What connections give the clearest image?
Connections also factor into getting the sharpest, clearest images.
Projectors specifically designed for home theatre often have multiple
video inputs, special video micro-chips and other features. Other
projectors may not have been created solely for home theatre use, but
still produce great video.
We recommend that the projector you buy for home theatre have at least
one component video input. A component video inputs look like a
composite input, however it splits the video signal into three separate
parts rather than one. It is the most common type of high quality signal
Nearly all projectors will have at least one composite and one S-Video
connection. S-video cables differ from composite cables in that they
split video signal into two different components: luminance and
chrominance. The S-video cable will offer marked improvement over a
RCA or Composite Cables
These are the most common cables, used to hook up your standard VCR and
stereo equipment. They are color-coded: red, white, and yellow. Red is
for right audiochannel . White is for left audio channel . Yellow is for
video. The entire video signal is transmitted by one cable. the lowest
quality cable for a video signal. Most televisions, video camcorders,
VCRs, and videodisc players will have RCA jacks for these cables
A BNC cable is
actually just another form of an RCA/composite cable. The end of the
cable looks different from an RCA cable, but can be changed to an RCA
end with an adapter. Most professional video equipment will have a BNC
jack instead of a RCA jack. The physical connection is more secure
because BNC cables twist and lock in place.
A BNC Connector is used in Serial Video Interface (SDI)
connections. SDI is a professional video interface used for broadcast
quality video. High Definition Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI) uses
two BNC connectors and is commonly referd to as Dual Link HD-SDI.
S-Video or Y/C Cables
Or SVHS cable can be found on most high-end televisions, all videodisc
players, camcorders, digital cable and satellite set top boxes, and SVHS
VCRs. S-video cables differ from composite cables in that they split
video signal into two different components: luminance and chrominance.
The S-video cable will offer marked improvement over a composite cable.
Component cables look just like composite cables. The difference is
that, where a composite cable carries the entire video signal on a
single cable, component cables split the signal in three. This
connection gives a superior image over composite or S-video connections.
The signal itself is referred to as either Y,Cr,Cb, or Y,Pb,Pr. The tips
of the cables and jacks will be red, green and blue. Unfortunately, this
can be a bit confusing because computer RGB connections are colored the
same way. A good rule of thumb is that, if the connections are RCA type,
it is usually a component cable. Computer RGB cables will usually be BNC
type. Most high-end DVD players and HDTV tuners will have component
These cables look split the video signal into
five. There are three different types of RGB cables:
- RGBHV is a five-cable system that splits the video signal for
color into red, green, and blue, and then has two more cables to
carry the sync for the signal (horizontal and vertical sync).
- RGB H/V is a four-cable system that splits the color the same
way, but has the horizontal and vertical sync on a single fourth
- RGB video cables again split the color signal in three, but
carry the additional sync signal on one of the color cables, usually
the green (called RGB sync on green).
An RGBHV signal is the way a computer connects to a projector. Five
pins on a 15-pin VGA cable are RGBHV. The projector recognizes the type
of signal and projects accordingly.
Serial Digital Interface (SDI) connections.
SDI is a professional video interface used for broadcast
quality video. High Definition Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI) uses two BNC
connectors and is commonly referred to as Dual Link HD-SDI. SDI uses BNC
The 5 different standards for SDI are:
upto 270 Mbit/s
Dual Link SD-SDI
Dual Link HD-SDI
Digital Video Interface (DVI) cables look a little like a standard VGA
cable, but they are slightly larger. Under ideal circumstances, the DVI
cable creates a ‘digital to digital’ connection between video or data
source and display device.
Digital Content Protection
(HDCP) content protection standard has expanded
the use of DVI in high definition DVD players and HDTV set top boxes.
- analog only
- digital only, single link or dual link
- integrated, combines digital and analog in the same connector; digital may be single or dual link
The HDBaseT cable
combines audio and video signals, USB, network and even power into one
single cable and is set to replace HDMI when it starts hitting shop
shelves in 2012.
The cable was designed by the HDBaseT alliance which represents a
culmination of efforts from Sony, Samsung, LG and Valens. By combining
all of the normal connections found in the home the companies hope to
make the new industry standard. Most current generation displays will
probably be incompatible due to their lack of an ethernet port which
supports the cable. The HDBaseT alliance insists that new cables won't
need to be purchased due to the technology working with current network
wiring, ethernet cables and an RJ-45 connector.
The cable allows "a network of sources - such as digital video
recorders (DVR), Blu-ray disc players, game consoles, PCs and mobile
devices - to be connected directly to displays in multiple locations".
Current HDMI 1.4 cables allow stereoscopic 3D signals to be sent to a TV
as well as normal and high definition content. The HDBaseT is capable of
doing the same but also adds the ability to use a 100Mb/sec ethernet
connection and up to 100W of charging power.
