S-VideoS-Video (also known as Y/C) is a baseband analog video format offering a higher quality signal than composite video, but a lower quality than RGB and component video. This mid-level format divides the signal into two channels - luminance and chrominance.
The luminance signal and modulated chrominance subcarrier information are carried on separate signal/ground pairs. The luminance signal is effectively a black-and-white television signal with the timing of a colour composite video signal. Because the luminance signal is carried on a separate wire, it does not need to be low-pass filtered to prevent crosstalk between high-frequency luminance information and the colour subcarrier.
This allows a higher bandwidth to be used for the luminance information, and also eliminates the colour crosstalk problem.
The luminance performance of S-Video is similar to analog component video, but the chrominance performance retains most of the other defects of composite video, apart from the crosstalk problem.
Today, S-Video signals are generally connected using 4-pin mini-DIN connectors using a 75 ohm termination impedance. The pins in the connectors bend easily, hence care must be taken when plugging the cables in--else a pin is likely to bend, causing the loss of color, corruption of the signal, or complete loss of the signal.
Before the mini-DIN plug became standard, S-Video signals were often carried through different types of plugs. For example, the Commodore 64 home computer of the 1980s, one of the first widely available devices to feature S-Video output, used an 8-pin standard size DIN plug on the computer end and a pair of RCA plugs on the monitor end.
Today, S-Video signals can be transferred through SCART connections as well. However the SCART connector must explicitly support S-Video as it is not part of the original SCART standard.
S-Video is commonly used on consumer DVD players, VTRss, and modern game consoles. It is also available on some professional equipment and computer video capture and playback cards.
This entry contains some text from FOLDOC, used by permission.
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