s-video port, what is s-video port, how to use s-video port
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What is s-video port, how to use s-video port?

S-Video, Separate Video, or Super Video, is an analog video signal that carries video data as two separate signals: luma (luminance) and chroma (color). This differs from composite video, which carries picture information as a single lower-quality signal, and component video, which carries picture information as three separate higher-quality signals. S-Video carries standard definition video, typically at 480i or 576i resolution, but does not carry audio on the same cable.

The 4-pin mini-DIN connector (shown at right) is the most common of several S-Video connector types. Other S-Video connector variants include 7-pin locking "dub" connectors used on many professional S-VHS machines, and dual "Y" and "C" BNC connectors, often used for S-Video patch bays. Early Y/C video monitors often used RCA connectors that were switchable between Y/C and composite video input. Though the connectors are different, the Y/C signals for all types are compatible.

S-Video is a type of connection found commonly on DVD players and computer video cards. If your TV has an S-Video in port, then you can hook up your computer's video card to your TV and use your TV as a monitor. S-Video offers higher quality picture than RCA cables.

S-Video is commonly used throughout the world with relative popularity. It is found on consumer TVs, DVD players, high-end video cassette recorders, digital TV receivers, DVRs, game consoles, and graphics cards. It has been replaced by component video and digital video standards, such as DVI and HDMI.

S-Video cables are used for computer-to-TV output for business or home use. 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. Converting composite signal to S-Video is harder, because once Luminance and Color are merged, it is hard to separate them while minimizing loss. High quality comb filters are commonly used to separate the signals.

Due to a lack of bandwidth, S-Video connections are generally not considered suitable for high-definition video signals. As a result, HD sources are generally connected to a monitor by way of analog component video or wideband digital methods (usually HDMI or DVI). However, when using older monitors with S-Video but without HDMI and DVI, some graphics cards have full display (including bootup display) with HDMI, DVI, and S-Video and partially full display with component and composite. So in this case, S-Video works well, as it allows the user to see the display in the event that they need to adjust settings in the CMOS.

The situation with VCRs is a bit unusual: the common S-Video connector was designed for Super VHS and Hi8 VCRs as a high-bandwidth video connection and has been used for the same purpose on a great number of other consumer devices, coming into greatest prominence with the rise of the DVD format. Many digital (and all Hi-8 and S-VHS-C camcorders) support S-Video as well. Standard VHS VCRs do not put out a high enough resolution signal to saturate an S-Video connection, and therefore most such units (even those in combination units with DVD players, which commonly use S-Video or component outputs) require the output from the VHS deck to go through a composite video or RF connection.

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