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AV Connections

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 available today.

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 composite cable.

RCA or composite cable 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

BNC connectors BNC 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 connection 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 cable Component Cables

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 connections.
RGBHV cable connections RGB Cables

These cables look split the video signal into five. There are three different types of RGB cables:
  1. 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).
  2. 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 cable.
  3. 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.

SDI digital connection 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 connectors

The 5 different standards for SDI are:

    Transfer Rates
  SD-SDI upto 270 Mbit/s
  Dual Link SD-SDI 540 Mbit/s
  HD-SDI 1.485 Gbit/s
  Dual Link HD-SDI 2.970 Gbit/s
  3G-SDI 2.970 Gbit/s

Digital Video Interface DVI connectors DVI Cables

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.

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) content protection standard has expanded the use of DVI in high definition DVD players and HDTV set top boxes.

Current Types
  • DVI-A - analog only
  • DVI-D - digital only, single link or dual link
  • DVI-I  - integrated, combines digital and analog in the same connector; digital may be single or dual link
HDBaseT cable with audio and video  HDBaseT Cables

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. 

HDMI Digital/Audio connection

HDMI Cables

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 PDF)

HDMI 1.1 - Released May 2004.

  • Added support for DVD Audio.
HDMI 1.2 - Released August 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 low-voltage sources.
HDMI 1.2a - Released December 2005.
  • Fully specifies Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) features, command sets, and CEC compliance tests.
HDMI 1.3 - Released 22 June 2006.
  • Increases single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s).
  • 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 previous versions.
  • Incorporates automatic audio syncing (lip sync) capability.
  • 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 as camcorders.
HDMI 1.4

What’s new in the HDMI 1.4 specification?
  • HDMI Ethernet Channel 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.
  • Audio Return Channel 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.
  • 3D 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.
  • 4K Resolution Support 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 theaters.
  • Expanded 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.
  • HDMI Micro 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.
  • Automotive Connection System (Type E) The Automotive 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.

M1 VESA cable M1 Cables

The M1 Display Interface System is a standard created by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). A consortium of video adapter and monitor manufacturers founded in 1989, whose goal is to standardize video protocols 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.

  • M1-DA - Digital and Analog. The most common type. It supports VGA, USB, and DVI signals.
  • M1-D - Digital. Supports DVI signals
  • M1-A - Analog. Supports VGA signals.
RJ45 Network LAN connection 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".

Universal Serial Bus USB type A connection
USB Type B connection
USB Cables

Universal 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.
VGA computer connection VGA Cables

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.


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