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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, it is important to have quality cables for your quality A/V equipment. BUT, aren't the cables only as good as the connectors they connect to? For example, I may have a $100 component cable going to a $35 switcher going to another $100 component cable, plugged into a projector. Won't the fancy $100 cables be limited by the quality of the connections used in the $35 switcher?


We are going to purchase a "TV Guardian" set top box which filters out foul language based on the Close Caption info. If it detects a bad word coming up in the Close Caption, it filters it out (Their site has more info). The box has optical audio. TV Guardian is not known for their excellent build quality even though the box costs $100. Should I purchase high quality optical cables (one to go from the video source to the TV Guardian and the other to go from the TV Guardian to the Receiver) if they didn't use equally high quality connections within the TV Guardian itself?


Bottom line: does the phrase "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" apply in theory to A/V cables and the equipment they get plugged into as well?
 

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I think so...
 

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Yes and no. Cables don't work like plumbing, where any restriction in the line restricts the entire flow. Every piece of the cable adds a bit of resistance. Most of these bits are invariable, but contacts can change resistance if corrosion develops or dirt gets in. And expensive connector with a good contact won't be any different from a cheap one with a good contact.


Navy, your, question has an invalid assumption: That more expensive cables or connectors are somehow electrically different from less expensive ones. They are not. Wire is wire. There may be some construction differences (e.g. quad shield vs. single shield), but in general the increased $$ go toward better connectors (up to a point), color printing on the jacket, fancier packaging, and a new boat for the distributor.


In the world of connectors and switches, there may be mechanical improvements as you go higher in price - sealed vs. exposed contacts, closer tolerances on the slides, bushed pivots, heavier case. But after a certain point the same equation applies.


While your "weakest link" rule is true, it is more difficult to apply than you might think. And you can add a corollary to it: The strength of the link is not defined by the price tag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, for example, when connecting to the TV Guardian (which again, is not a high quality box), I'll be OK using Acoustic Research Cables as opposed to Blue Jeans Cable (.com) because the TV Guardian's connectors won't "limit" the signal passing through?
 

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I may be out of line here but...


You seem to care more about the TV Guardian effecting your sound quality then what your children are watching.


Why not just pay attention to what your kids watch and not use the TV set as a babysitter?


If more parents would be parents and take a little responsibility for their own children then there would be no need for devices like this to even exist.


BTW: Yes I am a parent and I do not let my children watch any programs that I do not think are appropriate. (with or without bad words) I have even (now hold on to your hat this could blow your mind) turned the TV off :eek: and told them to go play when there is nothing but crap on TV.


You are the weakest link, not your cables, try to be stronger than the TV. Your children need you to protect them, not some electronic bad word bleeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks GreySkies. That's the info I was looking for. I didn't want to purchase nice optical audio cables, if they were just going to be limited by the connections of a lesser quality device. How about S-Video? Is this considered a copper cable?
 

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I see my little ranting post was removed but the point I was trying to make is:


Using a device like the Guardian only adds to the problem. The TV and movie producers do not know you are using the Guardian. All they know is that you are indeed watching. That leads them to believe you are fine with what ever crap they are spewing, because if you weren't then you would not be watching.


The only way to let the producers and advertisers know you do not like that type of programming is by not watching, renting, or buying shows and DVD's you find inappropriate and not buying products that are advertised on these shows.
 

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There are very real exceptions, when it comes to video cables. Cheap s-video cables can cause very real issues, as can component cables.

Audio is a different story. I you buy good quality, NOT expensive, cables for audio you will be fine. Look for good connections and quality connectors.


I would only buy proven s-video cables, and most definitely buy HIGH quality, again not expensive necessarily, true 75ohm component cables like Canare or Belden, WITH Canare 75ohm RCA ends.



Clay
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by poolboyclay
I would only buy proven s-video cables, and most definitely buy HIGH quality, again not expensive necessarily, true 75ohm component cables like Canare or Belden, WITH Canare 75ohm RCA ends.
What if these high quality video cables are going through for example a lesser quality switcher, or equivalent box? Would the connectors on the cheap box lessen the quality of the high quality cables?
 

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No. Connectors are important for mechanical connections. In general they are not electrically important.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyNAVY
What if these high quality video cables are going through for example a lesser quality switcher, or equivalent box? Would the connectors on the cheap box lessen the quality of the high quality cables?
Only if they are making bad connections.


The problem is, that RCA plugs are not really 75ohm all the way to the tip. However, they are but a small part of the connection, and there is nothing you can do about it. No matter what equipment you use, component connections are RCA plugs.


Work with the equipment you have, buy good video interconnects, and save them for when you change gear.


Clay
 
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