The audio and video industry relies on specialized cables to interconnect various devices and to send information from one format to another. Among the most common of these cables are the red, green, blue component video cables and the Video Graphics Array cables. Both connect video devices and transfer similar video information, but there are significant differences between the cables.
RCA-style connectors and three individual conductors in their own cable jackets are main features of RGB cables. These connectors are color coded as red, green and blue plugs and connect with their corresponding jacks on video equipment. VGA style cables feature a 15-pin block connector with 16 internal conductors wrapped in one cable jacket. This multiple pin connector typically features set screws to prevent it from pulling out of its connection and can be found in male or female configurations.
Featured in RGB cables are three individual wires, each with their own shielding and single internal conductor. These three wires are typically molded together as one cable, with each wire fanning out on both ends for easy connections. RGB cables can also be made very inexpensively due to their simple construction. VGA cables feature one cable that's more robust and thicker than a standard RGB cable. This single cable jacket contains one foil shield and up to 16 internal conductors, each responsible for individual parts of the video signal.
Common Device Usage
RGB cables are typically used with consumer to semi-professional grade video equipment such as televisions and disc units like DVD and Blu-ray players. Many TV service providers such as satellite or cable service providers require boxes that also feature RGB connections. VGA cables are almost exclusively used with computers and video projectors, connecting the computer itself to a monitor or other display device.
Types of Signals Transmitted
RGB cables provide a component level analog video output, resulting in a superior picture to standard composite video outputs. Splitting the red, green and blue signals allows more resolution to be transmitted down each cable, though vertical and horizontal sync information are integrated in the video signal itself. By utilizing their multiple internal conductors, VGA cables not only provide the same high bandwidth red green and blue component video signals but also allow devices to communicate about resolution and refresh rates, increasing the potential video quality of the signal. VGA cables also transmit sync information separately as opposed to RGB cables, allowing for more resolution and a higher quality signal overall.
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