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S-Video Tutorial
S-Video Explained

Separate video, aka S-Video, is an analog video signal that carries data as two separate signals, luma (brightness) and chroma (color). It is unlike composite video, which carries lower-quality picture information as a single signal, or component video, which carries higher-quality picture information as three separate signals, one luma and two chroma components. S-Video, as most commonly implemented, carries 480i or 576i resolution video, but does not carry audio on the same cable. S-Video transmits sharp images; approximately 700×486 pixels when using a clean DVD source. When used for connecting a video source to a video display where both support 4:3 and 16:9 display formats, the S-video connection transparently supports this operation and has a general provision for widescreen signaling. 



The 4-pin mini-din connector is the most common of several S-Video connector types. Other S-Video connector variants include a 7-pin locking connector used on many professional S-VHS machines, and dual Y and C BNC connector, often used for S-Video patch bays. Non-standard 7-pin mini-din connectors are used on laptops and video cards. Two variations of the 9-pin mini-din connector are used by video cards with Video In / Video Out ( VIVO) capability.

Where Used

S-Video is commonly used for consumer TVs, DVD players, VCRs, Digital TV receivers, DVRs, game consoles, etc. Almost all TV-out connectors on graphics cards can support S-Video.

S-Video cables are used for computer-to-TV output for business or home usage. Because it is very simple to convert S-Video to composite signal, many electronics retailers offer converter adaptors for signal conversion. Conversion will not improve image quality, but will allow connecting to otherwise-incompatible devices. Due to a lack of bandwidth, S-Video connections are not considered suitable for high-definition video signals. As a result, HD sources are generally connected via digital methods; HDMI or DVI.

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