What Is the Purpose of S Video Cable?by Michael Francisco
S-video cables, which were introduced along with S-VHS cassettes in the late '80s, did not have widespread use until the mid-to-late '90s when home theater systems, video game systems and DVD players began to make use of the technology. S-video cables offered superior video quality until the introduction of component video.
Horizontal Lines of Resolution
S-video cables offer 120 horizontal lines of resolution, which was an improvement over ordinary VCRs. Though they never became widespread, S-VHS cassettes were sought after by some because they offered higher picture and color quality than a VHS cassette's 30 lines of resolution.
Gray Scale and Color Separation
S-video cables allow for higher bandwidth and better picture quality because they separate the gray scale and color information into two grounded pairs. This 4-pin S-video cable is the most common and is still widely available.
S-video vs. RGB Component Video
The emergence of RGB (red, green, blue) component video at the beginning of the 21st century offered a higher quality alternative to S-video. RGB component video separates color information into three channels and though it is more complex, it produces a higher quality image.
Compatibility with Laptops and Computer Video Cards
4-pin S-video will fit in the 7-pin sockets (called mini-DIN) used on laptops and certain video cards on computers. However, a 7-pin connector is optimal as it utilizes one of the pins to carry a component signal.
Compatibility with VIVO
High-end computer video cards known as VIVO (video in, video out) support standard S-video, along with composite and component signals. If you own an older TV with nothing of higher quality than an S-video input, you can use the VIVO card to display your computer's multimedia files on the TV.
- photo_camera www.usbvideoadapter.com, Wikimedia Commons