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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are probably dumb questions -- they're certainly basic ones: I really don't know anything about HT yet (for all practical purposes). Definitely still in the research and learning phase. There are a few totally basic questions that have been nagging me. I ask them here because they're related to my attempts to define my matrix switching needs. I know what I want at the output end, I'm just trying to fill in the blanks leading up to that. I think I've figured them out, but now it just makes more sense to simply ask:

For starters, am I correct in my understanding that the three runs of RG6 coax everyone recommends is to support a component HD video signal? Or does component video run over some other smaller type of cable, and HD is it's own separate thing? Does HD have to run over component, or is that the most common approach, or is it simply preferred for quality? I don't have any HD but I want to wire for it in advance, yet be able to stick with my existing composite equipment for at least the next 18-24 months.

Is the audio signal carried on that HD signal somewhere? (Obviously I mean after the signal is decoded from the broadcast source.) I assume not, but as long as I'm asking newbie questions, I might as well have this clarified. I'm assuming in this respect it's like a composite video signal -- the audio runs on separate lines.

Are the connectors on this RG6 coax typically RCA jacks? This will tell you how outdated my video experience is: I've only seen/used coax terminated with the old cable-TV-style screw-down connectors. If I understand what I've read correctly, composite can run over a single RG6 (perhaps one of the three for later HDTV use) -- I assume that's regular old composite just like what comes out of my XBOX, for example -- and so it would also terminate with an RCA connector just like the cheapo thin composite cable that comes with my XBOX. Correct?

Finally, and this is the one that will probably get big laughs -- I want to distribute 5.1 audio from my source device (a DVD player, for instance) to a remote amplifier (in the bedroom, for example). If I'm connecting to my switcher via stereo L/R RCA jacks, have I already lost the 5.1 information? Does 5.1 only run over optical connections? I have several locations where I'd like to feed 5.1 output, but I'm not sure how to get it from point A to point B yet. Based on the bits I've read on their website, I suspect the switchers of my choice (Knox Video) may not support 5.1, at least in their standard configuration (2-channel only).

(And I suspect that last paragraph will create the largest discussion...)

· Registered
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If by 5.1 you mean DD and DTS, then the easiest way to do it is to leave it as a digital signal and route that to the receiver in the other room. Distribution amps for this aren't all that expensive. If you mean something like SACD or DVD-A, that is a different story as that would require a 6 channel analog switcher.

As for the RG6, well...

If you are going to stay composite for 18-24 months anyway, by that time, the ONLY way you MIGHT be able to get HD is via DVI/HDMI so the component would be worthless except for DVD. In your situation, I'd just run conduit (BIG conduit) so you can pull what you need later. Even if you did the component, I'd still do the conduit. Wait and see what Big Brother, Hollywood, etc. decide on and deal with it then. By that time (hopefully) we will also have HD DVD. Heaven only knows what standard that will be for audio and/or video!

Yes. Component video on RG6 (or most other type of signal for that matter) is either going to be RCA or BNC connectors. RCA is more common on most consumer level equipment. When you move more toward the pro or high-end stuff, they tend to use BNC's.

Once you leave the nicety of the single cable coming in your house from the cable company or satellite, audio and video are different cables.

Audio can be:

Coax Digital

Optical Digital

Stereo Analog

Multi-Channel Analog

Video can be(in order of quality):

Composite (single coax with chroma and luma together)

S Video (single cable with DIN type plug and multiple cores to separate chroma and luma)

Component (3 cables for YPrPb or YCrCb)

DVI (Digital Video)


You can use any combination of those that you desire for a source but understand the limitations.

HD content is ONLY available on Component or higher video standards. Some HD cannot be passed by even component if it is copy protection encoded.

If you want 5.1 channel sound from say an HD receiver, you must usually pass the digital signal from the cable/sat receiver to the AV receiver for decoding into 6 discreet channels. If you use the L and R (red and white) outputs, you'll only get stereo no matter what you do.
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