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Differences between Display Outputs

Composite – Composite video is an analogue video transmission that carries standard definition video typically at 480i or 576i resolution as a single channel. Video information is encoded on one channel, unlike the higher-quality S-video (two channels) and the even higher-quality component video (three or more channels). In all of these video formats, audio is carried on a separate connection.

Composite video is also known by the initials CVBS for composite video base band signal or colour, video, blanking and sync or is simply referred to as SD video for the standard-definition television signal it conveys.

S-Video – Also known as separate video and Y/C is a signalling standard for standard definition video, typically 480i or 576i. By separating the black-and-white and colouring signals, it achieves better image quality than composite video, but has lower colour resolution than component video.

Component – Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more component channels. In popular use, it refers to a type of component analogue video (CAV) information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals. Component video can be contrasted with composite video (NTSC, PAL or SECAM) in which all the video information is combined into a single line level signal that is used in analogue television. Like composite, component-video cables do not carry audio and are often paired with audio cables.

When used without any other qualifications the term component video usually refers to analogue YPBPR component video with sync on luma.

Scart – The signals carried by SCART include both composite and RGB (with composite synchronisation) video, stereo audio input/output and digital signalling. The standard was extended at the end of the 1980’s to support the new S-Video signals. A TV can be awakened from standby mode, and it can automatically switch to appropriate AV channel, when the device attached to it through a SCART connector is turned on. SCART connection was also used for high definition signals like 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p with YPbPr connection by some manufacturers, but to the present day this connection is very scarce due to the advent of HDMI.

In Europe, SCART was the most common method of connecting AV equipment, and was a standard connector for such devices; it was far less common elsewhere.

VGA – Video Graphics Array (VGA) is a graphics standard for video display controller first introduced with the IBM PS/2 line of computers in 198 following CGA and EGA introduced in earlier IBM personal computers. Through widespread adoption, the term has also come to mean either an analogue computer display standard, the 15-pin D-sub miniature VGA connector, or the 640×480 resolution characteristic of the VGA hardware. Today, the VGA analogue interface is used for high-definition video, including resolutions of 1080p and higher. While the transmission bandwidth of VGA is high enough to support even higher resolution playback, there can be picture quality degradation depending on cable quality and length. How discernible this degradation depends on the individual’s eyesight and the display, though it is more noticeable when switching to and from digital inputs like HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort.

DVI – Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video display interface developed by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). The digital interface is used to connect a video source, such as a video display controller, to a display device, such as a computer monitor. It was developed with the intention of creating an industry standard for the transfer of digital video content.

This interface is designed to transmit uncompressed digital video and can be configured to support multiple modes such as DVI-A (analogue only), DVI-D (digital only) or DVI-I (digital and analogue). Featuring support for analogue connections, the DVI specification is compatible with the VGA interface. This compatibility, along with other advantages, led to its widespread acceptance over competing digital display standards Plug and Display (P&D) and Digital Flat Panel (DFP). Although DVI is predominantly associated with computers, it is sometimes used in other consumer electronics such as television sets and DVD players

HDMI – HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analogue video standards. Several versions of HDMI have been developed and deployed since the initial release of the technology, but all use the same cable and connector. Other than improved audio and video capacity, performance, resolution and colour spaces, newer versions have optional advanced features such as 3D, Ethernet data connection, and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) extensions.


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