S-Video cables are one of the most popular types of cables today, but many people still don't understand the difference. We've all been there: you stand in the electronics store and listen to the salesperson talk about the better quality and specifications of these cables and why they are so much better, and then you buy them and leave, having no idea why the cables are better than when you started, but you might as well take the person's word for it. They are professionals, after all. Fortunately, understanding these cables is quite simple, and it starts with getting a better picture.
S-Video cables are known as separate video cables. This means that the color and luminance (brightness and clarity) are carried through separate cables. A traditional composite cable keeps all the picture information together and delivers a much lower-quality signal than these newer cables. There is another unique difference about S-Video, and that is that the audio signal is not carried on the same cable, allowing for a better connection because there are fewer things going on in one cable. This cable has different styles of connections, depending on the specific electronics being used. The most common S-Video cables are the ones with the 4-pin mini DIN connection.
These are the connections that are used on most televisions, game consoles, and TV receivers of all kinds. You should know what type of connection you need when you are buying these cables for your own use. These cables are used still today, but have widely been replaced by composite and digital cables like DVI and HDMI, which are designed for even better picture and sound quality than what is offered by S-Video. At the rate of technology, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes, but there are plenty of adapters out there to help.
S-Video cables do still have a practical application for game consoles, DVD players, and televisions that are older. Some may not support newer cables like HDMI or DVI, and might only be able to utilize something like S-Video because of how they are designed. If this is the case, you will be happy to know that you can still find these cables for purchase. You can get a better signal than a traditional video cable and get more from your electronics than you might have expected. Now that you know what S-Video is, you might have an easier time spending the money to upgrade.