Coax Cables

Written by Serena Berger
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Coaxial cables are among the most easily recognizable cables used in setting up an entertainment center. It used to be that you would connect an incoming cable to your VCR, and then connect another coaxial cable from the VCR to your television. These cables are designed to carry both audio and video information, but the result of the numerous signals being passed simultaneously is that the quality of both suffers.

Despite their weakness relative to S-video and component cables, coaxial cables have not yet become obsolete. They are still used to connect your cable box or cable modem to the incoming service from your cable or satellite provider. Because of this, it is unlikely that you will find televisions without them in the near future. In fact, many high end televisions are now being built with two coaxial connections so that you can view two programs simultaneously.

Digital video recorders also make use of dual tuners. One of the shortcomings of some DVRs is that you cannot watch one program while recording another. Some models with two RF connections allow you to use one to record one program while you watch a different program using the other tuner, giving you more flexibility in your viewing behavior.

Not All Coaxial Cables Are Created Equal
While the common use for coaxial cables is to carry both audio and video signals, another type of coaxial cable is used just to deliver an audio signal. Coaxial digital audio cables are superior to analog audio patch cords even though they look identical. This type of cable can carry multichannel audio signals--such as 5.1 channel sound--and can be used over large distances without concern that the signal will degrade.

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