Welcome to TV Connections, here we look at the various ways of connecting a televisions, displays, media devices and home cinema systems etc. For the past 30 years the scart lead has been the primary connection cable for connecting a device to a TV but in the last 3 years everything has changed as we have moved into the digital age.

The scart lead is still in widespread use today but is only capable of carrying an analogue TV signal with a standard definition resolution, most commonly in the UK referred to as 576i (576 lines of interlaced picture).

 A new connection called an HDMI cable was created to carry a high definition TV (HDTV) signal into the new LCD and Plasma TV ranges. HDMI Cables have much smaller plugs than scart and if you’re not familiar with them you could mistake it for a USB connector. The HDMI Cable carries the signal digitally as a stream of 1s and 0s, as such it is much less prone to interference and all but a faulty cable will transfer the sound and picture in perfect quality.

We will also mention the DVI cable (Digital Visual Interface), although developed for the PC market it is the digital sucessor to the analogue VGA cable, commonly available in two main forms DVI-D (digital) and DVI-I digital and analogue. Some flat panel TV sets had DVI connectors fitted for connecting high definition content although DVI does not normally support sound so many people had problems with no sound from a DVI cable. DVI-D will adapt to HDMI through the use of a relatively low cost adapter.

In 2007 the displayport cable appeared as a rival to the HDMI cable, branded as a cheaper alternative to HDMI as no royalties are payable for its use. It has taken 2 years for displayport cables to catch on and they are now appearing on TVs, monitors and between the media box and panel of Plasmas such as Pioneers KRP500A. A displayport cable will pass through HDMI and DVI with a simple adapter and also VGA with a slightly more expensive adapter.

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