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What is S-Video?

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/23/2009

Learn about sending digital video data with S-video.

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    Rending an S-video Connection

    Connection cables and different component parts of digital video cameras, and home theater and video equipment as well, can be confusing to even those with quite a bit of video production experience. As video equipment and digital video technology changes and heads forward there are going to be a number of changes and, in certain respects, you will have to upgrade your knowledge with the new equipment. At the same time, certain components are going to be consistent for us throughout the development of the video equipment as they are a main station in our understanding of video.

    S-video, also known as Y/C, is a consistent component of digital video equipment and will remain so throughout the changes in video technology, even though it will likely not be your first choice now or in the future.

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    How S-video Works

    S-video acts as a way of sending a video signal from one source to another location. S-video, or Y/C, does this by taking the analogue luminance and initiating it independently. This actually takes the analogue luminance and makes it independent of the couple of chrominance signal. The very basis then, of S-video, is that it is essentially two different signals: the analogue luminance and chrominance signal.

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    Composite, Digital Files, and Alternative Options

    S-video is actually a somewhat poor way to carry a video signal. The color, contrast, and sharpness will all be compromised with the Y/C process. At the same S-video is a much better choice than composite video, which is commonly known as of less quality than S-video and among the poorest in general.

    When you are trying to sync up different types of digital video equipment, such as a digital video camera and a television, the S-video option is going to be superior. When it comes to newer digital video equipment you are going to have even better options to choose from for video information transfer.

    One of the best alternatives to S-video for transfer and video capture will be to use fully digital storage devices on your digital video camera, then transfer the digital video file to a computer or comparable television system with a storage device. This is usually going to be the over all cleanest transfer, unless you have to compress the file digitally.