Types of Video Adapters

By David Hicks

Different video adapters are available that are used for different resolutions and reasons. From component cables to HDMI cords, there are many ways to transport video signals to your television, monitor or projector. Some adapters provide a better image than others, depending on your needs.

Composite

Composite video adapters consist of three plugs, one yellow, one red and one white. The yellow adapter carries the picture signal, and the white and red carry the audio signal. This is one of the most common television hookup methods.

Component (Y/Pb/Pr)

Component video adapters (also known as Y/Pb/Pr) consist of three cords/wires for video transmission and two for audio transmission. The Y channel carries luminance data, the B carries blue color data and the R carries red color data. The Y channel is usually colored green, the B blue and the R red. This adapter allows for higher definition transmission and is popular in modern HDTV televisions.

S-Video

S-Video (Super Video) cords typically are round, four-pin connectors that do not include audio (this would be a separate unrelated cable). This format splits color and luminance into separate wires (both of which are integrated in the single cable). S-Video is found on both computer monitors and television sets.

HDMI

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is a long, flat connector that contains 19 pins. It transmits uncompressed video across the cable and integrates both the audio and video signals into one connector. This is considered an advanced cable and is present on most new HDTVs and many computer monitors.

VGA

VGA (Video Graphics Array) connectors are typically 15-pin cables that transmit video signal only. It contains separate information for red, greens and blues, as well as horizontal and vertical positioning. VGA is found mainly on computer monitors and has been around since the late 1980s.

DVI

DVI (Digital Video Interface) is a connector that is long and rectangular and designed to transmit large amounts of data to LCD and HDTV screens. It has as many as 24 pins but does not include a channel for sound like HDMI. DVI is most commonly found on computer monitors but is occasionally used on a televisions.

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