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Basic Cable Hookups

As home entertainment systems grow, you have an ever-increasing number of options which allow you to take advantage of better/sound/picture quality. When connecting your components, the cables you can use are:

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is the standard television cable that comes from the wall socket. Virtually all TVs and VCRs have coaxial cable jacks. Coaxial cable provides the greatest convenience, but also the lowest video quality of the three choices shown here.

Composite (RCA) Cable

Composite cables (also known as RCA cables) are the most common method of connecting video components such as TVs, VCRs and DVD players. They provide better signal quality than Coaxial cable, but inferior quality to S-Video cables.

S-Video Cable

S-Video cable is a high-quality, digital cable to connect your television directly to your video components. It provides the best signal and picture quality of the three choices here, and is the recommended connection for equipped standard definition TVs.

S-Video jacks are found on most consumer TVs, DVD players, high-end VCRs, Digital TV receivers, PVRs (Personal Video Recorders), and game consoles.

S-Video cables carry video only. A separate Composite cable will be required for audio for any component connected via an S-Video cable.


  • When making your selections, try to use the highest quality cable that your components support. If your TV and DVD player both support S-Video cables, use S-Video cables, otherwise, use Composite cables.
  • In some cases, only one cable can be used. For instance, you must use a coaxial cable to connect your TV to the wall-mounted cable outlet.

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