A basic guide to video cables: Types & functions

by Renee Marie Jordan 11/20/2022

Setting up your own home theater requires basic knowledge of video cables. Types of cables for video, audio and a combination of both are necessary to a functional home theater system. However, the amount of different cables can seem confusing. How do you know which video cables you need?

Luckily, there are only four basic types of cables you need to know when setting up the digital video elements in your home theater. Here is a quick guide to help you learn more:

RCA & composite video cables

RCA and composite video cables are the most basic and common type of cable used to connect audio and video devices. They have round pins and often come with three different plugs: white, yellow and red. Composite video cables are virtually the same, but use only a single head.

While these cables have been around since the 1930s, you’re not likely to need them when connecting most modern high definition devices. However, they are still valuable to have in a home theater for connecting a VCR or older game console.

HDMI cables

HDMI cables are the current industry standard for connecting digital video devices. They have a flat rectangular head with multiple tiny pins inside. An HDMI cable can carry both audio and video signals to connect media players to televisions.

DVI cables

DVI cables are more often found in a home office, as they are used for computer monitors. However, DVI cables can be helpful in a home theater if you ever need to connect to an LCD computer monitor rather than a TV with an HDMI connection.

Coaxial cables

Coaxial cables are the round, stiff cables you’ll find sticking out of walls or floors to indicate a connection to a TV broadcast. Also called coax cables, these connectors transfer both video and audio signals between a cable box or satellite dish to your television.

Other cables, such as those specifically for internet connections and audio systems, may also be necessary depending on the specifics of your home theater setup. However, knowing these types of video cables will help you install and use your media devices to the best of their potential.

About the Author
Author

Renee Marie Jordan

Renee Marie Jordan is a Third Generation Realtor®, who started out her career in residential lending. Jordan Real Estate was established by her grandmother, Jean Kotwitz, who was one of the first female real estate brokers in Solano County! The company was then passed down to her mother, Diane Jordan, over 40 years ago. Renee Marie then took over the company 24 years ago and in 2015 joined forces with RE/MAX Gold.   

Regarded as one of Northern California’s most dependable brokers, Renee Marie has gained industry respect for creating a successful brokerage company. Renee Marie’s unique blend of negotiating expertise, innovative thinking and belief that the client always comes first, has resulted in an extensive client base with many satisfied homeowners. Renee Marie specializes in residential sales, first time buyers, short sale properties, luxury properties, investment properties, foreclosures, 1031 exchanges, and has been the HUD specialist for Solano County since 2009.   

Renee Marie gets to the heart of her clients wants and needs. She attributes a great deal of her success to the many referrals she receives from clients who appreciate the care and thoughtfulness she puts into every transaction. Friends and family members can count on the same excellent service when they are referred to Renee Marie.