Difference between an RCA, DVI and HDMI cable

After recording your entire trip on your newly bought camcorder, you come back and connect it with your computer. You are excited to show your friends and family the fun you've had. But when you actually plug in your camcorder, the picture quality is poorer than it was in your camcorder. What could have possibly gone wrong with your new equipment?

RCA Mono Plug CableWell, it's not entirely your camcorder that is at fault. The problem is with the cables you are using. It's most likely that it's an RCA cable you are using to connect the camcorder to the computer. An RCA cable is a patch cable that transmits analog or non-digital signals. This type of cable is attached to three jacks - usually red, white and yellow - red and white for right and left audio channels and the yellow one is the jack attached to composite video.

The problem is that an RCA cable with just one jack for video combines 3 signals (analog signals are made up of 3 signals) and combines them into one. This reduces the quality of the video. Since, RCA cables transmit non- digital signals you can't plug them directly to computers or LED. Besides, if you have an HDTV, your regular RCA cable would do you no good. It's only worthy of an old VCR.

But if there are three RCA jacks transmitting the three signals separately you would have a high quality picture. This kind of cable which uses separate RCA jacks for separate signals, is called a component cable. This kind of cable is ideal for your hi-tech television and Blu-ray players.

But what works best with HDTV and in fact have been designed for that very purpose is the Digital Video Interface cables or the DVI DVI- D Cablecable. A DVI cable is just like a component cable except that it comes with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. A DVI cable is also compatible with the VGA format and can be analog, digital or both. All these qualities make it a preferred choice among consumers for computers and for other high tech equipment.

An updated version of the DVI cable is the HDMI cable. This works almost like the former except the connect is slimmer. So, what patch cable you are using depends upon the type of signal you need to transmit. A DVI cable is as good as an HDMI cable in transmitting signal for a HDTV, unlike what many advertisers say.

An RCA cable works only where analog signal needs to be transmitted. So, if you have an analog TV, either of the three patch cables would work with it. Next time you come across bad picture quality, you would know where to look for sure.