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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm buying an L300u, and will need about 20-25' of cables. I'm thinking I'll run component, sVideo and VGA (in case I want to use my laptop as a HTC). I wasn't going to run DVI since I don't want to participate in copyright protection schemes of Hollywood that deprive consumers of choice (wasn't that a self-serving statement!) and because I don't think the L300u can understand the coded stream anyway. I'm asking here bc I don't know if there's another area for cables and also if people with L300u's have specific advice they're willing to share.


Also, I am clueless on what cables to get and what is good enough. How much bandwidth, how much signal loss, how much insulation, is silvercoated diamond sealed at the bottom of a mine in a vacuum in a cleanroom and double sealed with Platinum, etc. really necessary. How does one know when enough is enough. Sure, I'm willing to spend some money. I understand the argument that (in my case) spending $40,000 on a basement and not more than $5 on cables is dumb. But do I need a $600 set of cables? Can anyone help me? There are cables by Blue Jeans, Better Cables, Radio Shack, Monster. Sometimes it seems that a large percent of the money might go to advertisement or for name recognition. But my cables will be in the ceiling and not easy to swap, so I do want decent quality. Can't I get 25-30' runs with minimal signal loss over the span - and all the other specs for about $50 a piece or do I really have to spend $100-200 for each of component, SVideo and VGA?? I've read that video cables are more important than audio since video waves are more subject to delay and interference, but I'm no expert. Thanks!!!
 

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I run 75 feet of component and S-video, using a Mogami cables that I bought from svideo.com at a very reasonable price. It is fairly thin and flexible, but I do not see any appreciable loss of image quality over 75 feet. I am sure it would be just fine with a 25-feet run. Their S-video cables are made of two separate coax cables running together (rather than 2 sets of signal wires beneath one shield), an important attribute as I understand it.


Also, I understand that it is important to choose a VGA cable that is made of multiple coax cables, rather than twisted pairs. The latter is common in computer monitor cables, but no good for longer cable run.
 

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Found all kinds of selection at www.audio-direct.com, everything from many hundreds of dollars to the $40 I spent on 10meter component cables. I was surprised at how hard it was to dig up all the places you could find cables. I don't see any problems with my $40 cables. I really believe that spending just enough to get something with quality build (read won't come apart) and decent shielding is all that you need. Everything else is mystical pixie dust magic fairy cables, aka the placebo effect. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I looked on the audio-direct site as an example, and was more confused than ever. I don't know whether the published statistics matter or are measurable but irrelevant. For example, assume a set of component cables has a delay of 5 nanoseconds per 30 feet and assume I'm using 30 feet. If they arrive at the same time, or the projector has a longer processing delay negating the delay caused by the cables, perhaps it doen't matter. And everyone has a different name for their shielding, but again, I can't fugure out how to know what to buy. This is the reason people simply buy a known name and with fat wires and a fatter price and don't worry. I couldn't figure out on that site which would be enough and if spending incrementally more would create a larger benefit than cost.


Are there any standard specifications that matter and any that clearly don't that can be ignored? In other words, is there some objective criteria (other than just "shielded" I can use to determine what will give the best price/quality ratio and that I can use to objectively compare? Thanks!
 

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:confused: is it acceptable to use factory RG-6 coaxial cable with Fconnector to RCA adapters for 30 foot component, composite runs? It seems to me, from the look of the adapters that there would be minimal signal loss. Anyone?
 

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MidLife, yes, it should be perfectly fine.


nahtanoj, I had been worried, just like you, about those numerous factors on the video cables, until I actually installed the 75' cable that I mentioned above. The only relevant technical spec is the characteristic coax impedance of 75 ohm, and as far as I know, all component cables use it anyway. The signal delays etc are a non-issue as long as you use a cable made of tri-coax's running together.


You should be able to get a good enough three-coax component cable for about $1-2/feet plus some fixed cost for the 6 RCA (or F) terminals. You can spend a lot more if you want, but you will not see the difference in the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sushi,


I feel myself slipping into the vortex of marketing hype. Since I'm spending $40,000 on my basement (probably $10k on home theater portion) and I'm having a regular gypsum ceiling, I won't have good access once it's finished. While I'll put a string or wire in the ceiling in case I want to add wires later, I'm worried that I have one bite at the apple with cables. This cable morass is analysous to matresses. You simply can't compare. I checked out the site you recommeded and they claim to have the best cables you an buy. Maybe their the best for the money, or the best that you need, but how can they make that claim - I guess they can because no one can prove it's untrue - like the most comfortable mattress available. When I was in college in the mid 1980s, I was for a while, an astro-physics major and understand what some of the measurements are, but not what they mean. For example, I have non reference point for knowing whether 0.1 mV interference is phenominal or irrelevant (perhaps that is the e-magnetic noise generated by the wire itself when the electrons pass - I really don't know). I have the same issues with the other measurements. And even if there was a site where they listed the cable statistics one should care about, many cable vendors don't list all the same statistics - some list none. Uy vey. This is why people give up and go with brand names like Monster, and I think Blue Jeans and Better Cables. Is there some consensus among people on these boards on what are the best cable for $100 or less for each of 30' of component, sVideo and VGA? I need another thing to research and obcess over like I need another hole in my head. I know you already gave me advice - which I do appreciate - but can you give me more?
 

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...tough choice, eh?:(

Accessibility is an important factor here. With drop down ceilings or open plenum, infrastructure changout is much more simplified. With a permanent built in, there is greater risk. I would go with a "good" quality cabling plant here since, replacement will be a bear, and the infrastructure could possibly be the weakest link, wereas equipment on either end is much more easily upgraded. Technology also dictates the medium as well. Take for example CAT3 and the requirement to upgrade to CAT5. For ethernet networking, this was a required upgrade. But wait! Now CAT5 supports gigabit speeds! But then again, look at the telephone company infrasucture. It hasn't changed in decades, yet technolgies allow for more throughput over the same media!!

Argggh! Troubling indeed. I was going to use RG-6 coax, readily available in bulk and use RCA connectors and color coded tape.

I am curious to see if I can discern the difference between "oxygen free" copper and that which has been exposed to oxygen.:(
 

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I made a 45' component cable with RG-6 Quad Shield coax from Home Depot (500 feet for about $60) and Crimp on RCA Connectors from www.partsexpress.com.


Cabled turned out great. I view high def sources through the component cables and it looks perfect to me.


My only complaint is that the cables are big and bulky and stiff and using RG-6 Quad Shield was probably over kill.


If you run 6 strands of coax you can make your own component (3 strands) s-video (2 strands) and composite (1 strand) video cables.
 

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Probably most of you here in the US do not know, but Mogami is a well-known cable brand in Japan. I believe that they have the No. 1 worldwide market share in raw wires for professional audio cables. Unlike Monster which specifically targets the consumer market with ridiculously overpriced packages, Mogami mainly manufactures professional/installation grade bulk/raw cables. Perhaps, many of the Monster cables might actually be an OEM by Mogami... LOL


But since you are permanently installing in-ceiling cables, perhaps going with the bulk RG-6 may in fact be the best way. If you plan to install a wall-plate near the receiver shelf and a ceiling-plate near the projector (you definitely should if you can), then inflexibility of the in-ceiling portion of the cable is basically a non-issue. All you want is a durable, reliable cable. Then the bulk 75-ohm coax may well be best. It surely performs and is inexpensive.
 
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