How to Buy Video Cables on eBay

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Video Cables on eBay

Whether it is the big game, that must-see movie, family home videos, or just a great weekday prime time show, video has become an integral part of everyday life. It now turns up as available output on phones, cameras, camcorders and, of course, the usual DVD player, Blu Ray player, set-top media streaming device and a number of different game consoles. Optimising the video playback of all of these different devices requires the right connection. That means that the consumer who wishes to set up a system that can utilise one or several of these different video input options must navigate the many different types of available video cables to determine which cable is right for which device in order to optimise video quality.

Those who are confused about how to choose between the different cable connections and finding quality cables are not alone. This is no longer the age of the VCR with its simple coaxial cable input, the setup of which was confusing enough for many people. Now, the frustration is often compounded. There are DVI cables, HDMI cables, and S-video cables, just to name a few of the most popular ones. Most current TVs accept input from many or all of these different types of cables, and this allows the consumer to choose between the best quality or the most readily available cables for their devices. Not all devices support every cable option, and many, such as phones and tablets, only support one output option, HDMI.

Quality Cables and Bargain Prices on eBay

eBay is a great place to look for all of the many different video cable options. The sellers there offer a large selection of cables, and they are often high-quality products that are listed at value prices. Cables are available in different lengths, and this helps the consumer have more options when setting up his or her video system.  By choosing to shop for these necessary items on eBay, the consumer can be sure to have the necessary, high-quality cables on hand on game day or any other day. With the various cables listed on eBay, every component can be connected to a home theatre.

Finding the correct cable for each device presents many people with quite a dilemma. Many video system components use a variety of different cables to organise input and output video. Some devices only support one type of video cable, which makes the decision making process a little easier, but other devices support multiple options.

Determining the types of connections on a system can be confusing enough, but then there are the different qualities that make one cable a more appropriate choice than another one. Often the choice of cable affects the quality of the picture a great deal, and many consumers are unclear about how to make the best choice and which cables may be worth a little extra money. Understanding the different types of cables and how they can affect the picture quality helps consumers make informed decisions so that they can easily spot the best deals for the best cables on eBay.

Cable Types and Image Quality

For many years, there was simply coaxial video cables, and choosing the right cable was only a matter of finding one that was long enough. As technologies have enhanced, the connections between the video source and the TV have become increasingly important. Thankfully, cable technology has improved to match this demand, and current cables process the video signal better. Coaxial cables are still in use, but they simply represent an inexpensive way to pass the signal over long distances within the home, and most viewers strive for better quality. Nonetheless, most TVs still include this basic type of video terminal, along with a variety of advanced connections.

Analogue Cables

Other analogue cable options, such as composite, S-Video, and component cables, were considered to be high-quality options before high-definition arrived on the video scene. Now, these cables can be used for digital connections, but many high-definition signals degrade over these connections, and the picture quality may suffer. Of the three types, component cables are the highest quality analogue cables that carry HD signals without causing degradation. They can handle a 1080p signal, which is presently the highest quality resolution available, and are a good choice for quality HDTV connections.

Consumers who have not experienced a quality HD connection may not realise the crisp, vivid quality of an HD connection is missing when using these types of cables because the picture is still clear and enjoyable. However, the quality difference is significant when the connection is changed to an advanced connection that is more appropriate for the signal. 

Digital Cables

Cables that are designed to carry digital HD signals are the best choice to ensure a quality picture. Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) are the most common digital connections. DVI cables pre-date HDMI cables and started out as cables that were mainly intended for connecting computers to output devices, such as TVs and projectors. Unlike HDMI cables, DVI cables only transmit video and require the use of a second cable for audio transmission.

HDMI cables provide a premium quality signal and are currently the most preferred connection. This is truly a high-powered connection that is capable of transmitting the industry's current highest resolution of 1080p and eight channels of audio, which eliminates the need for additional audio cable connections. The connectors are small, and a cable with a mini HDMI connection at one end and a standard HDMI at the other end can connect small, handheld devices like smartphones and tablets to a TV equipped with this input option. This allows users to stream Internet video directly from the device at very high resolutions and quality.

Cables with Different Connectors

In order to connect some devices or to provide a better signal quality, it may be possible to find a cable that has different types of connections at each end. Sometimes adaptors are used to do this. This setup is necessary for TVs that do not accept the necessary input connectors or for some devices that have limited connection options. When locating this kind of cable, it is important to take note of whether the necessary connector is a male or female connection. 

Cable Quality at a Glance

The following chart lists the different types of video cables according to the quality of the signal they produce, with the top one representing the highest quality signal:

Cable Type


Common Use


Considered to be the highest quality connection

Quickly becoming the industry standard for all video connections

Connectors are smaller than USB connectors

Sometimes full-size connector on one end and mini-HDMI on the other end

Found on most newer TVs, DVRs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones


One of the largest connectors with 29 pins

Video connection only

Does not support audio 

Originally intended to connect computers to HDTVs

Found on some, but not all, newer TVs


Analogue connection that can transmit HD signals

Provides high-quality signal between older entertainment components and newly manufactured HDTVs

Video connection only

Does not support audio

Found on almost all electronic devices manufactured over the last couple of decades


Higher quality analogue connection

Transmits brightness and colour information separate from other data

Many newer devices lose signal quality over this connection

Video connection only

Does not support audio

Found on many devices, including DVRs, DVD players, and game consoles


Standard cable connection

Often used when devices are far apart

Generally considered to be a poor option

Value-priced option

Found on almost all older and newer electronic devices

Consumers typically have homes filled with devices that feature one or more of these types of connections, although, at times, the choice of cable may be dictated by connection limitations on older equipment.

Cable Length and Signal Quality

Recently manufactured digital cables tend to be available in much shorter lengths than the old analogue cables. Many people assume this is because the signal degrades much faster with the new cables than it did with the older ones, but the opposite is actually true. The shorter cable length simply reflects the growing awareness among manufacturers and consumers that the signal strength degradation increases as the length of the cable increases, regardless of the cable type.

In response to this growing awareness, and due to the fact that most manufactures want the consumer to experience the highest quality of playback, many modern cables are quite short. Experts suggest using a cable that is only long enough to make the necessary connection between the device and the TV. Longer cables are available, but longer lengths cost considerably more, and the old standard of extremely long cables (when coaxial was king) is a thing of the past.


Choosing the right video cable can be a confusing task, especially now that there are so many options available. Many TVs are able to connect to other devices using any of the common cable connections, but some TVs are much more limited. Many secondary devices, such as DVD players and set-top boxes, only support a couple of different output options.

Each type of cable provides a different level of picture quality, and it is best to choose the highest quality cable that is supported by the connecting devices. Choosing the right cable is a matter of determining all the devices' available connections and then choosing the matching connections with the highest signal quality. Both ends of the cable have to match the necessary terminals, and the cable length should be appropriate, as well. eBay sellers list a large number of video cable options, and it is not difficult to find the right cable at a great price.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides