S-Video also called Y/C and separate video, is a signaling standard used for standard definition (SD) video, typically 576i or 480i. It is said to be more reliable and impressive than composite video as it can separate the black and white coloring signals. However, it does not match up to the component video’s color resolution.
In this article, we’ll talk about S-Video cables and answer all the questions you may have about the product. Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: S-Video Cable: The Background
- Chapter 2: How The S-Video Cable Carries Signals
- Chapter 3: Where Are S-Video Cables Used?
- Chapter 4: Why Do Some People Still Use S-Video Cables?
- Chapter 5: But, Is S-Video Better Than HDMI?
- Chapter 6: Then Why Do People Still Buy S-Video Cable?
- Chapter 7: Can I Convert S-Video Into HDMI?
- Chapter 8: S-Video: Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter 1: S-Video Cable: The Background
Standard analog signals have their cons as they go through many steps before they reach the final destination. These signals lose information at each step and throughout the process, and as a result, the final output usually falls short of requirements.
The S-Video cable solves this problem as it prevents the loss of signals. As a result, you get to enjoy better overall quality.
An S- Video cable was designed in 1987 and is known as an analog video connector. This external cable hot-pluggable and comes with different pin settings, including 9, 7, or 4.
Chapter 2: How The S-Video Cable Carries Signals
The cable works by carrying two ground pairs and synchronized signals, called C and Y.
- C: It’s the chroma signal responsible for carrying the chrominance of the video. It mainly controls the coloring and is responsible for managing the hue and the saturation of what we see on the screen.
- Y: It’s the luma signal responsible for carrying the luminance.
Since this cable carries information related to the color as a single signal, one needs to encode it in some way.
Unlike the latest technologies, this cable type can only transmit video signals.
Chapter 3: Where Are S-Video Cables Used?
S-Video cables are not very commonly used any more since we have better and more advanced technologies available, many of which can transfer both audio and video signals with a single cable.
Hence, they are typically used on older TV sets that do not contain HDMI or other such options. Other than this, they are also used on other devices that support older systems.
If you have an old video game console or camera, then you will most probably need an S-Video cable since older devices lack HDMI and other such options.
We must also mention that S-Video was never the most common option in most European countries due to the dominance of SCART connectors that you will even find on many of the latest machines, including TV sets.
It’s not entirely impossible to output S-Video using SCART; however, most SCART connectors on television are not wired to accept such signals, and hence, all you will see on the screen is a monochrome image. Some experts opt to modify the available SCART adapter cable to make the signals work.
Chapter 4: Why Do Some People Still Use S-Video Cables?
In most cases, people still use such cables because they have no other option. Their TV set or input or output device may not offer alternatives. Plus, S-Video is not that bad of an option at the end of the day since the video it displays is of higher quality than the video you will see in the case of RF or composite cables.
For example, the text displayed on the screen when using S-Video is a lot clearer and sharper than RF and composite cables.
Chapter 5: But, Is S-Video Better Than HDMI?
This question arises because HDMI is now the go-to option for most people who want to output video from a camera, projector, computer, or other such devices. Plus, the latest devices now come with the HDMI output. Hence it has become a universal cable and is the priority for most people.
In simple words, S-Video cable is not better than HDMI. No option can be considered better than HDMI, especially since the HDMI cable has been upgraded several times since its inception. And is one of the few options that can carry both audio and video signals in a single wire, thus offering more ease and affordability in the long-run.
We know that HDMI rules the world when it comes to video cables. The biggest benefit is that you will not need a separate cable to transfer video signals when you use an HDMI cable. Plus, HDMI can also support better video quality – up to 4K – and now with 8K about to hit the market, we believe the new version of HDMI will support 8K video output as well.
Now, of course, for some users, it may not be of value since 8K – and even 4K – is not very common yet. Still, we think that HDMI gets an extra point since it can transfer 720 and 1080 quality videos as well, a feat S-Video cable cannot perform.
It has been established that S-Video is not the standard anymore. It hasn’t been for years, and it will not make a comeback. Hence, it cannot compete against HDMI or newer cable types.
Chapter 6: Then Why Do People Still Buy S-Video Cable?
Because they have no other option, and also because it may often be cheaper.
Think about it. What will you do if your input and output devices only support S-video and have no HDMI cable? You will have to scan the market for an S-Video cable.
Other than this, some reports also suggest that S-Video cables can be cheaper than HDMI cable. We can’t say it is entirely true because HDMI cables can be inexpensive as well. However, if you want a high quality cable, then you will need to spend a lot more than you will have to spend on an S-Video cable.
We must also mention that some devices may come with both options – S-Video and HDMI – and some people may opt to use both of them.
It isn’t uncommon for users to leave the HDMI cable plugged in and connected to a device that they use very regularly. For example, if you are a game lover, then you may leave your gaming console connected to your TV set, thus occupying the HDMI slot.
Now, if your TV set has a single HDMI slot, you will have to disconnect the game every time you want to connect another device and vice versa. This can be irritating and time-consuming. Plus, connecting and removing cables, again and again, can also cause wear and tear to the wire and the connector. Hence, it is best not to touch it.
This is why some users leave the HDMI cable connection and use the S-Video cable if they need to connect another device to the same output. This way, they can use two devices at the same time without going through the hassle of disconnecting one to connect another.
But, S-Video does have an advantage over HDMI cable. It can support more distance – up to 150 feet – whereas HDMI starts to lose cable once it reaches the 50 feet mark.
S-Video cables are more commonly used at homes today. You will rarely find them in the offices since the latest devices used at work now feature several HDMI ports.
Chapter 7: Can I Convert S-Video Into HDMI?
Yes, you can, but you will need an S-Video to HDMI converter for this purpose. Many companies are manufacturing, such as converters. You must buy a high quality product if you want to ensure the signals are correctly transmitted. An inferior quality product will not give you good results, and you will not be able to enjoy all the benefits of S-Video to HDMI conversion.
Chapter 8: S-Video: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding S-Video cables:
Ques 1: Will I need two S-video cables to transfer both audio and video?
Ans: No, you will need two separate cables for this purpose, but they both cannot be S-Video cable since the S-Video cable is not capable of carrying audio signals. Hence, you will need an audio cable based on the device you have.
Ques 2: What color is S-Video cable?
This cable is usually available in black, but you may be able to get some other colors as well, including red and blue. Plus, you can choose any color if you opt for a customized cable.
Ques 3: Where can I buy a S-Video cable?
Since most new devices do not come with an S-Video port or also contain an HDMI port, not all sellers offer this type of video cable. If you’re looking for custom cables for your project, then get in touch with us today and talk to us about how we can help you get a high quality S-Video cable.
This is all you need to know about S-Video cable. While HDMI is a better option, consider S-Video if your device does not support HDMI.