Coax vs S Video - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-03-2003, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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In hooking up a friends tv a couple of weeks ago I noticed that the Coax looked better than the S Video cable hook up!!! So last night I did mine and noticed the same thing. I was always under the impression that s Video was the way to go but now I don't believe it is.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-03-2003, 08:08 AM
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Believe it depends a lot on the original sources of both. S-video (Y/C) separates the luma (B&W) and color (C) portions of video signals and can theoretically deliver ~720X480. Coax delivering RF-based analog NTSC provides ~440X480 (see tables for more details). But analog NTSC is severely filtered, too, limiting color details as well as horizontal B&W resolution. But if your S-video source is a cable system carrying ~10 channels compressed into a 6-MHz-wide slot, the compression often strips away a lot of color detail. So an analog version of the same channel, despite its filtering, may look better than digitally decompressed video. Notice this, for some channels, with my cable system.

It's also possible, as I notice here, that still another H/DTV version of that channel, carried on a cable/OTA/satellite, looks far better than either the S-video or coax. That's because as a H/DTV channel it might have ~19 million bits a second of data, as a station-upconverted (non-HD) 1080i/720p signal, compared to only ~4 Mbps of data for a more-compressed SDTV channel. -- John
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-03-2003, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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John thanks for your reply it makes sense in what you are saying. My friend has Comcast which I really noticed a difference on and I have D* and also noticed a difference but not as dramatic. The colors do look better with the Coax on both setups cable and D*
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-03-2003, 08:40 AM
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This 'phenomenon' is also quite common with certain brands of plasma displays. For example, Panasonic plasmas have excellent comb filters that do a really nice job on composite video. The result is that composite video looks better than S-Video for SD material.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.....so 'conventional wisdom' says that S-video should be superior to composite......but if your eyes tell you something different, then forget the conventional wisdom.
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