How to Buy Video Cables

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How to Buy Video Cables

Video cables have a multitude of uses when it comes to home entertainment systems. Video cables are used to connect televisions to DVD players, game systems, Blu-ray players, cable boxes, and even computers. Having the right video cables makes all the difference when it comes to the convenience of hooking equipment up to connect properly. There are certain types of cables which serve specific purposes, and it is best to ensure the cables that are being purchased are the right ones for the job they are needed for.

It is easy for a buyer to get confused when purchasing video cables, but some cables are used for more than one purpose, and they serve more than one function. These types of cables are probably the most convenient type to have around. It also depends on how old or new the buyer's television is. Older televisions have different outputs for cables than newer ones do, and it is not necessary to worry about HDTV or other newer features when hooking up compatible cables to an older model of television. Purchasing the right video cables really depends on two factors, including what the cables are to be used for and what type of equipment the cables are plugged into.

Types of Video Cables

There are a few commonly used types of video cables which the consumer should become familiar with before shopping for cables. This allows the buyer to make an informed decision and purchase the proper cables for his or her needs. The shopper should know if he or she is simply hooking up a VCR to an older television, or if a newer, flat-screen TV is going to be hooked up to an HD Blu-ray player. The equipment involved makes a difference in what type of cables are needed, so the consumer should consider this when investigating various types of cables before making a purchase.

HDMI Cables

The most common types of video cables are HDMI cables. HDMI cables are compatible with newer high-definition televisions and Blu-ray players, and they use digital signals as opposed to analogue signals, which older televisions may use. These types of cables are easier to use because they only need one connection to plug into, as opposed to other types of cables, such as component cables, which may have two or three different connectors.

HDMI cables are a great option for the consumer who does not want the hassle of dealing with a bunch of different cables; HDMI cables are also used for Internet connections between more than one device. These types of cables provide high-quality sound and video, and they are convenient too. For a consumer who has televisions which are high-definition and connect to other home theatre equipment, HDMI cables are the standard.

DVI Cables

DVI stands for Digital Video Interface; this type of cable is also used like an HDMI cable for high-definition television, DVD players, and game consoles. Now that HDMI cables have become more of the standard type of cables used for HD television, DVI cables are mostly used for computer hook ups, though they are still used to connect televisions to other components.

DVI cables are used to connect video cards to monitors. They are also used for either digital or analogue displays, and some types of DVI cables are actually used for either, which makes them a quite flexible option. Before purchasing a DVI cable, the buyer needs to know whether his or her connections require a DVI-D cable, a DVI-A cable, or a DVI-to-VGA cable or adaptor. Essentially, a buyer needs a DVI cable when he or she wants to connect a computer to a monitor or flat-panel LCD, as well as a projector or a high-definition TV.

Component/Composite Cables

Two types of cables which may confuse a buyer are component and composite cables. It is most likely because they look the same, but they are used for different purposes.

Composite cables should be used for older televisions which hook up to various devices such as VCRs, DVD players, or game systems. They are not capable of handling high-definition video. Component cables, however, are. These cables are meant to be used with high-resolution televisions and electronics.

The quality the buyer gets with component cables is not as good as using HDMI cables, but these are another alternative when the buyer is hooking up components to a high-definition television. The only thing that component cables lack is the ability to produce audio, so the buyer still needs audio cables to receive the sound which he or she needs. This may be what sways a buyer to purchase HDMI cables instead.

SCART Cables

Lastly, SCART cables are another common way of connecting electronics to the television. These are used to connect cable and digital satellite receivers or boxes, PVRs, DVD players, and VCRs as well. SCART cables have a distinct advantage over component cables; they transmit audio as well as video, all in one cable.

SCART cables are also called SCART leads. They also may cost more than composite and component cables, and may be comparable to HDMI cables. However, a buyer receives better quality when using an HDMI cable even if a scart cable is available. SCART transmits using analogue signals instead of digital, which may not promise the same quality as an HDMI cable. A SCART cable is a good option for the buyer who does not have a high-definition television.

Selecting the Right Video Cables

Decoding the world of video cables is oftentimes quite tricky and confusing. Once the buyer assesses what the cables are needed for and what type of quality is needed, it is easier to select a video cable which works for the his or her intended purpose.


HDMI Cables

 DVI Cables

Component Cables

Composite Cables

SCART Cables

Transmission Type

Digital transmission

Digital and analogue transmission

Digital transmission

Analogue transmission only



Usage Capabilities

Used with HD televisions

Mostly used with computers

Used with HD televisions

Only used with older, non-HD televisions and equipment

Used with HD televisions or older, non-HD televisions

Quality Level

Highest quality video cable available

High quality when connected to video monitors

High quality, but not as high as HDMI

Not as high quality

High quality, but not as high as HDMI cables

Ease of Connection

One connection to plug in; easy to use

Can be confusing; might need an adaptor

No sound transmission, need additional cables for sound

More than one connector necessary

Transmits audio and video; more advantageous than component cables

Video cables range from very affordable to very expensive. Some of this is because of the quality, but the buyer should be aware of the fact that the most expensive video cables may not necessarily be the best. An affordable video cable can be of good quality and work quite well. Once a buyer researches what types of cables he or she needs, it is simple to determine a budget for cable purchasing.

How to Buy Video Cables on eBay

To buy affordable video cables on eBay, there are several options. A general search for video cables brings up a wide selection of options, but this can be narrowed based on a more exact or specific search, such as SCART cables or HDMI cables. You can then decide how much you want to spend on video cables, how many cables you need, and whether you need any other equipment to configure your home theatre system, such as adaptors or DVD players. You can also select cables based on their length and how many connectors they possess.

Purchase video cables from a merchant which is a Top-Rated Seller on eBay, and see if the seller is offering any other like products which can be bundled with your cables to get a reduced shipping price on more items. You may need additional audio cables, cords, adaptors, or other electronic items that the seller has to offer. Shop from a local seller if you would rather stop by and pick up your cables in person, and ask the seller any questions you might have about the cables. This can also be helpful in lessening or negating shipping charges.


Video cables are a necessary component and expense for anyone who is putting together a home entertainment system, whether it is as simple as a DVD player and a television, or it is an entire surround sound system complete with an HD television, Blu-ray player, and a game console. Video cables which are properly installed enhance movie watching, music listening, or game playing experiences by providing stellar video quality, as well as audio to a home theatre system.

Buying cables is not as difficult as a buyer may be afraid of; it is just as simple as figuring out which cables are needed for the existing equipment, and which works best for the purposes the buyer intends. Video cables come in different brands, styles, lengths, and types, and although they are all different, there is a cable for every need which serves its purpose as well as helps create a more amazing viewing experience for a movie watcher at home.

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