Video Cables Demystified!

Let’s face it—there are way too many different types of cables. I get asked fairly often what they’re all for, and do we even need them all? It’s really not as complicated as it seems—sort of. Anyway, let’s get to work and untangle that mess behind your TV!

Before we get too deep into it, we need to define the terms digital and analog.

Digital? Analog? Huh?
You’re probably already pretty familiar with these, even if you might not be familiar with the terms. Digital is the language of computers, everything is transmitted in ones and zeros. When it comes to certain applications like video, digital allows us to get much higher quality than the alternative.

Analog is different from digital in that it is a wave form, a steady flow of signal. The way the signals or waves change as they move dictates what happens on our screens or comes out of our radios.

Digital and analog signals

Though it might seem like it, analog is not necessarily inferior to digital. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. But when it comes to video, digital is king!

On to the cables!
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, check out this chart. It shows the most common video cables and ranks them by the quality of video you’ll get by using them.
Chart ranking cables by picture quality

In addition to those, there’s a couple more that don’t quite fit into a set place on the Scale of Awesomeness:
Computer cables

Now, there’s something else you should know. Some people/retailers will try to convince you that you need to spend a great deal on “high quality” cables. While it is true that you want good ones, they should never cost you an arm and a leg. A great place to get cables at actually reasonable prices is

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