Nicholas Watkins

  1. HDMI vs. DisplayPort vs. DVI vs. VGA: What’s the Difference?

    There are a variety of different cables that can be used for video connections. While there have been industry efforts at streamlining, even today there are multiple options on the market. Each type of video cable is easily identified by its unique size and shape, but there are also differences when it comes to the quality of each cable signal. Knowing these differences can enable users to make educated choices when selecting cables for electronic devices.

    Current Version

    Analog/Digital

    Max Resolution

    Locking Connector

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  2. How Can You Tell the Difference Between XLR and DMX?

    XLR and DMX cables have a bit of overlap and it can be difficult to keep the two separate. The short answer is that XLR is used for audio while DMX is used for lighting. Both cables use the same kind of connectors and look the same on the outside, there are differences on the inside. There is a little bit of cross-functionality, but XLR and DMX should not be interchanged unless users find themselves in a desperate situation.

    Are DMX and XLR Connectors the Same?

    Whereas DMX refers to something specific, “XLR” is more of a catch-all term. It can refer to an XLR cable, XLR connector, or even audio cables in general. Oftentimes, microphone cables are referred to as XLR even if they may feature another kind of audio connection as well. DMX cables do use XLR connectors, but their specialized use has given the

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  3. Video Game Consoles – Cables and Cords

    Video games are one of the most popular past times today, with the video game industry making more money each year than movies and music combined. Avid gamers used to hang onto their old consoles, but that has become less common over the years due to games being re-released and digital downloads giving gamers easy access to their old favorites.

    Modern televisions tend to be equipped with an HDMI port and not much else while some TVs still have the older RCA ports. When using a TV with older types of connections, you can typically use a converter to get the console hooked up. Most connections today are streamlined

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  4. Belden DataTuff – Industrial Ethernet Cable

    Ethernet is the cornerstone of most modern technology; if a machine sends or receives any data, it is likely using Ethernet. In an office environment, there is nothing wrong with Ethernet using a standard PVC jacket. But industrial environments are a different story. PVC Ethernet is not designed to stand up to oil, chemicals, and other hazardous conditions. Belden’s DataTuff cable is engineered to withstand harsh industrial environments without compromising data transmission.

    PVC and plenum jackets not rated for industrial use cannot keep up in those environments. A cold environment can make the jackets hard and brittle, causing the cables to break when bent. Exposure to chemicals ca

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  5. Cable Cross-Sections

    Different types of cables have different functions and it is easy to view any cable as a single, working unit. But each cable is made of different layers, with each layer providing a different function. Learning how these pieces interact makes it easier to understand just how a cable works and what can be done to avoid damaging a cable.

    Coax Cross-Section

    Coax is one of the most common types of cable, having been in use for well over 100 years. While the technology has improved over time, the basic layout

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  6. Modems vs. Routers: What is the Difference?

    You probably have a modem and router in your home, but what exactly is the difference between them? Each device plays a critical role in getting Internet access to computers, smartphones, and anything else you have with online access. “Modem” and “router” are often used as interchangeable terms, but they are not the same thing.

    Modems

    The purpose of a modem is to bring the Internet into your home by connecting to a wall jack. The type of Internet signal that an

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  7. USB Adapters/Converters

    Of all the different ports that are built into computers today, none is more prominent than the USB port. Every computer, from the most budget-friendly laptop to a high-end liquid-cooled desktop, has at least one USB port somewhere on it. The trouble is when you have a computer with USB ports and not much else. Luckily, USB adapters can be used when you need to change USB into another format.

    USB to Ethernet (RJ45)

    A lot of modern

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  8. Ethernet Hubs vs. Switches: What is the Difference?

    “Hub” and “switch” are two terms that get thrown around a lot, oftentimes interchangeably. But while these two devices are similar, they are not quite the same. In a nutshell, switches are an upgrade to hubs. Both are used to connect multiple computers or other devices together in a network. The difference lies with how a hub or switch handles communications between devices on that network.

    Ethernet Hubs

    Hubs are an older technology that some el

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  9. Crossover Ethernet Cables

    When someone says “ethernet” they are usually referring to standard ethernet patch cords. A standard patch cord is the most common type of ethernet and used for connecting different devices together. However, standard patch cords (also called straight-thru cords) can only connect different devices. If you need to connect a computer to something different like a modem or printer, they work fine. But if you need to connect two computers, two network switches, or any other identical electronics, you will need a crossover cable instead.

    Crossover vs. Straight-Thru (Standard)

    To understand the difference, we start by looking at the way ethernet cab

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  10. Data Usage Rates

    Most people use the Internet every single day. Everyone who does would likely agree that the Internet is a great tool so long as it works. We have all been in a situation where an email will not send, a page will not load, or a video pixelates and has to stop and buffer. But with the right precautions, you can keep those slow loading scenarios to a minimum.

    The first step here is to understand the different categories of ethernet cables. The second is to remember that there is one, single cable connecting your modem or router to a wall outlet. All the data on your network, whether it is on a hardline or wireless, is passing through that one cable. If you have just one or two devices connected, like a desktop computer plus a cell phone, using a regular Cat5e cable should be fine. But when three,

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