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
Like any piece of hardware out there, cables can suffer from wear-and-tear as time marches on. Even if cables keep running perfectly as the years go by, they will get to the point of being outdated. Some cables are also more prone to needing replacement than others. Knowing when to replace a cable can make electronics run better, save on your electric bill, and even prevent potential safety issues. But what exactly you need to look for when thinking about replacing something is going to depend on which type of cable we are talking about.
Ethernet – Now or the near-future
Cable switches are used to connect multiple signal inputs (computers, DVD players, video game consoles, etc.) to a single output (televisions, computer monitors, etc.). Switches all work on the same general principle and most are purely mechanical. A switch only goes from multiple inputs to one output; if you need to go from one input to multiple outputs, you will need a splitter instead.
Switches are used when you have a screen, such as a TV or computer monitor, that does not have enough ports. For example, say you have a TV with one HDMI port but you want to connect a DVD player, a laptop, and a video game console. One option would be to constantly reach behind the TV and switch the cables, but that gets old fast. The simpler solution would be using
Cable splitters are used to connect multiple TVs, computer monitors, or other devices to a single signal source. There are differences between the various types of splitters, but a few general rules apply to them all. Splitters only go from one input to multiple outputs; if you need to go from multiple inputs to one output, you need a switch instead.
When a signal goes through a splitter, it is divided and becomes weaker. Imagine an HDMI splitter as an example. Modern HDMI cables are capable of a 4k signal, which works fine if you are using a single HDMI cable by itself. However, say you use a 4-way HDMI splitter to run four cables to four TVs. Each signal would only have half the normal strength so none of the TVs will have 4k quality.
Because the signal is evenly divided, the signal will become weaker for bigger splitters.
Audio and video cables go hand-in-hand, often being paired together. Some cables can even transmit audio and video on just one line. Over time a lot of new audio and video cables have been introduced, so the cable you need will often depend on the age of the equipment you are using. Most TVs, computers, and other devices can use multiple types of audio and video connections, so it is good to be able to identify them and know your options.
Audio-only cables include:
- Optical Toslink
Video-only cables include:
Audio/video cables include:
HDMI: The New Standard
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are the new standard for audio/video cables on modern televisions, computers, video game consoles, and more. The majority of new electronics today are built with at least one HDMI port. HDMI is excellent at what does, being able to transmit digital audio and video through a single line.
While HDMI is fantastic, many older devices that predate HDMI are still around and in use. Some newer devices are also built with only alternatives to HDMI, although this is much less common. When either of these scenarios come up, the easiest solution is to use an HDMI adapter. There are different types of adapters (as well as converters) that you may need depending on what you want to convert to HDMI.