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HDMI has become the standard for connecting any high definition device to your flat screen HDTV or CPU monitor.  HD video and sound is sent to the television or monitor through a single cable making it simple to connect any HD device.

Standard Definition (SD)

RCA or Composite Cables
RCA / Composite Cables

RCA / composite cables were the standard for connecting most devices to televisions or projectors before the arrival of high definition devices and HD video. These basic cables use three different connections distinguished by the colors red (stereo sound right) , white (stereo sound left) and yellow (video).

S-Video Cable
S-Video Cable

S-Video is a four pin cable that substitutes the RCA yellow video cable providing better resolution for SD signals. This cable separates the black and white signals through each pin providing more image detail. As a result this cable displays in 480i or 576i resolutions.

High Definition (HD)

Most HDTVs have two different options for connecting high definition devices.

HD Component Cables
Component Cables

Component cables (YPBPR) splits the video signal through three different connections distinguished by red (PR), green (Y) and blue (PB) cables. Sound is sent through two separate red (stereo sound right) and white (stereo sound left) cables totaling five connections. This option can be a little bulky when trying to hide wiring for a neater looking setup.

HDMI Cable
HDMI Cable

HDMI sends HD video and stereo sound through a single cable making it simple to connect any HD device. This connection sends multiple audio and video signals to a 19 pin connection resulting in higher detail. HDMI is also capable of transferring HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encrypted data for copyright purposes. There are several versions of HDMI connections that vary depending on the TV or media device. The more recent version, HDMI 2.0a, transfers full HDR (high dynamic range) and 4K Ultra HD signals. The cable itself is just a signal pipeline and is universal to all versions. This means that all HDMI cables are compatible between devices. In addition, HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI i/o enabling easy connection to CPU via a converter adapter or cable.

Refer to FlatScreen 101 for all of the basics of HDTV technology.

 

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