[Tech : video ] Content 2004 by Lyberty; last
updated March 30, 2005
(Separated-Video) is better than a composite video connection.
But note that the bandwidth of S-video (also written
as "S Video") is the same as that of composite video. The
real benefit of an S-video connection is that it can reduce dot crawl,
hanging dots, and crawling edges that appear on the vertical and horizontal
edges (respectively) of some colored objects in the picture. [more]
S VIDEO, originally known as "Y/C Separated
video", is one of the higher quality ways to transmit the television
signal from a peripheral device (DVD player, PlayStation 2, whatever)
to a television. The way S-Video works is that it basically separates
the color information (Chrominance) from the brightness (Luminance).
By doing this, it reduces things like color bleeding and dot crawl and
greatly increases the general clarity and sharpness of the picture.
The reason that this is so is that televisions are designed to display
separate Luminance (Y) and Chrominance (C) signals.
S-Video connector pin-out:
The increase in picture quality that you'll get in platform games (like
the PS2) when you move from composite (yellow-plug) to S-Video is very
noticeable and is well worth spending the extra money to buy the optional
(not composite) Video [aka Analog Component Video; Y - Pb - Pr; red-green-blue]:
Uses a three jack cluster of wires with the ends color
coded green, blue, and red. (does not include audio cable).
Y-Pb-Pr, or what we nowadays refer to as component video
or color difference video, was invented to simplify video electronics
and reduce the overall bandwidth requirements for transmitting video
compared with RGB. In practice it provides one luminance signal with
full horizontal resolution and two color signals with reduced horizontal
Y = Luminance, Pb = Chrominance 1, Pr = Chrominance
From your DVD player or HDTV set top box to your TV,
it is analog, thus its full name "analog component video".
Also referred to as Y, R-Y, B-Y or color difference
video. Some DVD players label the green, blue, and red jacks Y, Cb,
Video [RCA or BNC] (aka "yellow-plug" video)
The old "AV" standard connector. The common
RCA connector is color-coded Yellow for Composite video.
The term "yellow-plug video" is recommended to help cut down
on confusion between "composite" and "component"
(which sound alike).
The four types of standard video connections described in the following
table give you four levels of video quality. Optimize your viewing experience
by using the best connection available for your connected component.
For example, if your DVD player supports a component video connection,
connect the DVD player to your Plasma TV using component video instead
of composite video or S-Video.
||Cable and Connector
||Component - The video signal is split into three signals,
two color and one black and white, giving you the best picture.
Use component video to take advantage of the superior picture found
in such signal sources as HDTV and progressive DVD.
||S-Video - The video signal is split into two signals, giving
you an even better quality picture. For example, text displayed
on-screen using this connection is noticeably sharper than composite
or coaxial (RF).
||Composite ("yellow plug") - The video signal
is carried through a single "pin". This connection type is the one
that is most commonly found on video devices (as of 2004/2005).
||Coaxial (RF) - The video and audio signals are both carried
in one cable. Used for antenna and cable signals.
(The other three connection types only handle video, requiring separate
connections for sound.)
But what about those red and white connectors?
Stereo Analog Audio connections use red and White color coded "RCA"
connections. These support mono or stereo analog audio.
Building a home theatre: Get a 27" or bigger
TV with a component video input.
The only feature you should shop for when buying this
TV is a component input (in addition to composite and
s-video). This input is about 1/2 an inch in diameter with about
five pins in the center.
Component video comes in different non-interchangeable
formats (scan rate formats) for regular TV or HDTV, for example:
Interlaced or 480i from a standard NTSC DVD player : : 480i = NTSC interlaced
video = 640x480 pixels = 480 displayed horizontal lines of resolution
480p from a progressive scan NTSC DVD player : : 480p = NTSC progressive
scan = 640x480 pixels = 480 displayed horizontal lines of resolution
720p (HDTV) :: 720 displayed horizontal lines of resolution
1080i (HDTV) :: 1080 displayed horizontal lines of resolution
Note: Typically, standard TVs and HDTVs support only a 60Hz refresh
Component or s-video? ( vs.)
S-Video: separates chrominance and luminance
Component: further separates chrominance into two signals
This is why component is better. Makes a big difference even on an analog
tv when using a dvd player.
Recomendation: Use high quality cables. Gold plated, double shielded,
and made for video only.
Note: If your DVD player does not have a progressive
scan (480p) button then the signal will be 480i.
to part 2 of this article: digital video connections >