How to Properly Use "S" Video Cables

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"S" video cables and inputs are widely misunderstood, not hooked up, or misused. Here is what you need to know.


  1. Assure the component you want to hook up has a "S" video output as well as making sure your TV has an "S" video input/s.
  2. Purchase a good quality "S" video cable. Most components have one included, but they are typically not of the best quality. One with gold plated connections is best. They can go for $20 and up.
  3. Connect "S" video cable from component (Digital TV Receiver, DVD, Game system and etc.) directly to your TV.
  4. Do not connect any other video cables. Connecting any other video cable will override the digital "S" video signal and it will be useless. It is a popular misconception that connecting more cables is better. It is not. Many instruction pamphlets will advise to connect all cables. Dont You Believe it!
  5. Turn on your digital source and TV and see what you have been missing. Your quality of resolution will increase anywhere from 20 to 80% depending on how you had things connected in the first place.


  • If your TV has only one "S" video input and you have several components with "S" video outputs, you have a few options.
    • Hook up the "S" video of the component you use most frequently. In most cases this would be your Digital TV Receiver I.e. Cable box & Satellite Receiver. Hook up the lesser-used components using the yellow RCA cable, or RF cable to the additional video inputs on your TV. Yellow RCA connection is second best to the "S" video, but will still work pretty well. Again, use one, or the other. Never both.
    • Purchase an "S" video / audio splitter box. These are available in many different varieties. Best value I found was actually at a Video Game Store with gold plated connections for about $20 bucks. These boxes also have inputs for Yellow RCA video cable. Again, DO NOT USE IT! "S" video only. The audio inputs will need to be connected though. This box will allow you to hook up 4 or 5 components to your TV, but you will have to manually switch between which component you want to use at the time.
    • "S" video cables do not carry audio. You will need to connect audio cables from the component to the inputs on the TV. Make sure you use the audio input on the TV, which serves the "S" video input channel. This is usually the audio input that is closest to the "S" video input on the rear, or side of the TV.
    • If your still not happy with your TV picture, you need to invest in a HDTV and High Definition Cable, or Satellite service. This can get pricey, but is worth it to the true Television enthusiast.


  • When working with any electrical appliance make sure all components are unplugged until all set up and wiring is completed. Always power on TV last and power off first.

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