High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables are a smaller version
of DVI cables. With one added feature HDMI cables can also carry 16 bit,
8 channel, digital audio signals as well as video. HDMI is the best
choice for AV applications. Developed by Sony, Hitachi, Thomson (RCA),
Philips, Matsushita (Panasonic), Toshiba and Silicon Image, the
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has emerged as the
connection standard for HDTV and the consumer electronics market. HDMI
is the first and only digital interface to combine uncompressed
high-definition video, multi-channel audio and intelligent format and
command data in a single digital interface. HDMI offers significant
advantages over analog A/V connections, including the ability to
transmit uncompressed digital video and audio content. In addition to
numerous device and display manufacturers, Hollywood studios and cable
and satellite operators also support HDMI. The newest version is HDMI
1.3 (HDMI 1.3
- Released May 2004.
- Released August 2005.
Added support for DVD Audio.
HDMI 1.2a - Released December 2005.
Added support for One Bit Audio, used on Super Audio
CDs, up to 8 channels.
Availability of HDMI Type A connector for PC sources.
Ability for PC sources to use native RGB color space
while retaining the option to support the YCbCr CE color space.
Requirement for HDMI 1.2 and later displays to support
HDMI 1.3 -
Released 22 June 2006.
Fully specifies Consumer Electronic Control (CEC)
features, command sets, and CEC compliance tests.
Increases single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2
Optionally supports 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC
with Deep Color or over one billion colors, up from 24-bit sRGB or YCbCr in
Incorporates automatic audio syncing (lip sync)
Supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master
Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers.
TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio codec formats
used on HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. If the disc player can decode these
streams into uncompressed audio, then HDMI 1.3 is not necessary, as all
versions of HDMI can transport uncompressed audio.
Availability of a new mini connector for devices such
What’s new in the
HDMI 1.4 specification?
The HDMI 1.4 specification adds a
data channel to the HDMI connection, enabling high-speed,
bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this
feature can send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making
them instantly ready for any IP-based application. The HDMI Ethernet
Channel allows internet-enabled HDMI devices to share an internet
connection via the HDMI link, with no need for a separate Ethernet
cable. It also provides the connection platform that will allow
HDMI-enabled components to share content between devices.
The new specification adds an audio
channel that will reduce the number of cables required to deliver
audio “upstream” from a TV to an A/V receiver for processing and
playback. In cases where a TV features an internal content source,
such as a built-in tuner or DVD player, the Audio Return Channel
allows the TV to send audio data upstream to the A/V receiver via
the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.
The 1.4 version of the specification
defines common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices,
enabling 3D gaming and other 3D video applications. The
specification standardizes the input/output portion of the home 3D
system, facilitating 3D resolutions up to dual-stream 1080p.
The new specification enables HDMI
devices to support extremely high HD resolutions, effectively four
times the resolution of a 1080p device. Support for 4K allows the
HDMI interface to transmit digital content at the same resolution as
the state-of-the-art Digital Cinema systems used in many movie
Support For Color Spaces
HDMI now supports
color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras,
enabling more accurate color rendering when viewing digital photos.
By supporting sYCC601, Adobe®RGB, and Adobe®YCC601,
HDMI display devices are capable of displaying more accurate,
life-like colors when connected to a digital camera.
Connector (Type D)
The HDMI Micro
Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin HDMI connector
supporting up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices such as cell
phones, portable media players, and digital cameras. This new
connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing
HDMI Mini connector.
Connection System (Type E)
Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used for
in-vehicle HD content distribution. The HDMI 1.4 specification
provides a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental
issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and
noise. Using the Automotive Connection System, car manufacturers now
have a viable solution for HD distribution within a vehicle.
The M1 Display Interface
System is a standard created by the Video Electronics Standards
A consortium of video adapter and monitor
manufacturers founded in 1989, whose goal is to standardize video
specifically for digital displays. The M1 standard was approved in
August of 2001.
Compatible with DVI, VGA, USB and Fire Wire signals. The M1-DA connector
replaces the VGA, DVI and USB connectors found on other projectors.
Adaptors are required to connect to a VGA or DVI source. Like USB, M1-DA
can provide power to external devices. The popularity of the M1
connectors is in decline because nearly all connections you will make
will need an adaptor.
Variants of M1 connectors are in line with the DVI types.
- Digital and Analog. The most common type. It supports VGA,
USB, and DVI signals.
- Digital. Supports DVI signals
- Analog. Supports VGA signals.
RJ45 (LAN, Ethernet) Cables
Commonly used to
connect technology together over a network, RJ45 cables are mostly used
for control purposes with projectors. There are a limited number of
projectors that offer "video over LAN".
Serial Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to interface devices to a host
computer. USB was designed to allow many peripherals to be connected
using a single standardized interface socket and to improve the
plug-and-play capabilities by allowing devices to be connected and
disconnected without rebooting the computer (hot swapping). Other
convenient features include providing power to low-consumption devices
without the need for an external power supply.
USB was originally designed for personal computers, but it has become
commonplace on other devices such as PDAs and video game consoles. As of
2008, there are about 2 billion USB devices in the world. With the
advent of Flash Memory Sticks USB Type A is a convenient way to make
presentations with your projector without using a PC
USB Type B
is used a a mouse connection on older projectors and is not compatible
with Flash Memory Sticks. There are also mini versions of USB A & B
commonly found on cameras and mobile phones.
This is your standard
computer monitor cable. It is typically male-to-male with three rows, 15
pins. or computer to projector connections. Some HDTV boxes have
connections for VGA.