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Different Types of Audio Video Cables


You have just received your new stereo system or home theater. Just plug in a few cables and you can start using it. If you have not purchased from a big brand, you are likely to get a cheap cable with the product and will not get the desired performance. So, you may need to buy new audio video cables. Maybe, you do not get the same experience due to the old audio video cables

When it comes to choosing cables, you need to find the answers to the following three questions:        

  1. What type of cable is the best for the job? 
  2. What is the cable length you need? 
  3. Do you want to conceal cables behind your walls? 

The audio/video quality depends on both the system and cables. 

Anatomy of Cable

There are different types of cables and connectors. To choose the right one for the given application, it is important to understand the construction of a cable. The quality and durability of a cable depend on the following parts: 

  • Outer jacket 
  • Shielding 
  • Dielectric 
  • Conductor 
  • The connector 

Outer Jacket 

It is a layer that provides protection to the inner parts of the cable from damage. 

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It prevents electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference. The shield also limits noise. 


It insulates the conductor from the shielding material. The conductor carries the signal. 


It carries the signal. 


It attaches the cable to the gear. 

The following are the most common types of audio video cables: 

  1. HDMI AV Cable 
  2. VGA/DVI AV Cable 
  3. Coaxial AV Cable 
  4. S-Video AV Cable 
  5. Composite AV Cable

HDMI AV Cable 

This is the first AV cable that supports both standard video format and 720p and 1080p formats. It also comes with multi-sound audio. No data loss occurs in an HDMI cable up to 40 feet in length. This audio video cable can send 5 Gbps. So, you can enjoy HD, high resolution video and audio to the fullest. It provides sharp, clear and accurate pictures.

VGA/DVI AV Cable  

This digital interface standard supports both digital and analog monitors by transforming analog signals to digital signals. Its single plug and connector supports both digital-based plug connectors and VGA plug connectors. DVI sends signals from conventional sources to plasma displays, DVD players, high-end HDTV’s and so on. As it is an authentic digital video connection, DVI lets you experience pure digital pictures. This audio video cable displays both low resolutions and high resolutions in RGB format.

Coaxial AV Cable 

These audio video cables are the most commonly used cables in the industry. A coaxial audio video cable can transmit both video and audio between devices. RF cable is the other name used for coaxial cable. You can use this cable to connect a digital box or cable box to your TV. The same cable can be used to hook up VVCRs. However, you will not get the desired performance and quality.

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S-Video AV Cable

This type of audio video cable uses a technology that breaks the information into two separate signals. These signals are broadcasted in a single cable. The signal results in crisper images when it reaches the TV. A TV can use Luminance and Chrominance, two separate signals. You can use these cables with monitors using RGB, digital cameras, and even game players. Signal loss is negligible in a 200 feet S-Video AV cable. 

Composite AV Cable

This is the earliest AV standard introduced in 1940. It is used in devices like DVD players, cable boxes, and gaming consoles. However, you cannot use these cables for HD signals. These cables are not much common these days.  


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