of the workstations,  composite video inputs that are later up converted to component or HDMI in the Pro HD and Premiere Pro 7.1, and a composite video output jack for the back up DVD player on the Performance AV1 Workstation.  Since Composite Video cable are limited to a low resolution video output VXP always pre-wires  HDMI output jacks on our AV workstations because they send the highest possible high definition video signals to your projector.

S-Video Cable

S-Video -  An S-Video cable is an analog signal that has a four pin connection found on either end of the cable. The S-Video cable is often referred to as a "Super-Video" cable. The S-Video cable typically does not come standard on VCR's but rather just on high end VCR's. This analog signal carries only the picture. S-video was typically used as an upgrade from a composite video cable for higher resolution output before component, DVI, and HDMI cables. You can not get a 720 or 1080 high definition signal with an s-video cable.

So what is happening in the s-video cable to make the video signal happen? An S-Video cable can transmit a higher video resolution than a composite video cable because the brightness (Y) travels on a separate line than the color (C). This resolution can be up to 480i/p. This separation of the brightness (Y) and color (C) in the signal path ensures that the two will not interfere with one another. The analog signal is sent by electronic pulses down the different paths, and the result in a better resolution in your video image than a composite cable. VXP uses S-Video cable input jacks that are up-converted to component or HDMI on our Pro HD and Premiere Pro 7.1 AV Workstations. VXP always pre-wires HDMI  outputs jacks on our AV workstations because they send high resolution video signals to your projector.


Component Video Cable

Component - A component cable is an analog video cable that has the trio of Red, Green, and Blue male RCA connectors. A component cable can also be referred to as an RGB cable (Red, Green, Blue cable). This cable does not use any compression in the signal path and imposes no real limit on color depth and resolution. The advent of movies on DVD brought the possibility of delivering even higher image quality. Therefore with the limitations of composite and s-video the RGB component cable became standard with DVD players. You can find component connections on X-Box 360, Blu Ray DVD players, standard DVD players, and more...Component cables give you the highest resolution possible in analog form. If used correctly, this cable is capable of giving the same resolution as a HDMI and DVI cable. Like HDMI and DVI this cable can give you a high definition 1080p signal.

So what is happening in the component cable to make the high definition video possible? It's simply a video cable where the components of brightness (Y) and color (C) are separated to an even greater extent than an S-video cable. There is no compression on a component video signal from the outside device to the TV or projector. So there is less chance of the components of color (C) and brightness (Y) interfering with each other, and will deliver a better resolution than a composite and s-video cable.

Specifically what is going on in each of the Red, Green and Blue cable connections? The Green RCA connector carries the brightness (Y). If the Green RCA connector is plugged into the source by itself it will transmit a black and white video image. The color is added through the Red and Blue cables, but unlike the Green cable the Red and Blue cables can not transmit the image by themselves. In a component cable, the color (C or chrominance) is further separated in the Red and Blue RCA connectors. Simply the color is separated into its own components. The Red cable carries Red minus brightness (R-Y); also labeled as  Cr or Pr.  The Blue cable carries Blue minus brightness (B-Y); also labeled Cb or Pb. The analog signal is sent by electronic pulses down the trio of the Red, Green, and Blue cables and gives you the best high definition image possible in analog form.

DVI and HDMI Cables

Digital Video Interface (DVI) and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Cables - The HDMI cable is the first industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio / video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any audio / video source, such as Blu Ray DVD player to a high definition projector. HDMI supports standard, enhanced, and high-definition video.  HDMI has an extra large bandwidth. This gives it the ability to transfer large amounts of data to accommodate the high demands of high definition video technology. DVI and HDMI cables can give you up to a 1080p High Definition Digital Video Signal. HDMI is a pure uncompressed digital Audio and Video signal. For VXP's Gen 5 AV workstations we only need the Video as we are using another path for the audio. What we are doing is simply dropping out all the audio. DVI is the digital uncompressed video part of the HDMI signal.

So what is happening in the HDMI and DVI cable to make the high definition video possible? Unlike the analog cables of composite, s-video, and component cables that send video data by electronic pulses. HDMI and DVI cables take the digital information of “ones" and "zeros" and delivers the exact digital copy from source to source. In other words no information is lost in the digital transfer.

VXP pre-wires THE CUBE, EZ HD, Performance AV1, Pro HD, and Premiere Pro 7.1 workstations with HDMI / DVI cables. Native 16:9 projectors are sold with our all inclusive systems to give you true 720 and  1080 high definition video images.